John Moores 2016 - meeting the jury

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In Gillian Carnegie's studio. In Gillian Carnegie's studio. We've had more than 2,500 entries into the John Moores Painting Prize this year and we're now looking forward to the first stage of judging for this £25,000 prize. Nicola from the John Moores team went down to London last week to meet some of the jury and here's what she got up to...  Thursday, 8.47am – Lime Street station Myself and Sandra Penketh, Head of Art Galleries, needed to get an early train in order to pack in our three separate meetings at different locations across London. Our morning consists of coffee and working out how we can get to one meeting to the next without getting totally lost! 11.30am – Royal Academy of Arts We meet Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy (RA) at the gallery and it's heaving with people as the Ai Wei Wei exhibition is currently on. It was fascinating to look around the Wei Wei exhibition, which is made up of various large scale installations inside the beautiful historic galleries of the RA. 11.45am – Meeting Ansel Krut and Richard Davey We come back out to meet Ansel and Richard and make our way through to the RA’s Grand Café. We talk though the judging process and how exciting it is to have received more than 2,500 entries to this year’s competition. [slideshow_deploy id='10550'] 2.30pm – At Gillian Carnegie's studio After a quick lunch we are back to navigating the tube and make it across London to Gillian’s studio. We tuck into some dark chocolate and chat about the first stage judging process in January. Gillian’s studio is brand new and immaculate looking. I get the chance to have a look at some of Gillian’s latest work and we talk about her experience of what it was like to be nominated for the Turner prize back in 2005. 4.30pm – Phoebe Unwin at the Wellcome Collection Back in central London, we make our way to the Wellcome Collection where Phoebe is waiting for us. We go through all the details we discussed with Ansel, Richard and Gillian and have a look at the 2014 John Moores Painting Prize catalogue to give Phoebe a feel for previous winners. Mesmerising sushi! Mesmerising sushi! 6pm – Time to refuel After such a busy day, I clock-off and go for some dinner with my sister. We have a mesmerising sushi dish of scallops, which come out on a bed of salt which is on fire! After our amazing dinner  we end up at a party in a flat. Upon being taken for a tour, we come across a room decorated entirely in the style of Patrick Caulfield. Amazing. Friday, 9am - Institute of Contemporary Arts Back to work again and I’m up and ready to face London’s public transport for a final day in the capital. I make my way to the Institute of Contemporary Arts for the 'Bloomberg’s New Contemporaries 1949 to Now' symposium. The day is filled with loaded questions about the contemporary conditions of art practice. 5pm – Liverpool calling! Back 'in my Liverpool home' to begin the preparation for Stage 1 judging in January 2016.