A new portrait of the iconic singer-songwriter can be viewed at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery 

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE BY JONATHAN PHANG

Today brings the news that a compelling oil painting of legendary lesbian singer-songwriter, Horse McDonald, will enter Scotland’s national collection and go on display at the heart of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG) in the Great Hall. 

The bold and vibrant painting by Roxana Halls captures the charisma and charm that one of Scotland’s most celebrated performers is known for, perfectly. 

As part of the creative process of the portrait sitting, Horse sang her best-loved song, Careful, live and a capella for Roxana in her London studio. This experimental session resulted in a portrait which, rather than just showcasing one specific pose, encapsulates the live moments, mannerisms and movements displayed by Horse. 

Portrait by Roxana Halls

Commenting on having her portrait painted and how she feels to be part of the National Galleries of Scotland collection, Horse said: “I was incredibly flattered and grateful to have my portrait painted by Roxana. We spent a lot of time talking and sharing our experiences, finding so much in common in our work and lives. The journey which brought us together and then, in turn, the fates that continued for the portrait to then be acquired for the SNPG, is nothing short of magical.  

“I was both shocked and thrilled when I saw the painting because not only has it captured the energy and the passion of the ‘me’ I feel inside, but it is very much a Roxana Halls painting. I cannot find the words to express my pride, honour and privilege to be on display amongst our nation’s peers and generations of dignitaries. This is something I could never, ever have envisaged. I am most humbled at the thought of children seeing my portrait in such a setting and finding inspiration and courage from it.” 

The large-scale portrait of Horse McDonald by Roxana Halls will be on display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from 20 December 2020. Keep an eye out for an exclusive piece featuring interviews with Horse, Roxana Halls and Imogen Reid from the Scottish National Picture Gallery in DIVA in 2021.

Further information about the National Galleries is available here and you can check out what Horse McDonald is up to on her website.

Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.

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