Studied at Bolton College of Art

Neil Shawcross was born in Lancashire, England in 1940 and has lived in Belfast since 1962. Shawcross studied at Bolton College of Art from 1955 to 1958 and also at Lancaster College of Art from 1958 to 1960. He has exhibited his artworks extensively across Ireland in a career spanning more than thirty years. Shawcross held the position of Professor of Painting at the College of Art in Belfast until his retirement in 2004, currently he is focusing solely on the production of art.

He was elected an Associate of the Royal Ulster Academy of Art in 1975 and in 1977 he became a full Academician. Recently Shawcross was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the arts in Northern Ireland.

View ‘Portrait of Colm Brennan’ within the Collection

Portrait of Colm Brennan by Neil Shawcross

Portrait of Colm Brennan by Neil Shawcross


Renowned Colorist and Technical Innovator

Shawcross is a renowned colourist and technical innovator who has gained inspiration from French artists such as Matisse, Cezanne and Bonnard. Portraiture and still life dominate his practice and his approach to painting is simplistic and almost childlike resulting in some of the most original and exciting artworks being produced in Ireland today. Keeping his brush strokes to a minimum he captures the essence, movements and gestures of his sitters.

He has held one-man shows in Dublin, Belfast, London and Manchester, and internationally in the United States and Hong Kong, his artworks are housed within many public and private collections.


  • Gallaher Portrait Prize 1966
  • RUA Conor Award 1975
  • RUA Gold Medal 1978, 1982, 1987, 1994, 1997, 2001
  • RUA Academician 1978
  • Arnolds National Portrait Award, Dublin 1990
  • James Adam Prize 1998, Sandford and Leinster Galleries Award 2006 approx



Youtube Links: