Sunday, February 25, 2018

Babel Britain wins £10,000 Threadneedle Visitors Choice Award 2018 for Emily Allchurch

Babel Britain (After Verhaecht) by Emily Allchurch
As I predicted, when I saw the Selected Artwork for The Columbia Threadneedle Prize 2018 Emily Allchurch has won a prize!
This is MY TIP for A PRIZE - because there is an explicit nod to art history, it's clever and technically much more than proficient, uses contemporary visual art media and provides an intelligent comment on contemporary society. It's a contemporary figurative artwork with a BIG 'C'.
Selected artists for Columbia Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2018
When the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition opened to the public at the Mall Galleries, visitors to the 2018 Exhibition were asked to vote for the artwork they liked the best.

After the exhibition closed and all the votes had been counted, it was announced that Babel Britain (after Verhaecht) 2017’ won the £10,000 prize. 

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take a look at the larger image on the Threadneedle Prize website where you can zoom into the image

I actually found it very difficult to photograph it in the exhibition because it looked its best and most natural when you stood right in front of it.

I was quite perturbed after I saw what happened to it in this photo!
Closer in was better but still not quite right
I later found I hadn't had my camera on the best setting for what is essentially a digital photo collage as a transparency on a bespoke LED lightbox.

Nevertheless it is an extremely impressive artwork - and hopefully kicks into touch the notion that digital art software cannot produce good art.  It certainly lends a whole new meaning to the phrase "art from photos"!

My feeling is that visitors both appreciated the huge amount of effort that had gone into producing this artwork - but also its topicality and implied message within contemporary society - particularly in London post Grenfell.

About the Tower of Babel by Tobias Verhaecht


There are various online explanations of the story behind the Tower of Babel. The one by the Oxford Biblical Studies Online is perhaps one of the best.  Essentially it is a story which explains why God created people speaking different languages who did not understand one another (aka "the confusion of tongues")

Various artists have painted their own version of the Tower of Babel over the years.

Tobias Verhaecht (1561-1631) was a Flemish artist who painted several versions of the Tower of Babel. Here are just a couple of them.

Verhaecht babel-lille

Verhaecht babel

Personally I prefer the version by Pieter Brueghel in Vienna.

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brughel
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien Austria



ARCHIVE - The First 10 Years of the Threadneedle Prize




Posts on this blog about the first decade of the Threadneedle Prize.


2018 Threadneedle Prize

2016 Threadneedle Prize

2014 Threadneedle Prize

2013 Threadneedle Prize

2012 Threadneedle Prize

2011 Threadneedle Prize

2010 Threadneedle Prize

2009 Threadneedle Prize

2008 Threadneedle Prize


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