Showing posts with label Threadneedle Prize. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Threadneedle Prize. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Threadneedle Prize 2014 - what's changed and how to enter

Some important changes have been made to the Call for Entries for the Threadneedle Prize 2014 for figurative painting and sculpture with a prize valued at £30,000
  • This post 
    • highlights the changes in process
    • unpicks and summarises the "call for entries"
  • highlights the key dates in the processes for submission, selection and exhibition
  • highlights my blog posts about the Threadneedle Prize last year

Paintings in the Threadneedle Exhibition 2013 - in The Threadneedle Space at the Mall Galleries 

The Threadneedle Prize

The Threadneedle Prize is about contemporary figurative art. It's aim is to
  • champion the most interesting figurative artists working in Europe.
  • offer both established and emerging artists a high profile opportunity to showcase their work at a leading venue in Central London. 
  • maintain its status as the country’s leading competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture

Previous winners and shortlisted artists include
  • Nina Murdoch, now represented by Marlborough Fine Art, and 
  • Rose Wylie, who is currently on show at Tate Britain. 

Figurative Art Today (the 2014 exhibition) will include the selected artworks for the final exhibition and will intentionally represent a comprehensive survey of both high quality and variety in figurative art being produced in the UK and Europe.

The Threadneedle Prize was established in 2008 with the support of Threadneedle Investments, a leading international investment management firm with long-term commitment to supporting the arts.

The changes

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Major Art Competitions in the UK in 2014

This is my annual post about Major Art Competitions in the UK. Below you will find a list of all ALL major art competitions in the UK in 2014 plus:
  • an overview of what each competition is about
  • links to more information
  • key dates - including the deadline for entry where known.
First a preamble about other useful information

Bookmark for Updates

Information is updated - as it becomes available - on Major UK Art Competitions Page (a static page at the top of this blog - just under the title).  Future information will include links to:
  • Call for Entries
  • Announcement of selected artists 
  • Names and websites of artists shortlisted for Prizes
  • Exhibition reviews 

Archive of Information about Art Competitions in the UK 

My website Art Competitions in the UK provides an archive of information about past art competitions and reviews of works selected for precious competition exhibitions. It also includes links to:

Tips for artists entering juried / open art competitions and exhibitions

You may find my blog posts from the past helpful

20 tips for entering art competitionsWhat do you need to know when thinking about entering an art competition? Here's 20 tips to help you.
Juried art competitions - does size matter?For those concerned about what size to paint
How to calculate the cost of entering a juried art exhibition

Pre-selected, selected, long listed, shortlisted, prizewinner - what's in a phrase?
For those concerned about how the expenses can mount up

A discussion of the terminology used to describe artists at different stages of an art competition
A Making A Mark Guide: Analysing the cost of entering a juried art exhibitionDownload my FREE spreadsheet which acts as a checklist and helps you to cost out your entry
The Websites of Contemporary Painters in the UKget your website sorted BEFORE you enter a juried art competition or miss out on the traffic when the names of selected artists are announced!

If you want to be kept informed about updates on major art competitions in the UK:
  • you can bookmark this blog on your blog - always appreciated!
  • bookmark the Major UK Art Competitions Page - which is regularly updated
  • subscribe to this blog (see right hand column).  Note that a subscription means you will either get an email or notification in your feed reader about every post I publish - and they're NOT all about art competitions, although you may well find some of them very interesting!  
  • Follow my Makingamark Facebook Page where I post updates about all major art competitions and open exhibitions in the UK
Please note that this post EXCLUDES 
  • Art Society Open Exhibitions. However I cover the major open exhibitions organised by national art societies which I will cover in  a future post Key Dates for UK National Art Society Exhibitions in 2014
  • art competitions based in the UK which have a first prize of less than £10,000 (unless they are the major award for that type of art eg Jerwood Drawing Prize)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Threadneedle Prize 2013 Exhibition - Review

One thing about the Threadneedle Prize 2013 Exhibition prompts a question which won't be answered by this post - but does need to be addressed by others.

Joint Winner of the Threadneedle Prize 2013
Lisa Wright
Lisa sold both her works as well as winning half the prize.
If a major art competition, based on totally anonymous entries - all the way through to the end - can produce so many women artists as winners, what on earth is going on in some of the other major juried art competitions?

(Note: Up until this year 4 of the first 5 winners of the Threadneedle Prize were women and this year we again have two female winners)

It makes you think.  It also makes me think maybe I'll crunch some numbers and do some comparisons..........

Anyway back to my review of the Threadneedle Exhibition 2013. Here's my views about the exhibition interspersed by some images of parts of the exhibition. Finally I'm hazarding a guess at some of the entries which will be shortlisting themselves for the Public Choice Award - valued at £10,000.  The public get to vote for this - but only if they visit the exhibition!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Clare McCormack and Lisa Wright win Threadneedle Prize 2013

The Threadneedle Prize 2013: Joint Prizewinners
Clare McCormack and Lisa Wright
The women do it again in relation to winning the Threadneedle Prize 2013.

Plus several "firsts" this evening at the Awards Dinner for the Threadneedle Prize 2013 for painting and sculpture.
  1. The first Joint Prize
  2. The first time two women won first prize - although there's plenty of precedent for women winning it on their own
  3. The first "First Impressions" Award
My prediction was 50% correct - however it was interesting that I thought there were two strong contenders - and in the end there were two joint winners.

    The Threadneedle Prize 2013

    The Threadneedle Prize of £30,000 was awarded to two women - Clare McCormack and Lisa Wright who will each receive £15,000.

    Lisa Wright and Clare McCormack being interviewed by Victoria Coren Mitchell
    Joint Winner of the Threadneedle Prize 2013
    Clare MCormack with Dead Labour / Dead Labourer

    Saffolding Plank Wooblock 185cm x 100cm
    Woodblock £2,500 Woodcut Print £720 (Edition of 6)
    Dead Labour/Dead Labourer is a large-scale woodcut portrait of the artist’s grandfather, who died of Asbestosis after a life working on building sites. It is cut from four used scaffolding planks, the rough, functional materials mirroring the subject.

    Joint Winner of the Threadneedle Prize 2013
    Lisa Wright with 'The Guilty's Gaze on the Innocent'
    Oil on Canvas 100 x 100cm
    £9,400 (sold)
    The Guilty’s Gaze on the Innocent explores the embarrassment, confusion and awkwardness of adolescence and makes reference to 16th century portrait painting, likely to have been influenced by her two year residency with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

    The First Impressions Award

    This is a new award and was given to the artist whose work had most impressed those attending the dinner this evening.  It's a good way of reminding the selectors that the rest of us also have our favourites! ;)

    The winner of the First Impressions Award for 2013 (£500) is Plague Season by Nicola Bealing

    Plague Season by Nicola Bayley

    The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow 25 Septenber at the Mall Galleries and continues until 18 October.

    All visitors to the exhibition have a chance to cast their vote for the winner of the £10,000 Visitors' Choice Award.

    More about the Threadneedle Prize 2013

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Threadneedle Prize 2013 - Shortlist announced

    The artists shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize - standing outside the Mall Galleries
    left to right: Seamus Moran, Andrew Cranston, Clare McCormack (in front), Ilona Szalay and Lisa Wright
    (Harriet White is not present)
    Photo: © 2013 Sophia Schorr-Kon Photography
    The artworks shortlisted for the £30,000 Threadneedle Prize 2013 are displayed below - along with their details and the name of the artist (and link to website where available). Plus a summary of what I've gleaned from their websites and the press release.

    The winner will be announced before the Exhibition opens on Tuesday 24 September 2013.

    I've included all the images of the artwork with the longest dimensions all the same length although in reality they are very different sizes.  I suggest you note the size of some of the artwork!  The longest dimension of some of these is the same as the same height of a very tall man!  (For those who still work in feet 100cm = 3 feet 3⅜ inches)

    Monday, June 03, 2013

    One month left to enter £30,000 Threadneedle Prize 2013

    Artists wanting to enter the Threadneedle Prize 2013 have just one month left to register an entry for this prestigious £30,000 prize for painting and sculpture.

    The deadline to register an entry is 4th July 2013.
    • This post unpicks and summarises the "call for entries"
    • highlights the key dates in the processes for submission, selection and exhibition
    • At the end you can find links to all the posts I wrote about the Threadneedle Prize last year
    • You can find a complete archive of my past posts about the Threadneedle Prize - with lots of images - on Art Competitions in the UK (2013) - Resources for Artists
    Ben Greener, Winner of the 2012 Threadneedle Prize with "My Feet"

    About the Threadneedle Prize

    The PURPOSE - my emphasis (in red) highlights the focus of the competition

    The Threadneedle Prize is the leading competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture for artists working in the UK and Continental Europe.

    The Threadneedle Prize is one of the UK’s largest prizes for contemporary painting and sculpture

    The competition is open to all artists working in the UK and Continental Europe who use figurative and representational art as a starting point for their work.

    You may submit up to three works, completed since 1 January 2012, including paintings, sculptures, original prints, drawings and mixed media installations.

    Works that have been selected for other prizes or competitions in the UK or continental Europe are not eligible to enter.

    Past Winners

    This is the sixth year of the competition. Click the links to see previous winners who are:
    • 2008: Nina Murdoch, Untitled (71 works exhibited) 
    • 2009: Sheila Wallis, Self Portrait (87 works selected for exhibition) 
    • 2010: Patricia Cain, Building the Riverside Museum (46 works selected) 
    • 2011: Henrietta Simson, Bad Government (After Lorenzetti) (52 works in exhibition)
    • 2012: Ben Greener My Feet (153 works in the exhibition)
    I have to say the Threadneedle has changed every year so far so looking backward is probably no guide to the selectors choices this year.  It would be nice to see a continuation of:
    • the strong trend towards having women artists shortlisted (they've won 4 of the 5 competitions to date)
    • a repeat of the number of works selected last year.  I think the vast majority of the people I knew who saw the exhibition commented on how much better the exhibition was in 2012 after a weird year in 2011.

    The 2013 selectors 

    The selectors this year comprise a painter, a sculptor, a critic and a Museum curator. They are:
    • Tim Shaw - Sculptor shortlisted for the first Threadneedle Prize in 1908, he won the FBA Selectors Choice prize with a wax sculpture entitled Tank on Fire.
    • Paul Benney - a painter who has exhibited in 8 BP Portrait Exhibitions
    • Laura Gasgoigne - a freelance critic and writer who comments on the visual arts
    • Barnaby Wright is the Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art at The Courtauld Gallery, London

    How it works

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Key Features of the Call for Entries

    1. This is an OPEN art competition (with some restrictions)
    2. In 2012
      • 4,062 works were submitted by 2,441 artists (an average of 1.66 artworks per artist
      • Last year 145 artists had 153 artworks selected for exhibition (triple the figures of previous years!)
      • which means 3.7% of artwork by 5.9% of the artists was selected for exhibition 
      • (Last year I crunched the numbers after the work had been selected - see Threadneedle Prize 2012: Analysis of entries)
    3. Every single entry selected for the final exhibition is sourced through a proper open competition process
      • There are no invited artists
      • There should be no entries promoted by the Selectors or the Gallery or the Sponsors
      • The selection panel is changed every year
      • Everybody has an equal chance - and the rest is up to the merit and judgement of the selectors - which is always highly personal.
    4. Initial entry is digital.  Artwork only needs to be dispatched to London if it gets through the screening stage.  This has generated a big increase in entry from places outside London and the south east. No artist has to incur the costs associated with a trip to London or using a courier without being in with a reasonable chance of being selected.
    5. There seem to be no major changes in the rules this year!
    Below you can find out who can enter and progress through to what you can enter.

    Am I eligible to enter artwork? 

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - the Award Winners

    Threadneedle Prize Winner 2012
    Ben Greener - "My Feet"
    Last night I was at the Mall Galleries for the Awards Dinner for the 5th Annual Threadneedle Prize 2012. There are two main prizes - the Annual Threadneedle Prize (£30,000) and the Visitor's Choice Award (£10,000) and I guessed right and predicted one of them!  The Prize was this year won by a man for the very first time.

    I managed to get myself and my camera there, unfortunately the battery decided to stay at home in the charger.  However I did help to choreograph a great photograph of the winner if I say so myself!

    The tale of this prize is about two sculptors, two men named Ben and two men who took themselves at the starting point and the subject matter for their entry to this competition. Many thanks to Liberty for the photos of the chaps who won prizes.

    First the winners and then the commentary.

    Threadneedle Prize

    Threadneedle Prize Winner 2012
    My Feet by Ben Greener 

    Wood, Canvas, Glue, Tea & Coffee, 10x24x34,
    The winner of the Threadneedle Prize 2012 is Ben Greener.  It's an incredibly innovative piece.

    People's Choice Award Winner

    This is the one I predicted correctly - Robert Truscott won the People's Choice Award with Defeat.

    Defeat by Robert Truscott
    Mixed Media, Plaster, Epoxy Putty, Material on Armature, 367x167x49cm,
    The sculpture is of soldiers after the Battle of Stalingrad leaving the city as prisoners of war en route to the Soviet gulag.  This battle was one of the bloodiest of the second world war and two million people died.  There a major story about the aftermath as well of the battle itself.  Here's what  Wikipedia had to say on the subject
    Out of the nearly 110,000 German prisoners captured in Stalingrad, only about 6,000 ever returned. Already weakened by disease, starvation and lack of medical care during the encirclement, they were sent on death marches (75,000 survivors died within 3 months of capture) to prisoner camps and later to labour camps all over the Soviet Union. Some 35,000 were eventually sent on transports, of which 17,000 did not survive. Most died of wounds, disease (particularly typhus), cold, overwork, mistreatment, and malnutrition.
    Robert Truscott and some of the figures in Defeat
    On accepting the prize Robert said he would use the money to get the sculpture cast in bronze.  Robert talks about the materials and processes he uses in  blog post - Construction and Materials

    Islington Backgardens in Winter Sunlight 
    Two runners-up won £500 each.  These were:


    Ben Greener is an excellent example of an artist who is very focused and makes things happen - besides creating sculptures.  Ben has known he's an artist from a very early age and has spent much of his life making art.  He started a degree course and then, having started, realised he needed to just get on and make art.

    He decided a while back that the Threadneedle Prize was the sort of prize which could provide him with the capital to allow him to get a practice going in a studio.  His original intention had been to provide a complete sculpture of his body - inside out.  Which is how he came to construct his skull and spine and hands.  However there were problems getting the whole structure to hang together and hence he decided to submit just his feet to the Threadneedle.

    The judges apparently were of one mind as soon as they saw his work and knew that it was exceptional - this I heard from one of the judges telling Ben last night!

    Ben Hendy and his life size
    Self Portrait
    linocut (sold)
    Then, as soon I posted my selected artists posts, Ben was emailing me with photos of his work to go on the blog post.

    Keep an eye on his website which is cuurrently under construction.  When finished it's bound to have interesting and innovative work from somebody who is definitely 'going places'.

    The other Ben and another life size self-portrait

    I was also very pleased to meet up with Ben Hendy last night and managed to persuade him to stand in front of his artwork - a linocut of his naked body - so you can get the sense of scale.

    Ben was shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize and last night won a prize of £1,000.

    Ben told me that he'd handburnished the whole linocut - which for me makes it all the more remarkable.

    What is most astonishing is that we have two young men - both called Ben and at the beginning of their career as an artist - who both chose to use themselves as their subject matter for their competition submission.

    Both did something truly innovative - and both were duly recognised and became rather better off as a result.

    Note: John Deston is to be congratulated for organising the best dinner I've ever had at an Events/Awards "Do".  It was absolutely delicious.

    More about the Threadneedle Prize

    For more about the Threadneedle Prize 2012 - and the Prize in earlier years - see my earlier posts (and images) below

    2012 Threadneedle Prize
    2011 Threadneedle Prize 
    Other information about art competitions in the UKArt Competitions in the UK - this includes links to earlier years of the Threadneedle Prize


    Saturday, September 29, 2012

    Threadneedle Prize 2012: The Making a Mark Select Six

    For the last two years, I've created my own personal shortlist after announcing the shortlisted artists (see Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Shortlisted Artists) and reviewing the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition (see Review: Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012).

    This year I've also identified below who I think will win the £30,000 Threadneedle Prize 2012 - and the £10,000 Visitors' Choice Prize.

    Let me know by leaving a comment below:
    • what you think about my choice 
    • how you choose art that you like in an exhibition 
    • Do leave a comment and let me know what you would have chosen. 
    Now for the selection and the images....

    The Making A Mark Select Six 2012

    Here's my criteria for selecting work.  I like works which are:
    • visually pleasing to me and which stimulate my brain cells 
    • catch my eye and draw me towards them and then continue to interest me as I get up close (ie the design works and the technique is good) 
    • PLUS - make me write down the name of the artist so that I can review their website when I get home.
    In effect I'm playing the role of an interested buyer!

    The links in the artists' names are to their websites, if they have one, where you can see more of their work. I've included below some more information about both the artist and their art.

    This year, I've ordered the work in my personal order of preference.

    Ben Hendy - Self Portrait (section)
    Linocut, 97x227cm,
    1.  Lino Man by Ben Hendy

    This is a shortlisted work and I think this is the winner.

    For a man to develop a nude self-portrait is very unusual - to develop a full life-size self-portrait is ambitious and brave.

    To also do it as a lino-cut fine art print is just simply audacious.  I've never seen one before and I doubt I will ever again.

    To then find that the technique used is very fine is a complete pleasure.

    There's just the small issue of where my face was every time I looked at it!  I think I'd have dropped it about a foot or so.

    Lino Man by Ben Hendy in the Threadneedle Space
    Interestingly - the fact that this is a lino-cut print prompts the question of whether or not the competition is limited to painting and sculpture - and the organisers might want to ponder on that description.

    2.  Dreaming 2 by David Firmstone

    This is a shortlisted work.  I also think it has a very good chance of winning the top prize.

    You can't ignore this piece.  It absolutely dominates the whole of the West Gallery.  It's absolutely huge - but it doesn't shout.  It's just there - in the same way as landscape is there.

    The reason I really like it is because the scope of the view and the patterning within it really appeal to me (my first degree is in geography!) .  It's the way I see landscape - and when somebody paints the way I see things there is an inevitable connection.  (I have a portfolio devoted to what I call "Views and Vistas" - which is essentially about finding the patterning in the land")"

    I also really like the fact that the light is low and the shadows are long and the colour within the piece is very controlled and very nearly monochromatic.

    This piece also makes me think of the peace and quiet of the countryside.

    David Firmstone - Dreaming 2,
    Oil on Canvas, 240x180cm
    I explore high perspectives of fields, quarries, ravines and riverbeds. I'm keen to see the land from further and further away and to play with spatial relationships, which is why I enjoy working large scale, it offers an even bigger playground.
    3.  String II by Tim Pomeroy

    Tim Pomeroy - String II,
    Carrara marble, 50x25cm,
    I love this piece.  String II is the only piece I really wanted to take home with me - if for no other reason that the size presented less of a problem than most!  

    I would however have a bit of a struggle on my hands in moving it as it's made of Carrara Marble plus it's also a tad on the pricey side and hence a bit beyond my budget.

    Scottish artist and sculptor Tim Pomeroy made this piece and his website is full of equally simple/complex forms.

    For me this pillar seemed to induce a contemplative mood every time I looked at it.  I could well imagine it in a place which was minimal and designed for meditation.

    There's a rather better image on the website from a different angle.

    4.  One of Every Species found in Hong Kong cage, by Fran Giffard

    I got to see an of this work up close early on as Fran sent me an image of it after I published the list of selected artists

    This work is in pencil and she works a lot in graphite.  However her technique is most unusual - short horizontal lines repeated over and over - and makes the work a lot more interesting as a result.

    Hong Kong is just of her portfolios of drawings on her website.  She's drawn an absolutely huge number of birds which maybe accounts for her fine account of how they look.
    Fran Giffard - One of Every Species found in Hong Kong cage
    Graphite Pencil on Paper, 110x80cm
    Fran also had artwork selected this year for both 
    • BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year for the piece below - which is another image from her Hong Kong series; and
    • David Shepherd's Wildlife Artist of the Year - for Four Birds came to London
    Artwork by Fran Gifford selected for BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year.

    5.  The Observatory - David Piddick

    It's entirely possible that I like this work because I've recently been drawing from a spot about 30 feet to the left of this painting (see Greenwich Park Panorama).

    There again, this is another artist who I feel a connection with - because he chooses to look at and paint the same things I like to draw.  I find it very odd that when I visit his website I immediately recognise all the places in London that he's painted.  This has never happened before. Maybe this artist "sees" places that I draw in the same way I do - albeit his fantastical / 'magical realism' way of painting is his own?

    The work itself is a lot bigger and you can see a much better version of The Observatory on his website.

    David Piddock - The Observatory (section)
    Oil on gesso board, 59x240cm, 

    What I liked about it was the fact that it's a figurative painting - with figures(!) - and yet is distinctly odd and slightly edgy.  To all intents and purposes the scene is one which is common during the day - and yet it seems to be in moonlight.  The perspective is handled masterfully - I suspect there may have been some help from a fish-eye lens at some point.

    I also like it when artists paint in panoramic formats so that one gets a much better sense of place.  Not an easy painting to hang - but one which will reward the person who does.

    6.  The final work:  There were several close contenders for the final spot.  I've decided to list those in the running rather than to make a final decision
    • Planar Resonance - Ilse Black, Graphite powder, pencil, charcoal on paper, 100cm x 78cm, £2500
    • Nudia 2 Elichi Fukuda, Sumi-ink,Acrylic,paper on Canvas, 76×51cm, £900
    • Winter Sunlight, Adelburgh - Peter Kelly, Oil on Canvas, 44x34 cms, £3000
    • Painting from LightLuis Kerch, Acrylic on Linen, 100x180cm, £4000
    • Mello Yello No.1- Yuichiro Kikuma, Acrylic on MDF, 15x17cm, £390

    Visitor's Choice Award

    There was one piece which attracted a lot of comment on the Preview night - and prior to the announcement was suggested by some to be a certainty as a shortlisted piece

    Robert Truscott - Defeat, 
    Mixed Media, Plaster, Epoxy Putty, Material on Armature, 367x167x49cm, 
    To my mind it would almost certainly have been shortlisted had it not been for the nature of the support.  I liked the work a lot and I hated the support. 

    The diagonal brackets compete for attention and the work itself does not appear to be fixed in any way to the support. The contrast between the level of effort which had gone into the work itself and the support it sat on was far too great for my liking.   I go back to the commentary in the introduction to the Exhibition in the catalogue which I referenced yesterday in Review: Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012 - the quality of finish is important.

    That said, Robert Truscott's achievement is significant.  The figures are amazing.  It reminds me somewhat of John Singer Sargent's painting 'Gassed' - of first world war soldiers who have been blinded when gassed.  By way of contrast these are prisoners of war leaving Stalingrad en route to the Soviet gulag
    Robert Truscott graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1995 and from the Russian Academy of Arts in St Petersburg in 2000. He has exhibited in Winchester Cathedral with works representing the exodus of prisoners from the VI Army at Stalingrad.Beaulieu Fine Arts
    You can see more of Robert's work when constructing this piece on his blog - and you can see a video of this piece on YouTube

    More about the Threadneedle Prize

    For more about the Threadneedle Prize 2012 - and the Prize in earlier years - see my earlier posts (and images) below

    2012 Threadneedle Prize
    2011 Threadneedle Prize
    Other information about art competitions in the UKArt Competitions in the UK - this includes links to earlier years of the Threadneedle Prize


    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Review: Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012

    The most important thing you need to know about this year's Exhibition for the Threadneedle Prize 2012 is that it's the biggest and the best in this art competition's five year history.

    It feels like it's come of age,  It's also doing made a leap forward within the context of a very healthy new appetite for figuration in painting as this year's blockbuster shows by Hockney and Freud have clearly demonstrated.

    The challenge now for this competition is that each year of competition should contribute towards the development of a vocabulary of and about figuration based essentially on observation of the real world.

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Exhibition at the Mall Galleries
    The West Gallery
    The long term vision and direction of this Prize is to advance a modern case for figuration, not to haul it backwards or to restrict its development
    Lewis McNaught
    Unlike last year's exhibition, this really does feel like an exhibition of contemporary and figurative painting and sculpture.

    Unlike last year I have no complaints.  That said I wouldn't have selected all the works and my shortlist would have been different (so no surprises there!) - however I do very much feel that this year we have an exhibition which is much more worthy of the biggest prize for a single art work in the UK.

    I particularly like the stance taken by the Selectors this year - as explained by Lewis McNaught, the Mall Galleries Director, in his introduction to the Exhibition (which is also a "recommended read" by me)
    Mindful of their responsibility to maintain and develop the competition's standards, the three selectors....adopted a rigorous approach to selection, scrutinising during the course of a long selection day the execution and finish of each work that had passed an online pre-selection process
    He also notes that many of the works rejected from the open submission were ones where the final finish and the quality of the execution did not quite match the great originality and concept.  I'm thinking this may well find its way into guidance for artists next year

    I'm guessing that some artists reading this will now be bouncing up and down and cheering given that the quality of the execution is being identified as an explicit and important factor in choosing works for the exhibition - alongside those relating to exploring notions of what figurative means and the idea behind the work and its aesthetic appeal.  I'm guessing there were rather a lot of comments about some of the works in last year's show which prompted the need to reassert the notion that quality of finish does really count for something.  However those who read this post and contemplate entering work next year also need to be mindful of the fact that technique alone will not get artwork into this show.

    The Exhibition can be seen at the Mall Galleries until 13th October.  If you visit, you can vote for the Visitor's Choice Award (£10,000).  You can also view the works online.

    The Winners of the Threadneedle Prize and the Visitor's Choice Prize - and the runners up will be announced at an Awards Dinner on 10th October - at which I'm going to try live blogging!

    Tomorrow I'll be posting about my choice of the works that I'd have made my short list - and my predictions as to who will win the Prizes.

    So - on with my review of the exhibition - and lots more images!

    Entrance to the West Gallery on Preview Night when the Shortlisted Artists were announced.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Shortlisted Artists

    The £30,000 Threadneedle Prize is the most valuable prize awarded for a single work of art in the UK.  Tonight, the shortlisted artists are announced.

    The winners of both The Threadneedle Prize (£30,000) and Visitors’ Choice Prize (£10,000) will be announced at a special Awards Dinner on Wednesday 10 October 2012 - to which I'm invited. I might have to take the iPad for a spot of live blogging!

    You can read more about the Selectors on my Call for Entries post.

    Shortlisted Artists

    The Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo is announcing the six works shortlisted for the 2012 Threadneedle Prize for Painting and Sculpture artists at the reception at the Mall Galleries right now (ie 7.30pm)! [Post subsequently updated with images taken at the exhibition preview]

    An initial review indicates that we have:
    • four artists who are working more or less in monochrome and only one really colourful piece, 
    • three artists who got a degree this summer
    • one sculpture and five paintings 
    • and two artists called Ben.
    To date (2008 - 2011), the four winners have all been women - this year there's a 50% chance that we might just see the first winner who isn't a woman!

    1.  Hair Triptych by Elaine Brown

    Hair Triptych by Elaine Brown
    Oil paint on gesso board, 15 x 20 cm each panel
    Elaine Brown was born in London in 1961.  Her art studies involved an MA in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art which she completed in 2012. Her artwork has been exhibited in
    • New Contemporaries in 1984 
    • alongside Tracey Emin in 1987 in an exhibition called Three Women Artists at Rochester Art Centre.  
    • on her Facebook Page - Elaine Brown Art 
    The dimensions indicate that this is a small work.

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Exhibition now Online

    All 153 works in the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012 are now available to view and purchase online.

    This is the link to the online exhibition of artwork selected for the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012.

    The actual exhibition opens at the Mall Galleries on 26 September and continues until 13 October 2012.

    Selection from the Online Exhibition of
    artwork selected for the Threadneedle Prize 2012

    To access and view the artwork:

    • follow the link
    • click the image in the square to see a larger version with details of title and artist
    • close the 'pop-up' by clicking the X
    • repeat for every subsequent image
    Information about dimensions or media is not available for all artwork. I'm guessing this will be remedied as it certainly exists for some and such data is enormously valuable in giving a sense of scale.  

    Unfortunately there's also no slideshow which means viewing works is a somewhat tortuous process.
    This year’s Threadneedle Prize exhibition includes a broader cross-section of figurative painting and sculpture than ever before!
    The major difference in 2012 are that the number of works selected is much bigger than in every previous year of the Prize.  It looks an interesting selection and to me looks as if it provides a much better balance than last year's exhibition.  I'm seeing a lot of monochromatic work and a lot of charcoal.  I also like all the landscapes I looked at first!  

    Also - for what it's worth - on initial review I find the paintings in this exhibition more interesting than those in the online exhibition of the John Moores Prize 2012.

    All artwork is for sale - and assuming it's now online I guess that means you can also buy online before the exhibition open.  The Mall Galleries offers the Own Art free loans which make purchasing art a lot more affordable for many people.

    More about the Threadneedle Prize

    For more about the Threadneedle Prize 2012 - and the Prize in earlier years - see my earlier posts (and images) below

    2012 Threadneedle Prize
    2011 Threadneedle Prize
    Other information about art competitions in the UK: Art Competitions in the UK - this includes links to earlier years of the Threadneedle Prize


    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Threadneedle Prize 2012: names of selected artists

    Below you can find the names of the artists selected for the 2012 exhibition of the £30,000 Threadneedle Prize.  Also included are links to their websites - just click the name (where I have been able to identify these)

    The £30,000 is the most valuable prize for a single work of figurative art in the UK.

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - The Selection process
    The Selectors: (Left to right) Nicholas Usherwood, Peter Randall-Page and Chris Riopelle

    Back in June I announced that 153 works by 144 artists from the UK and continental Europe have been selected for the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012 - see Threadneedle Prize 2012: Analysis of entries / selected artists

    The total of 153 works is three times bigger than the number of works exhibited in previous Threadneedle Exhibitions.  After some criticisms of the selection last year, the selectors have apparently included a much broader cross-section of figurative painting and sculpture than that seen in any previous Threadneedle Prize exhibition.  37 of the works selected are sculptures.

    The artists included also vary from past winners of major prizes - including this prize - and prominent figurative painters among the premier art societies to recent graduates and younger emerging artists.  This is also the first year that artists from Continental Europe have been able to submit work.

    There are two benefits to the changes this year

    • Hopefully this broader approach will provide a better representation of the quality of contemporary figurative artwork in the Uk today
    • Plus - if these trends continue - it makes the Threadneedle Prize = a much more attractive competition to enter from the artist's perspective.

    The Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012 is to be held at the Mall Galleries in central London, which is held between 26 September and 13 October 2012.

    Threadneedle Prize 2012: Selected Artists

    I saw a lot to like - and a lot of unique and/or original contemporary figurative art as I went through finding the websites. Right click on the link in their name and open in a new tab to see them.  

    If you spot any errors and/or want to volunteer a link to a selected artwork (or an image of it) please leave a comment or email me - see the right hand column for how to contact me. I'm also happy to publish a small number of additional images of selected work in this post - just send me the file.
    The 2012 exhibiting artists are:

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Threadneedle Prize 2012: Analysis of entries / selected artists

    Each year, as The Threadneedle Prize matures as an art competition we see a change in the process and/or the results.

    Last year, the major change was the huge increase in submissions from artists based in the regions as the cost of entry was slashed due to the use of digital submission.

    Back in early March I highlighted the Call for Entries for £30000 Threadneedle Prize 2012. The entries have now been judged and this post provides an analytical overview of the result at this stage.

    This year there are THREE major changes - with more artists and more artwork in the exhibition which is excellent news for all aspiring prizewinners!
    1. the number of artists who will be exhibiting has more than tripled from 45 to 145 - that's an increase of 322%!
    2. Plus many more works have been selected for the exhibition.  This year the exhibition will include 153 works compared to 59 works in 2011 - which is an increase of 260%
    3. The shortlist of six artists will not be announced until at the Private View on 25th September 2012 at the Mall Galleries in September - which should provide a considerable incentive for artists to show up!
    The Threadneedle Prize: The beginning of the Artists' Reception 2011 
    In the foreground:
    Lewis McNaught, Director of the Mall Galleries, talks to Henrietta Simson, the winner of the Threadneedle Prize 2011
    Threadneedle Prize - the Art Competition

    Here are some of the statistics.  

    In 2011:
    • 4,350 works were submitted 
    • by 2,377 artists
      • an average of 1.83 works per artist
    • and 52 works were selected for exhibition
      • which equates to 1.4% of the artwork submitted was selected for exhibition
    • by 45 artists 
      • just 2% of those who submitted work
    In 2012:
    • 4,062 works were submitted (a decrease of 7%)
    • by 2,441 artists
      •  an average of 1.66 artworks per artist
    • 740 works (18% of the entry) were invited to travel to London for further review by the selectors.  There were so many works to look at "in the flesh" that the Mall Galleries had to arrange an overflow space in the ICA next door!
    • 153 works were selected for the exhibition in the Mall Galleries in September
      • which means 3.8% of the artwork submitted was selected for exhibition.
    • by 145 artists 
      • which is a 322% increase on 2011.
    The exhibition this year will include a much larger number of 3-D works.  37 sculptures have been selected for the exhibition and these vary in scale from the tiny to the huge.

    I'll be posting the names of the selected artists just as soon as the organisers can provide them.  They'll be busy informing the artists right now!

    Threadneedle Prize - the 2012 Selectors

    This year's Selectors are:
    The works were selected for their quality of execution as well as their strong, contemporary, and sometimes challenging, interpretation of figurative painting and sculpture.
    Threadneedle Prize - The Exhibition
    The Threadneedle Prize is the UK's leading showcase for contemporary figurative and representational painting and sculpture. Our aim is to promote and display works that use a variety of different mediums, styles and approaches, with an overall focus on the quality and confidence of the finished work. The competition sets out to promote and encourage excellence.
    The Threadneedle Prize Exhibition at the Mall Galleries (The Mall, near Trafalgar Square, London SW1Y) will open to the public on 26 September 2012 and close on 13 October 2012.  The exhibition is open daily 10am-5pm (closes 3pm on final day) and admission will be free

    Throughout the exhibition, visitors will be able to vote on ALL the works for the Visitor’s Choice Award of £10,000.

    Threadneedle Prize - The Prizewinners

    The Threadneedle Prizes 2012 total £46,000 and comprise:
    • The Threadneedle Prize: £30,000
    • The Visitors’ Choice: £10,000
    • The Threadneedle Prize Finalists (5 awarded): each £1,000
    • Visitors' Choice Finalists (2 awarded): each £500
    The winners of the two major prizes will be announced at the Awards Dinner on 10 October 2012.

    2011 Exhibition:
    Other information about art competitions in the UK
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