Saturday, August 27, 2011

BP Travel Awards: 2010 (Paul Beel) and 2011 (Jo Fraser)

This post is about:
The main purpose of the Travel award is
to allow artists to experience working in a different environment on a project related to portraiture
The winner gets a £5,000 bursary to spend on the project of their choice - as described in the proposals which won the award.

The Travel Award always seems to get neglected in the avalanche of coverage for the main BP Award - however its winners have proved over time to have become some of our top painters.  It's also far more interesting in that it involves a project and typically more than one painting of more than one person!

You can read my past posts about the BP Travel Award here
Now on to this year's artists - and looking forward and looking back.

BP Travel Award 2011 - the winner is Jo Fraser

In 2011 the winner of the £5,000 BP Travel Award is Jo Fraser (who has a blog Jo Fraser)

The £5,000 bursary will allow her to travel to Peru and then mount an exhibition of her work.  Her final work will be displayed in the BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition.  Her final artwork in oils will be developed from sketches and photographs taken during her field visit to her chosen destination of Peru.

She proposes to to the Cuzco region of Peru where she will observe the labour-intensive production of textiles in small, indigenous communities. She has always been fascinated by the symbolism within the weavings, the methods of creating them, and the historical traditions of the process. 
Sounds fascinating!

Here's her blog posts about:
I like her style of painting - as evidenced by the work on her website - and it'll be very uinteresting to see what she comes up with for next year's exhibition.

The rest of this post is concerned with the output from the prize awarded last year.  

BP Travel Award 2011 - won by Paul Beel

Last year, the winner of the BP Travel Award 2010 was Paul Beel (Paul Beel).

I was just one of many who were greatly amused at last year's awards ceremony by the notion that it has been Paul's long held ambition to return to the nudist beach in Corfu which he first visited on his honeymoon - to paint the the people on the beach.

...and it really was painted on the beach! (screen shot from video)
Paul is an American artist who now lives in Florence and he has produced a simply enormous painting - some say it's the largest ever produced for the exhibition.  It was constructed from three separate panels -canvas triptych of panels 2m x 1.33m - as described to me in the interview I did with him last year

As well as this he's also produced a video about the epic process of painting his painting - called Epic Mirtiotissa - this is a link to the 1 minute trailer version of this epic enterprize!

On Sept. 8, the NPG will be hosting a screening of the 70 minute version of "Epic Mirtiotissa".
Thursday 8 September, 19.00 - Film Screening: Epic Mirtiotissa (Free).
Follow BP Travel Award 2010 winner Paul Beel as he undertakes the portraiture project in Corfu – the final piece is on display in the BP Portrait Award 2011 exhibition. 77 minutes.
Here's a short 9 minute excerpt from it - posted on YouTube.  Click the bottom right hand corner to go to the YouTube site to access full screen viewing.  I'm incredibly impressed with the trailer he sorted out toe get those enormous panels up and down a very steep hill
In fact - I'm in this video!  Those who know me see if you can spot me - but don't give any clues to those who don't!  That way it's a bit more entertaining!

Paul's website/blog also records the development of the huge painting which is now on display at the National Portrait Gallery and the critical response it has received.

1 comment:

  1. I saw you, were you on the beach!!
    Great film, funny as well as fascinating to see his painting style.


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