The Sequested Prize

Hero has been shortlisted for the Sequested Prize, a competition featuring self-portraits created during the first lockdown of 2020. An exhibition of 15 finalists will be held in 2022.

Hero Johnson, the Sequested Prize

Portrait of Dame Lynne Brindley

Dame Lynne Brindley –

“Having a portrait painted was a great privilege and a completely new experience for me. However, it was a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable process working with Hero, who took on board my wish that the portrait should capture a balance of approachability, inclusiveness and informal style, and give added confidence to our women students.

I was very fortunate to be able to come back to the College and see the portrait privately before it was mounted in Hall, which allowed me to admire in much greater depth the extraordinary detail and vibrancy of colour that Hero has achieved. It was of great importance to me, as the first female Master of Pembroke, that the artist commissioned for my portrait was a woman, and I hope that the result is enjoyed by many future generations of Pembrokians.”

Portrait of Dame Lynne Brindley for Pembroke College by Hero Johnson
Dame Lynne Brindley with her portrait by Hero Johnson

Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear. BBC 2

Hero Johnson’s portrait of Michael Bond features in BBC2’s documentary about Michael Bond ‘Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear’.
First shown on Boxing Day 2019 it had a repeat showing on Christmas Eve 2020 and will be available on BBC2 Iplayer for a further month.
Hero Johnson's portrait of Michael Bond in BBC2's 'Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear'
Hero Johnson credit, 'Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear'
Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear
Hero Johnson's portrait of Michael Bond in BBC2's 'Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear'
Hero Johnson's portrait of MIchael Bond in The MIrror Newspaper
MIchael Bond's family and Paddington Bear infront of Hero Johnson's portrait of Michael

The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2020

The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition runs from the 19th November 2020 until the 31st December.

Like many shows this year, due to Coronavirus the exhbition will be online only.

Hero Johnson, The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2020
Hero Johnson's portrait of Anna McNay, ING Discerning Eye exhibition 2020

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters 2020

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition 2020 runs from the 16th of September to the 26th of September at the Mall Galleries. 

Timed tickets must be booked in advance from the Mall Galleries website.

Hero Johnson's portrait of David Puttnam
Hero Johnson's painting of Donna Katchis

Artists and Illustrators Magazine Article

Hero Johnson’s painting of Margaret Hyde is featured in the March 2020 issue of Artists and Illustrators magazine.

The article focuses on The Contemporary British Portrait Painters and their upcoming exhibition ‘Perceptions’. 


Hero Johnson, Margaret Hyde

Bankside Gallery

The Heatherley Staff Show runs at the Bankside Gallery from the 24th to the 27th February 2020.

Pastel portrait drawing by Hero Johnson
Pastel drawing by Hero Johnson
Pastel Portrait by Hero Johnson

The Society of Women Artists 2019

Hero Johnson’s painting ‘Reflection’ has been selected for the Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2019.

The Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition

The Mall Galleries, London

25th September – 29th September

The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2019

Hero Johnson’s pastel drawing ‘Sam in a Pink Shirt’ has been selected for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2019.


Formerly the Jerwood Drawing Prize, the exhibition opens in London before touring.


Salisbury Museum from 12th October 2019 until the 11th of January 2020.


Trinity Buoy Wharf from 18th of January until the 2nd of February 2020.


The Gallery at De Montfort University from 21 February until the 18th of April 2020.




Hero Johnson Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

Hero Johnson is enormously grateful to the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation for the award of a grant.

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant is one of the most prestigious grants available to emerging figurative artists, as well as one of the most substantial. It is one of the longest standing, with an illustrious history of recipients spanning more than half a century. It is also unique in its scope, in that it is available to students and artists around the world

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation

Empowered by Art – University Women’s Club

‘Empowered by Art’- Portraits of Women by Women

An exhibition of paintings and photographs by Hero Johnson, Miriam Escofet, Anastasia Pollard and Aliona Adrianova. Curated by Jemima Lovatt.

On display at the University Women’s Club 19th May 2018.

The portraits by Hero Johnson included those of Barbara Hosking CBE, Anna-Louise Felstead and Paulina Pluta.

Miriam Escofet and Hero Johnson
Miriam Escofet, Aliona Adrianova and Hero Johnson
Anna Louise Felstead and her portrait by Hero Johnson
Hero Johnson's paintings of Barbara Hosking and Paulina Pluta

Sir Alan Parker’s Portrait in the Sunday Telegraph

Hero Johnson’s portrait of Sir Alan Parker on page 10 of the Sunday Telegraph, 6th May 2018.

The portrait will be part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries from the 10th to the 25th of May.


Hero Johnson's portrait of Sir Alan Parker in the Sunday Telegraph.

A Portrait of Heatherleys

‘A Portrait of Heatherleys’ – a collection of portrait photographs of the Heatherley staff by Aliona Adrianova taken over the Autumn Term 2017 and Spring Term 2018. The exhibition, including this photo of Hero Johnson, will be on permanent display at the school.

Hero Johnson's portrait by Aliona Adrianova.
Aliona Adrianova and Hero Johnson.

Barbara Hosking – Book Launch ‘Exceeding My Brief’

Barbara Hosking’s autobiography ‘Exceeding My Brief – Memoirs of a Disobedient Civil Servant’ was launched at the Reform Club last month.

The back cover features Hero Johnson’s portrait of Hosking.

The book is available through Bite Back publishing:

And is reviewed by the New Statesman here:

Hero Johnson with Barbara Hosking at the Reform Club launch of 'Exceeding my Brief'
Hero Johnson's portrait of Barbara Hosking on the back cover of 'Exceeding my Brief'

The BP Portrait Award – Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The BP Portrait Award 2017 will be showing at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from the 16th of December 2017 to the 11th of March 2018.

Admission free.

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery

1 Queen St

Open daily 10am-5pm

Face to Face 2017 – Works by BP Portrait Award Artists


This exhibition brings together the works of artists exhibiting in the BP Portrait Award 2017 at the National Portrait Gallery, London. An insight into their practice beyond the Award, this show celebrates portraiture and figurative painting in its many forms.
The Cass Art Space, 66-67 Colebrooke Row, Islington N1 8AB
23 August – 10 September 2017
Admission is free
Opening times: 
Private View Thursday 31 August 6pm-8pm
Monday – Wednesday 10am- 7pm
Thursdays 10am-8pm
Friday – Saturday 10am-7pm
Sundays 12am-6pm
Please note, on occasion the space may be closed temporarily for art workshops and classes.
Hero Johnson's painting of Paulina Pluta, exhibited at Cass Art Islington

Daphne Todd OBE Interview

Q: Are there other contemporary painters you admire?

Daphne Todd: Most of my original living heroes, such as William Coldstream, Francis Bacon, Patrick George and Euan Uglow are now dead. Paula Rego is, of course, very good indeed. I cannot think of anyone to touch her. Saied Dai, Antony Williams, Hero Johnson and Ben Sullivan are younger artists who I think have exceptional talent.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you have learned?

Daphne Todd: To just keep on. There will be ups and downs, rejections and accolades. I have known artists invited to be judges because of their eminence fail to have work accepted when they later submit to the same competition. They keep on. Sadly I have also known good, even excellent, artists give up at the first setback, harbour a grudge and avoid risk of failure, denying themselves the opportunity of success. Luck plays a huge part. If you paint for your satisfaction, you have the joy of doing it and solving problems.

Excerpt from Artists & Illustrators magazine Summer 2017. Interview by Sally Hales.


Excerpt of interview with Daphne Todd OBE citing Hero Johnson
Interview with Daphne Todd in Artists & Illustrators magazine. By Sally Hales

Michael Bond CBE

In loving memory of Michael Bond.

January 1926 – June 2017.

I loved Michael’s books as a child and it was a privilege to know and paint this wonderful man as an adult.


Michael Bond, creator of Paddinton Bear, painted by Hero Johnson

Hilary Delamere, Hero Johnson, Michael Bond, Sue Bond and Karen Jankel.

‘The Art of Reading’ Waterstones Gower St London.

November 2016.

Hilary Delamere, Hero Johnson, Michael Bond, Sue Bond and Karen Jankel

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Private View 2017

Some photographs from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition Private View, 3rd May 2017.

Taken by Alex Cotterill, Liberty Rowley, Daniel Shadbolt, Guy Bell and Katherine Tyrrell.

Exhibited portraits are of Michael Bond CBE and Paulina Pluta.


Hero Johnson with her portrait of Paddington Bear author Michael Bond
Hero Johnson at the Mall Galleries Royal Society of Portrait Painters press call
Hero Johnson with her painting of Paulina at the Royal Socieity of Portrait Painters
Hero Johnson with her painting of Michael Bond. Image copyright Guy Bell
Hero Johnson with her painting of Paulina. Photo by Katherine Tyrrell

BP Portrait Award 2017

National Portrait Gallery, London
22 June – 24 September

Showing ‘Tabitha Moses with Gilda. Liverpool’

BP Portrait Award 2017