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60 Years of John Moores Painting Prize. Part 2

August 22, 2018

Welcome back to Fishinkblog and part two of a post featuring my selections from the 2018 John Moores Painting Prize.

Firstly I just wanted to acknowledge a wonderful portrait of the ‘Sex in the City’ actress Kim Cattrall that I saw in the Walker by artist Samira Addo. Reading a little more, Samira took part in Sky Arts Portrait this year and painted singer-songwriter Emily Sande and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes whilst on the series. After seeing these portraits she won a commission of £10,000 by the Walker Art Gallery to paint Liverpool-born actress Kim.

It’s a stunning portrait, don’t you agree. It feels very sixties even though it was only painted last year.

Ok back to the John Moores exhibition. The chosen entries from the jury panel are currently on view at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, from now until November 18th. If you’ve not read my previous post on the subject, you can find it here. It will tell you some of the background story to this celebrated exhibition. Now in it’s 60th year, it remains one of the UK’s best known and longest running painting competitions.

The level of entries are, it must be said, quite varied and there are some pieces (to be very honest) that I was quite surprised to find in such a high level exhibition. Fortunately by the time I had got to the end of the show, I had seen more pieces that I liked, than those I did not.

For what it’s worth here are my selections from the 60 artists featured.

We start with the smile making Alan Fears ‘My Favourite Chair’, before proceeding to the slightly unnerving and almost ghoulish untitled piece by Laura Lancaster. A printed paper piece by Billy Crosby.

The Walker is a great place to exhibit the paintings as it’s such a beautiful space, how fab do they look here.

A sensual painting ‘Giants’ by Joseph O Rourke is contrasted by the painstakingly accurate, checkerboard painting by Nicholas Kulkarni. A desert landscape and almost a set design from Kathryn Maple.

There were a number of entries on loose fabric this year, the best of them being Emma Talbot’s Intense and Remote Connectivity. Emma asks searching questions in her piece like ‘Can you tune into the pressure of rotating planets’ ?

Carla Busuttil’s painting made me smile with it’s title ‘Trophy for a Dull Man’. Andy Barker’s painting consisited of collaged photographic and hand painted elements and made me think of both David Hockney and John Minton’s work.

A touch of realism in the three pieces by Liz Bailey, Graham Martin and Ben Johnson’s almost Si-fi, futuristic corridor painting.

More quirky, fun paintings from John Kiki and Tom Howse.

My second choice would be this ‘Shape No 3’ by Duan Xiaogang, I also liked another Chinese entry, ‘Staring’ by Wang Yi.

Which brings us to my favourite painting in this year’s John Moores Painting competition and it’s called ‘Milk’ by Gareth Cadwallader. Firstly it’s not a big painting, in fact it’s about the size of an A4 piece of paper but the detail is amazing. I liked the fact that the subject is almost facing away from the viewer, and you’re drawn to look at what’s absorbing his attention…. a small pool of spilt Milk that he is running his finger through! Then beyond the central figure, there’s a lovely frosty landscape which takes you even further into the piece.

The viewing public can vote for one piece each and quite by chance the person I went with also cast their single vote for this painting… Good luck Gareth !

Which was your favourite and why ?

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