Painting History

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One of the things I love most about the John Moores Painting Prize is the convincing way it demonstrates just how versatile painting is. In its 53 year history it has brought a wildly varied selection of paintings to our attention. It is not just the subject or themes of the images that differ but also the way the artists use the materials and the act of painting itself.

A talk by John Moores exhibitor Sigrid Holmwood last week was a fascinating insight into an artist whose dedication to detail and accuracy goes beyond the usual expectations.

Artist gives talk in gallery

Sigrid Holmwood in Elizabethan dress, discusses her work "Butchering a Pig" to live audience

Sigrid paints as part of a group devoted to reconstructing 16th-century life. Her pursuit of historical accuracy is an intrinsic part of her work and she goes as far as making all of her own paints using traditional tools and recipes.

Sigrid brought a selection of different coloured pigments to her talk and shared with the audience their various properties. What was clear was the process of making the paint gave her quite an intense relationship with her work. She likened it with people growing their own vegetables on allotments, explaining the close and satisfying relationship with something you have created from scratch.

There are 3 more John Moores artist talks left including an “in conversation” event with the winner of this year’s competition, Keith Coventry, this Thursday 25 November at 6pm. 

Tickets are still available for this exclusive event but numbers are limited. Please call 0151 478 4697 to reserve your place.