The John Ruskin Prize 2015 has been awarded to Laura Oldfield Ford, it was announced at The New Art Gallery Walsall, by arts education charity The Big Draw, yesterday evening.
'Colliers Wood', acrylic and oil on canvas. Laura Oldfield Ford, 2014
The £5000 prize was presented by official election artist, Adam Dant, at a public awards ceremony and exhibition preview. This is the third John Ruskin Prize which, in 2015, invited artists, both emerging and established, to respond to the theme, Recording Britain Now: Society.
Laura Oldfield Ford is a London-based artist and writer. Her work reveals a continuing exploration of closely observed urban landscapes and spaces recorded through a variety of media. The selection panel were struck by her long term commitment to exploring the edges of society, and capturing the interactions that often go unnoticed.
With support from the Guild of St. George and The Pilgrim Trust, The John Ruskin Prize award totals £8,000, with the winner, Laura Oldfield Ford, receiving £5,000, the second prize winner, Jessie Brennan, £2,000, and Robin Sukatorn being awarded the new £1,000 student prize.
'Jeremy Corbyn speaks in Manchester', graphite stick on paper. Robin Sukatorn, 2015.
In 2012, the Guild of St. George, the charity founded by Ruskin in 1871, renewed its links with the Campaign for Drawing (now The Big Draw) to inaugurate The John Ruskin Prize. The Prize aims to uphold Ruskin’s belief that drawing helps us see the world more clearly – its fragility as much as its beauty and magnificence. In the same way that 75 years ago 'Recording Britain' sought to map familiar townscapes and countryside under threat from World War 2 and over-development, the Prize is an invitation to engage with a society in rapid transition.
The Prize is open to all artists over 18 working in the UK. From hundreds of entrants, thirty artists were selected for the shortlist exhibitions, taking place at The New Art Gallery Walsall, 26 February – 17 April 2016 and The Electrician’s Shop Gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, 6 – 22 May 2016. The second showing of the exhibition at The Electrician's Shop Gallery will be accompanied by a series of talks and events linking with the V&A’s ‘Recording Britain’ collection, and all shortlisted artists will be included in a catalogue featuring both collections.
The members of The John Ruskin Prize 2015 selection panel were Adam Dant (Artist), Gill Saunders (Senior Curator of Prints, Victoria & Albert Museum), Stephen Snoddy (Director, The New Art Gallery Walsall), Sue Grayson Ford (Founder, The Big Draw) and Peter Miller (Director of Publications, Guild of St George).
Read more about The John Ruskin Prize and Shortlist here.
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