Untitled (£18,500) by Nina Murdoch
Egg tempera, 152 x 122cm
I'm rather cockahoop as I was not only the first person to cast a vote in the gallery but was also the first person to vote for Nina's work!
I got to cast the first vote in the gallery on Tuesday afternoon and this is the work I voted for. I very much liked Nina Murdoch's work when I saw it online (see my online perspective). However it looks nothing like its photograph when you see it in the exhibition. Her 'Untitled' work - a painting which reflects simple rhythms of light and space and colour - is simply stunning and hugely impressive and again attracted a number of very many positive comments in my hearing on Tuesday night.The Prize was awarded by Lauren Laverne (host of BBC 2’s The Culture Show), at an Awards dinner last night following a public vote held both online and at the Mall Galleries.
Threadneedle Figurative Prize (part 2) - Green, Mills, Murdoch and Schierenberg
Nina Murdoch graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1993 and then studied for a post graduate diploma at the Royal Academy School (1993 – 96). She's been winning art awards since 1983 when she won 1st Prize in the National Gallery Children’s Competition. She also won first prize in Sir William Coldstream Competition in her final year at the Slade and then the Landscape Award at the RA. Her work is in a number of prestigious collections - and by the looks of the collections which include her work it appears to be much loved by bankers - who always have an eye for a good investment! Her work was first shown in the Summer Exhibition at the RA in 1994 and she's currently working towards a solo show at the Fine Art Society in Spring 2009.
Also announced at this evening’s special Awards event was the winner of the £10,000 Federation of British Artists Selectors’ Choice, awarded by the selectors to Tim Shaw for his sculpture Tank on Fire, which was inspired by an (uncredited) 2005 photo image showing a British soldier in Iraq leaping to the ground from a burning Warrior vehicle. Tim Shaw studied at Falmouth College of Art (1985 – 89) and is currently engaged on a series of work about conflict to be exhibited in the autumn.
Readers may recall (see Threadneedle Figurative Prize (part 3) - Brandford, Shaw, Williams and the DVD) that I suggested what Tim might like to do with his prize money if he won. I'm also concerned that at no time has the photographer who took the very powerful photograph that this work was derived from received any accreditation, let alone prize money, for his work.
The five selectors included award-winning art critics Richard Cork and Brian Sewell, leading contemporary art dealer Angela Flowers, installation artist and sculptor Hew Locke and the art writer William Packer.
Some facts about the Threadneedle Figurative Prize:The consensus from my readers was that it opened their eyes as to the scope of figurative art and next year we'd all like more artists to choose from!
- This is a national competition for figurative art which is exclusive to artists living or working in the UK
- The potential for an artist to win up to £35,000 makes it the most valuable competition for a single work of art in the UK
- More than 2,700 entries were received in a national open submission. This figure not only well exceeded expectations, it's also the third largest submission to any exhibition in the UK in 2008.
- The selectors chose 71 works to hang in the Exhibition at the Mall Galleries (which closes at 5pm on Saturday 6 September). You can see all 71 selected works if you click the exhibition link above.
- It's the largest art prize in the UK awarded by a public vote. Over the last two weeks, thousands of visitors to the Mall Galleries and viewers online have voted for their choice of one of seven artists shortlisted by the selectors.
- It was picked up by BBC Radio4's Front Row as a show not to miss.
Tomorrow night there's a 'Wrap Party' at the Mall Galleries from 5pm to 9pm (free admission) and is an opportunity to enjoy a final viewing of the show and raise a glass of wine as a toast to Nina Murdoch.