On 4th March 2021 one lucky artist will be announced as the winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2020, named after Sir John Moore who established the competition in 1957.
Not only will they take home £25,000 but will also have the honour of joining other great winners such as David Hockney, Peter Doig and patron of the prize, Sir Peter Blake.
The winning work of art will also find a home amongst the revered art collection at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool… and if that wasn’t enough, the chosen artist will also have a solo show at the prestigious gallery.
From 3,000 entries, Hurvin Anderson, Michelle Williams Gamaker, Alison Goldfrapp, Jennifer Higgie and Gu Wenda were tasked with whittling it down to just 5.
Due to covid the judging, for the first time in the competitions history, was all done virtually but still anonymously allowing the artworks to speak for themselves.
So let’s have a look at the 5 shortlisted for the coveted prize…
1: Robbie Bushe – The Neanderthal Futures Infirmary
Robbie Bushe was born in Liverpool, raised in Aberdeenshire, and attended Edinburgh College of Art 1985-90. His shortlisted work, The Neanderthal Futures Infirmary is just one of a series of four.
According to the press release we received it “imagines an old Victorian hospital with a Neanderthal DNA extraction and cloning facility within a complex network of underground bunkers”. Well it certainly has a sense of the macabre!
2: Michele Fletcher – Compost
Canadian born Michele Fletcher studied at both the Chelsea College of Arts and Goldsmiths. Her work is described as reflecting on the cyclical change of the natural world, considering how a garden, like a painting, involves intervention, manipulation and composition. Compost was made around the time of the Spring equinox.
3: Steph Goodger – The Motherland
According to Steph Goodger, the starting point for The Motherland was a landscape of red brick pillboxes, dating from the Second World War, stretching along the eroded banks of the River Medway.
Steph was born in Tonbridge, Kent and attended the University of Brighton, 1997-99 and UCA, 1992-95. She has entered the John Moores Painting Prize before in 2016 and 2004.
4: Stephen Lee – March
Cheltenham born Stephen Lee attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1984-86 and Leeds Polytechnic 1980-1983.
Stephen uses burnishing, staining and glazing techniques within his work and his entry, March, is a wonderful example of these techniques. Depicting a labourer and his dog is surrounded by his tools, the painting captures working country life.
5: Kathryn Maple – The Common
Kathryn was born in Canterbury, Kent and attended the Royal Drawing School London 2013-14 and University of Brighton 2008-11. Her selected work The Common, as Kathryn describes it, is a ‘…meeting place, an intersection, people seemingly aware of each other, but minds elsewhere – all sharing an open space…’.
It’s certainly an interesting and varied selection for this years John Moores Painting Prize and we look forward to finding out on the 4th March who takes home the coveted prize.
What we love about this competition is it’s open to the public, so anyone can enter. Add to the fact the works are viewed without knowing who painted them puts all the works on a level playing field… so who knows maybe you could be the next winner?
All you have to do is enter 😊
For more information on the competition check out www.facebook.com/johnmoorespaintingprize