The winners of The John Ruskin Prize 2017 have been announced, today, by The Big Draw and the Guild of St. George during an award ceremony hosted by Museums Sheffield at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield.
Rosa Nguyen, 2015. 'Tableau – Gardening with Morris’, mixed media.
Rosa Nguyen has been announced as the First Prize winner of the national art prize, which this year celebrated 'Artist as Polymath' and received a record number of entries from fine artists, craftspeople and makers aged 18 or over living in the United Kingdom.
The Second Prize of £1000 has been awarded to Bethan Lloyd Worthington, and Fi Smart has received the Student and Recent Graduate Prize of £1000.
The winners of prize - which is now in its fourth year - were selected from a shortlist of 26 artists by a panel of expert judges.
Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw and member of the selection panel, commented:
'Following a record-breaking number of submissions we have selected an exceptional shortlist from which, today, we have with difficulty, chosen three winning artists. Each of these artists have successfully managed to capture the theme of this year’s prize - Artist as Polymath - through diverse yet equally well executed pieces.
Immediately arresting and true to the spirit of Ruskin, Rosa’s winning artwork dramatically demonstrates the interconnection between nature, drawing and science and the role of the hand in bringing them together. It has a sense of humanity and signals to the viewer that it is constantly evolving.
Bethan’s work instantly draws you in, skillfully capturing a contemporary interpretation of a traditional craft and a very authentic and personal feel.'
Student and Graduate Prize winner, Fi’s exceptionally executed piece tackles a challenging and evocative subject with intricate skill.'
The winners' artwork will be showcased alongside the shortlisted artists in the Master of All Trades exhibition, which opened today at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield. An editions collection featuring artwork of all 26 artists has also been launched online today.
The shortlist exhibition, Master of all Trades, will be on display from 21st June – 8th October 2017, and will provide a contemporary counterpart to The Ruskin Collection, which is cared for by Museums Sheffield and on display at the Millennium Gallery.
The members of The John Ruskin Prize 2017 selection panel are: Kirstie Hamilton (Head of Exhibitions & Displays, Museums Sheffield), Zachary Eastwood-Bloom (Sculptor), Mandy Payne (Artist), Julia Bell (Former Head of Partnerships, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art), Dr Rachel Dickinson (Director for Education, Guild of St. George / Principal Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University), and Kate Mason (Director, The Big Draw).
Visit www.ruskinprize.co.uk to find out more about the winning and shortlisted artists and the Master of All Trades exhibition.
Master of All Trades Exhibition
Shortlist Exhibition: 21st June – 8th October 2017
Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate, Sheffield, S1 2PP
Open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
Master of All Trades - shortlist exhibition
Selected from over 1000 entries, the final shortlist of 26 artists, makers and innovators responded to the call for contemporary Polymaths with work that defies categorisation, dissolves boundaries and has a joyous disregard for the conventions of their chosen materials and disciplines. The artist / scientist parallel is apparent in the shortlist exhibition but there is also evidence of traditional craft combined with social commentary, skilful material manipulation and a visual wit within the selected artworks.
The Editions Collection can be viewed here.
The winning artists:
First Prize: Rosa Nguyen. Artwork: Tableau – Gardening with Morris’ (2015).
Second Prize: Bethan Lloyd Worthington. Artwork: 'Have you seen this cup? It could be anywhere here, really.' (2015).
Student and Recent Graduate Prize: Fi Smart. Artwork: ‘It Hardly Seems Possible Such Sorrow Has Come’ (2016).
The shortlisted artists: Louisa Boyd, Holly Brodie, Nuala Clooney, Andrew Ekins, Erin Dickson, Paul Hazelton, Marielle Hehir, Anne Howeson, Rebecca Ilett, Shelley James, Debbie Lawson, Emily Lazerwitz, Sue Lawty, Hugh Miller, Kyle Noble, Briony O Clarke, Sumi Perera, Shauna Richardson, Conor Rogers, Serena Smith, Harland Viney, Simon Ward & Robert Mach, and Ray Winder.
The John Ruskin Prize was inaugurated in 2012 by The Guild of St. George and The Big Draw (formerly the Campaign for Drawing). It aims to uphold Ruskin’s belief that drawing helps us to see the world more clearly and therefore take greater heed of its fragility. The Prize promotes and provides exposure of emerging and established artists and makers using a wide range of media and techniques. Now in its fourth year, The John Ruskin Prize is establishing itself as a showcase for emerging talent and established artists from all reaches of the UK. The John Ruskin Prize 2017, Hand & Eye: Master of All Trades in The Age of Jack, opened up the prize to craftspeople and makers, and received a record number of entries.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) was a polymath. As a writer, he commanded international respect. He was an art critic and an art patron, a skilled draughtsman and talented watercolourist, and a fierce critic of prevailing social and political norms. He wrote about nature and architecture, craftsmanship, geology, botany, Greek myth, education. Driven by his deep faith in social justice, he established the Guild of St. George in the 1870s to right some of the social wrongs of the day and make England a happier and more beautiful place in which to live and work. (The Guild of St George, 2016).
“Without mingling of heart-passion with hand-power, no art is possible. The highest art unites both in their intensest degrees: the action of the hand at its finest, with that of the heart at its fullest.” John Ruskin
The Ruskin Collection is a fascinating and eclectic collection created for Sheffield’s workers over 140 years ago and designed to inspire creativity and to provide respite from the smoke-filled city and a world becoming obsessed with mass production. The Ruskin Collection is a physical manifestation of the life work of Ruskin the Polymath. It comprises copies of early Renaissance art, casts of Gothic architecture, geological samples, engravings by Dürer and Turner, mosaic decoration, Japanese cloisonné enamelling, illustrations of birds, flowers, insects and landscapes, medieval illuminated manuscripts, Greek coins and much else. The collection is cared for by Museums Sheffield and on display at the Millennium Gallery.
The Big Draw is an arts education charity that promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. The Big
Draw (formerly the Campaign for Drawing) was launched in 2000 by The Guild of St George, - the charity founded by John Ruskin in 1871 - becoming an independent arts education charity in 2006. In addition to running The John Ruskin Prize and a visual literacy programme, the charity is the founder and driving force behind the world’s biggest celebration of drawing, The Big Draw Festival. http://www.thebigdraw.org