Angela Samata, John Moores project manger, explains how tight the voting is at the moment: “This year we have 45 very different paintings for visitors to choose from. The quality and variety of paintings in the exhibition has ensured the votes are close and we have quite a task ahead of us to count them! We are grateful to Rathbones for sponsoring the Visitors’ Choice prize, which encourages intense debate and interest in contemporary painting”.
Angela has also given us a sneak preview of the five paintings which have taken an early lead:
• Jon Braley’s resin-coated "untitled" work which celebrates the power and energy of nature
• Richard Harrison’s imaginary landscape, the expressionist painting "Mountain Peaks"
• Nicholas Middleton’s photo-realist painting "Protest, April 1st 2009" depicting Financial Fools’ Day protest outside the Bank of England. Nicholas was selected as a prize winner this year and he also won the John Moores Visitors’ Choice prize in 2006
• Liverpool-born Steve Proudfoot’s enigmatic work "The Party" which poignantly depicts an ordinary scene of family life
• Christian Ward’s psychedelic painting "Frontier Monument" with its mysterious details and layers.
But don’t worry if your favourite is not amongst the above. You still have until 10.30pm on 18 November, when the gallery is open late for Long Night, to place your vote.
The winner will be revealed on Thursday 25 November.