Jersey Heritage is pleased to announce that the subject of this year’s People’s Portrait is local collector David Gainsborough Roberts.
Renowned memorabilia collector, Mr Roberts was chosen because of his generosity of spirit in sharing his collection with the public through talks and loans to museum exhibitions in Jersey and throughout the world, including allowing Jersey Heritage to display his Marilyn Monroe costumes and create an exhibition which is still talked about today, six years later.
Much of Mr Roberts’s collection will be sold next year, so Jersey Heritage wanted to take the opportunity of commissioning a portrait of Mr Roberts with items from the collection, which he has taken so much care in creating and sharing.
The artist chosen to paint this colourful character is Benjamin Sullivan. Mr Sullivan’s work has been widely exhibited, including at the Royal Academy and National Portrait Gallery. Among other distinctions, he has received a Carrol Foundation Award, the Kinross Scholarship, and a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. In 2007, he won the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize. He was elected a member of the New English Art Club and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2001 and 2003 respectively, becoming the youngest person to be elected to those institutions. In 2009, he was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers. His work is to be found in numerous public and private collections, including the Royal Scottish Academy, Parliament House, Edinburgh, and several Oxford and Cambridge Colleges.
It is anticipated that the portrait will be complete by early 2016.