Jacqui Hallum wins the John Moores Painting Prize 2018

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Hallum wins £25,000 first prize, as the Prize celebrates its 60th anniversary

The Walker Art Gallery has announced the winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2018: artist Jacqui Hallum with her painting King and Queen of Wands (2017). Hallum is the 30th winner of the £25,000 Prize, held biennially, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

King and Queen of Wands is a multi-part work comprising three loose cotton sheets which have been stained, dyed and painted with inks. It is part of a large body of work by the artist which draws inspiration from the Rider-Waite tarot deck. Illustrations of a king and queen can be seen at either end of the artwork. Hallum describes the space in between the figures as akin to ‘a reading’.

Hallum’s painting was selected from more than 2,700 entries which werejudged anonymously by an esteemed panel of jurors including the artists Monster Chetwynd, Lubaina Himid CBE, Bruce McLean and Liu Xiaodong, and curator Jenni Lomax. King and Queen of Wands is one of 60 paintings to be exhibited in the John Moores Painting Prize 2018. This free exhibition will be held at the Walker from 14 July to 18 November as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018.

Juror Jenni Lomax, said:

“Amidst the passionate and heated selection process, Jacqui Hallum's painting emerged as the clear winner. There is something about the provisional and nomadic nature of the work that makes it feel very current. At the same time, an initial sense of lightness belies historical and personal references that collapse within its folds.”

Born in Wembley, London, Hallum is now based in Totnes, Devon. She attended Coventry School of Art and Design 1996-9 and the Slade School of Fine Art 2000-2. Her work has been exhibited widely across the UK. Hallum recently trained to become a gardener and her artworks regularly move between her own garden and studio. She is interested in organic growth and decay, acknowledging that her artworks are themselves subject to change, decay and entropy.

Describing her approach to painting, Hallum said:

“I have a studio in the front of my flat and a garden at the back; these are both places where my paintings are made, often going back and forth between the two, or spending a night, or a week, out of doors. I like to see them differently, but I also like to watch what happens as they take on a rain storm or the piecing sun. If they survive then they have what it takes.”

In celebration of the Prize’s 60th anniversary year, an additional award will be offered to Hallum as the first prize winner – a three-month fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University, together with an in-focus solo display at the Walker Art Gallery in 2019.

Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said:

“We’re thrilled that Jacqui has been awarded the John Moores Painting Prize in its 60th year. Her approach to painting is very special, resulting in highly individual artworks inspired by a wonderfully diverse range of stimuli. There is something truly captivating in the way that her beautifully illustrated sheets reveal and conceal stories within their folds.” 

King and Queen of Wands was selected from a shortlist of five paintings, which also included Quilt by Billy Crosby; The Thunderous Silence of Your Presence by Tom Howse; GIANTS by Joseph O’Rourke and The Divide, Beyond Reasoning by Shanti Panchal. Each of these shortlisted artists will receive a prize of £2,500. Visitors to the exhibition will also be invited to vote for their favourite painting to win the popular Visitors’ Choice Award, sponsored by Rathbones, the winner of which will receive £2,018.

Established by Sir John Moores in 1957, the Prize has awarded more than £605,000 in prize money across 29 exhibitions, which have showcased more than 2,200 works of art. The Prize presents a rich history of post-war painting in Britain. The first exhibition was held only six years after the Walker Art Gallery re-opened following the second world war. Hallum joins its esteemed alumni including David Hockney, Mary Martin, Peter Doig, Keith Coventry, Sarah Pickstone and Rose Wylie among others.

Five prizewinning paintings from the fifth John Moores Painting Prize China will also be displayed in the 2018 exhibition. Organised by the College of Fine Arts at Shanghai University, the China Prize was launched in 2010 to support the development of painting in China.

Visitors to the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 exhibition will also be able to see paintings by past prize winner Sean Scully in Sean Scully: 1970. This free exhibition opens on 14 July (until 14 October). Widely regarded as the master of post-minimalist abstraction, Scully was a prize winner in 1972 and again in 1974, when a special fourth prize was created for him.

The John Moores Painting Prize is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust. It is supported by its exhibition partner Weightmans. The exhibition is showing as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018, taking place across the city’s public spaces, galleries and museums from 14 July to 28 October.


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Notes to Editors

The full list of artists selected to exhibit paintings in the John Moore Painting Prize 2018 can be viewed online: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/jm2018/paintings.aspx  

About Jacqui Hallum
Born Wembley in 1977, Jacqui Hallum is based in Totnes, Devon.  Attended Coventry School of Art & Design 1996-9, Slade School of Fine Art London 2000-02. Exhibitions How to do the Flowers Millimetre: project 01 London 2010, April is the cruellest month, breeding LIDO St Leonards-on-Sea 2011, I Cheer a Dead Man’s Sweetheart: 21 Painters in Britain De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill 2014, Natural Staking: Jacqui Hallum & Tamara Van San Standpoint London 2015, Uncommon Chemistry Observer Building Hastings 2016, In this soup we swim Kingsgate Project Space London 2016, The Kiss or Poison Boyfriend or Jesus’ Blood Intercession Gallery Northampton 2017, Jacqui Hallum, Leon Kossoff  Kingsgate PS forthcoming 2018.

About the John Moores Painting Prize

  • The John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's longest-established painting prize. The competition is entered and judged anonymously and open to UK-based artists working with a painted medium.
  • The first prize is £25,000 with four additional prizes of £2,500. Visitors can vote for their favourite painting to win the Visitors’ Choice Award, sponsored by Rathbones, with a prize of £2,018.
  • The prize is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust. It is supported by its exhibition partner Weightmans.
  • The winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2016 was Michael Simpson. The four prize winners were Talar Aghbashian, Gabriella Boyd, Benjamin Jamie and Selma Parlour.
  • The 2016 judges were Richard Davey, writer and freelance curator, and artists Gillian Carnegie, Ansel Krut, Phoebe Unwin and Ding Yi.

About the Walker Art Gallery
The Walker Art Gallery houses an internationally-renowned collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art. It is one of Europe’s finest galleries, with a collection that ranges from outstanding modern and contemporary works to Medieval and Renaissance masterpieces. Some of the greatest British artists of the last century are represented in the contemporary galleries, from Lucian Freud to David Hockney, while the Gallery’s Impressionist collection is not to be missed. Visitors can also see paintings by 17th and 18th-century masters including Poussin, Rembrandt and Gainsborough, before taking in the Walker’s famed Pre-Raphaelite collection. Younger visitors will love Big Art for Little Artists, a gallery designed to introduce children to art in a fun and interactive way. The Walker Art Gallery is an Arts Council Collection National Partner. Between April 2016 and March 2019, the Gallery will curate and host an exciting and innovative series of contemporary art exhibitions, drawn from the Arts Council Collection. www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker

About Liverpool Biennial 2018
Beautiful world, where are you?
14 July – 28 October
Free, various venues
Liverpool Biennial is the UK biennial of contemporary art. Taking place across the city in public spaces, galleries, museums and online, the Biennial commissions artists from around the world to make and present work in the context of Liverpool. The 10th edition Beautiful world, where are you? invites artists and audiences to reflect on a world of social, political and economic turmoil. Also showing as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018 are the John Moores Painting Prize, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, and the Biennial Fringe. Founded in 1998, Liverpool Biennial has commissioned over 300 new artworks and presented work by over 450 artists from around the world. www.biennial.com

About National Museums Liverpool
National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 3.3 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. National Museums Liverpool is regulated by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Museums and galleries regulated by DCMS are exempt charities under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. Registered Office: World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN. www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

About Weightmans
Weightmans is a top 45 law firm with over 1,400 people across offices in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester and London. Weightmans is dedicated to providing results for its clients and success for its people.

About Rathbones
Established in 1742, Rathbones Brothers PLC is one of the UK’s largest and longest established wealth management firms. Rathbones is renowned for offering each of its clients a bespoke, personal service and for providing high-quality, personalised investment and wealth management services for private clients, charities and trustees. Its services include discretionary investment management, unit trusts, financial planning, unitised portfolio services, and UK trust, legal, estate and tax advice.