Behind the scenes: John Moores Painting Prize

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Woman sitting at a desk Katherine in the John Moores Painting Prize office

There's less than a month to go before call for entries for the John Moores Painting Prize closes and the team are already feeling inspired by the entries that have been submitted so far.  Here's Project Assistant Katherine Lloyd to give us a peek behind the scenes...

" Having been a regular visitor to the exhibition over the years It’s really exciting for me to be apart of the John Moores painting prize team. I am particularly looking forward to being able to see the whole process, seeing the exhibition grow from initial registrations right through to the final exhibition.  It will be exciting to be part of  the busy schedules at the varying stages, working alongside the jurors and the artists and ultimately working towards the grand opening in July.

I’m aware of how prestigious the prize is and how significant the prize is in contemporary British painting today; with past winners that include huge artists such as David Hockney and Peter Doig. I really admire how the prize is anonymous and open to absolutely anybody to apply, regardless of age or status, although I don’t envy the almost impossible task of the jurors. The selection process of the prize is what I find most intriguing; conjuring up questions about how we judge art and what makes a painting good or interesting and worthy of selection.

A sculptural 'bust' with the head as a ball of grey matter. One of Katherine's favourite paintings - 'Talcum' by Damien Meade from 2012.

It’s fascinating to be behind the scenes, viewing the daily influx of registrations and images. So far, we have received a huge varied range of submissions, including a steady number of large scale modular pieces. We have also witnessed a melting technique applied and even an interactive painting!

From a personal point of view, I am really interested in how painting can be a very physical process; the act of mixing and applying paint and given how it’s displayed within a space can often veer into the realms of sculpture and really push the boundaries of painting.

Personal favourite past winners of mine include Alexis Harding in 2004 and Dan Hays in 1997. Other highlights from previous exhibitions include Damien Mead's ‘Talcum’ from 2012 and local artist Jason Thompson’s ‘refractions’ from 2010. John Moores 23 in 2004 particularly stands out in my mind, featuring artists that I hugely admire such as Leo Fitzmaurice, Andrew Bracey and Jeff McMillan."


Call for entries will close on Friday 25 October 2013, artists can register on the Walker Art Gallery website to be in the chance of winning the £25,000 prize.