Tuesday 25 September 2012

The Bath Prize 2012 Review

The Bath Prize exhibition opened it's doors this Saturday and has proven to be very popular with the public. It certainly helps that this year's exhibition took place in a previously empty shop unit in 34 Stall Street, one of Bath's busiest high streets.

For those who don't know, the competition is in it's fourth year. Any artist can enter so long as they are willing to have the city of Bath as their subject. During the entry process each artist is given a certain location in the city that has to feature in their first piece of artwork, this means the views on show in the final exhibition may all be of Bath but the views are incredibly varied.

Artists Reception at The Bath Prize Centre, Stall Street

 That's my painting of Lansdown Road in the window!

The overall prizewinner this year was Matthew Phinn for his oil painting of Walcot Street. Matthew is a watercolourist who has just recently decided to move into oil painting. I particularly like his piece for his obvious watercolour sensibilities appearing in how he was suggested the wet tarmac, somehow his has managed to make the oil paint literally drip and spread down the canvas just like the watercolour wet-in-wet technique.

Other winners were Ben Hughes for his painting of 'The Royal Crescent' in the Royal Crescent Prize and 'Laura Place' which won the Plein Air Prize alongside Valeri Pirlot for 'Sun Between The Clouds' and Peter Nance for 'Morning Street Cleaner'. John Mulvaney won the Pulteney Bridge Prize for his colourful painting of guess what, Alison Hehir won the Jane Austen Centre Prize for 'Ghosts Of Gay Street', I won the Minerva Prize with 'Little Owl Under North Parade Bridge', Andrew Taylor received the Guildhall Market Prize for 'Time Out With The Queen' and Jane Riley won the Farrow & Ball Prize for 'A Fly In The Pump Room'.

The overall standard this year is very good, especially when you consider quite a few of the entrants are amateur artists. My personal favourite is 'The Antiques Shop' by Ian Cryer ROI. From what I can gather Ian works from life which makes this particular painting even more impressive. The shelves are stacked high with all sorts of antiques, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to simplify all that detail into a loosely painted but brilliantly solid image.

Unfortunately I can't publish photographs of the artwork which gives you even more reason to pop into the gallery and see the paintings for yourself. The exhibition shall be there until the 29th September after which some of the highlights will be on show in the Bath Gallery on Bridge Street.

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