New Portrait of Dame Anne Owers by Diarmuid Kelley Unveiled at National Portrait Gallery


LONDON.- A new portrait of Dame Anne Owers by prize-winning artist, Diarmuid Kelley, has gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery. Dame Anne was the first woman to hold the post of H M Chief Inspector of Prisons (2001–10) and spoke out against prison overcrowding, the over-use of prisons to house those who are mentally ill, and the introduction of ‘titan’ jails. The portrait, depicting Dame Anne’s head and shoulders, was painted from life at Kelley’s London studio over a number of months. He initially accompanied Dame Anne on a prison inspection where he gained an awareness of the challenges she faced as Chief Inspector of Prisons, and a valuable insight into her personality. Kelley began with three sketches of different poses before deciding to focus on the face of Dame Anne, whom he had got to know better through conversations during sittings. The apparent contemplation and quietness of the po