Friday, April 10, 2009

Threadneedle Prize Registration Opens

The West Gallery, Mall Galleries
photo by Katherine Tyrrell

Registration is now open for this year’s £25,000 Threadneedle Prize. Artists can register their work online for the second year of this new Prize any time up until Monday 1st June. Approximately 60 works, selected from the national open submission, will be exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London in September 2009.
“This new prize is capable of achieving a greater good than any other”
Brian Sewell, Evening Standard
Criteria for entry

It's interesting to see how the criteria for entry have been changed and refined since last year's very successful inaugural year (see last year's call for entries here) when over 2,700 entries were submitted to the 11 regional prize drop off points around the UK and exhibition space at the Mall Galleries was crammed to capacity!

Information for Artists

Artists are invited to submit representational and figurative work that retains a strong reference to the real world, executed in your chosen medium of art, painting or sculpture (but not photography or video). Work must be based on observation, rather than concept or abstraction. All themes are admissible; traditional as well as innovative interpretations are both welcome. Artists are encouraged to submit recent work not previously exhibited and, preferably, work that has been created especially for this competition.

There is of course a range of things you "need to know" and these are the rules of the Threadneedle Prize.

How to enter

Just go to ‘Artist Info and Registration’ at where you’ll find details and instructions on how to register up to three works for this year’s prize and exhibition.

All entries which are large 2-D works and all sculptures have to be submitted via jpegs on a CD-Rom.

Works will not be accepted at the Mall Galleries.
Works can only be accepted at Holborn Studios on the Receiving Days. Works need to be delivered, unpacked, to Studio 18, Holborn Studios, 49/50 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED between 10:00am and 6:00pm on the following Receiving Days:
  • Saturday 20 June 2009;
  • Sunday 21 June 2009;
  • Monday 22 June 2009.
Alternatively, there are a series of regional handing-in and collection points.
“Rival to the Turner Prize… full of constant surprises”
BBC Radio 4’s Front Row Programme
Key Dates
  • Registration Opens: 1 April 2009
  • Registration Deadline: 1 June 09
  • Receiving Days (London): 20 - 22 June 2009
  • Preview Party: 1 September 2009
  • Exhibition: 2 - 19 September 2009
  • Debate: 3 September 2009
  • Awards Announced: 14 September 2009
  • Wrap Party: 18 September 2009
Winner of the 1st Threadneedle Prize 2008
Untitled (£18,500) by Nina Murdoch
Egg tempera, 152 x 122cm
Photo by Katherine Tyrrell

Artists selected by Artists

The 2009 panel of selectors includes five artists
They are joined by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures.

The panel will select the seven shortlisted works for the Threadneedle Prize. Then the the public will be invited to vote which artist should get the prize. I cast the first vote for the winner last year when I voted at the Press Preview.

The panel will be solely responsible for a NEW £5,000 Emerging Artist Prize to the artist aged 18-28 who submits the most outstanding work.
“Art with an edge”
Mark Brown, The Guardian
If you missed last year’s show, click on the NEW Archives section on the website to
  • watch interviews with last year’s seven shortlisted artists and
  • view all the works in the exhibition.
What's different this year? (Plus a tip about submission)

Here's a few things I noticed which are different this year
  • the definition of the type of work which is acceptable this year has tightened up. It no longer relies on the Tate Gallery definition of figurative and now emphasizes "retains a strong reference to the real world", and "Work must be based on observation, rather than concept or abstraction."
  • there are more figurative artists and no critics on the judging panel
  • the timing of the exhibition is now later. It has taken up the very popular first exhibition slot of the Autumn season which in previous years has been occupied by the Singer & Friedlander / Sunday Times Watercolour exhibition (which changed sponsors and has moved to the Bankside Gallery)
  • submission of works in London is to a different destination (very understandable given what happened to the Galleries last year.)
Here's the tip!

Knowing this area in South Hackney well I have to tell you that transport links are not brilliant and you'll need to think very carefully in advance about how you get yourself and your work to Holborn Studios.

Note the location of underground stations on this Google Map. For most people if you want to avoid a longish walk it's going to have to be car, bus, taxi or maybe even a bike ride down the Regents Canal! If you're coming by car you'll need to think very carefully about parking. Hackney Council is ferocious about fines for parking or bus lane offences and they may be using CCTV rather than wardens on that street.

Links to posts on this blog about last year's exhibition

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