The 3 John Ruskin Prize rd
Recording Britain Now: Society
The 3rd John Ruskin Prize FINALISTS Timothy Betjeman
Laura Oldfield Ford
The 3rd John Ruskin Prize: Venues and dates
Meet the Team / Sponsors and Supporters
About The John Ruskin Prize
Recording Britain: Then and Now. A foreword by Gill Saunders
Meet The Selection Panel
The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Finalists. Introduction by Rachel Price
Behind the Prize: About the Guild of St George by Stuart Eagles
Establishing The John Ruskin Prize by Sue Grayson Ford with Acknowledgements
Join the conversation @The_Big_Draw #RuskinPrize
Venues and Dates The New Art Gallery Walsall 4th Floor, Gallery Square, Walsall, WS2 8LG Thursday 25 February Preview and prize giving 6 - 8pm Prizes 1st Prize £5000 2nd Prize £2000 Student Prize: £1000 Exhibition open Tuesday to Saturday Sundays
10am - 5pm 12 noon - 4pm
Exhibition continues until Sunday 17 April 2016. www.thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk
The Electrician’s Shop Gallery Trinity Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Place, London, E14 0JY *Thursday 5 May Preview and events 6 - 9pm Exhibition continues until Sunday 22 May 2016. Exhibition open daily 10 - 6pm with special workshop, talks and events at weekends. www.trinitybuoywharf.com
*This preview is part of First Thursdays: Late night art on the first Thursday of every month in East London. Please check www.thebigdraw.org/ruskinprize for full programme.
MEET THE TEAM Rachel Price John Ruskin Prize Manager Amy Clancy Press and Communications Officer Sponsors and Supporters Guild of St George, The Pilgrim Trust, The New Art Gallery Walsall, ‘Good Old Drawing’ (G.O.D). Selection Panel Adam Dant (Artist), Sue Grayson Ford (Founder, The Big Draw), Gill Saunders (Senior Curator of Prints, V&A), Stephen Snoddy (Director, The New Art Gallery Walsall). Prize Founders Clive Wilmer (Master, Guild of St George), Sue Grayson Ford (Founder, The Big Draw).
With Special thanks to Stuart Eagles (Secretary, Guild of St George), Georgina Nayler (Director, The Pilgrim Trust), Philip Hodgkinson (Co-author: ‘Good Old Drawing), Jacqui Batkins (Simon’s Group), Hayley Chan (Illustrator and designer), Rachel Gadsden (Artist and The Big Draw Trustee), The Big Draw team: Kate Mason (Director), Andrew Walter (Administration Assistant), Jan Flisek-Boyle (Digital Marketing Manager) and the fantastic Hannah Anderson (Exhibitions Assistant) and Deborah Robinson (Head of Exhibitions) at The New Art Gallery Walsall. Catalogue design by Jack Burley for Prismatik www.prismatik.co.uk
John Ruskin Prize 2015
About the prize The John Ruskin Prize was initiated in 2012 by the Guild of St George and The Campaign for Drawing (now The Big Draw). It has established itself as a showcase for emerging talent as well as for more established artists across the UK. The 2015/2016 Prize encouraged artists to respond to the theme Recording Britain Now: Society, by focusing on contemporary social issues. Rather as 77 years ago the original Recording Britain mapped familiar townscapes and countryside under threat, this was an invitation to engage with a society in rapid transition. The Prize offered today’s artists the opportunity to measure themselves against earlier commentators on the state of the nation. The 1st John Ruskin Prize exhibition, ‘A New Look at Nature’, was successfully shown in Brantwood, Ruskin’s Lake District home. The 2nd, ‘Recording Britain Now’, was shown in Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery for five months accompanying the V&A tour of ‘Recording Britain’. In November 2014 it had a second showing at London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf, now the home of The Big Draw. That exhibition focused on cityscapes and rural landscapes. This year’s prize has been planned, by contrast, to make us take another look at ourselves.
The Big Draw is an arts education charity, which raises the profile of visual literacy and the value of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. The Big Draw was launched in 2000 by the Guild of St George, a small charity founded by John Ruskin in 1871. In addition to running The John Ruskin Prize and a visual literacy programme, the charity is the founder and driving force behind the world’s biggest drawing festival, The Big Draw. www.thebigdraw.org/ruskinprize
“It is enlightening to compare the observations of our 30 finalists with those of the 63 artists commissioned by Sir Kenneth Clark (with funds from the Pilgrim Trust) to document Britain under threat during the Second World War. Creating an accessible online gallery from the V&A’s historic Recording Britain collection and the contemporary imagery shortlisted for this Prize will make many more people aware of art’s power to comment, provoke and urge action”. Sue Grayson Ford Founder, The Big Draw
The 2nd John Ruskin Prize exhibition The Millennium Gallery Sheffield (2014) Photo: Andy Brown
The 2nd John Ruskin Prize Winner: Maggie Hargreaves with her prize winning work Slowly Creeping. Photo: Andy Brown
Recording Britain: Then and now When Sir Kenneth Clark launched Recording Britain in 1939, a unique documentary project which commissioned artists to record the country’s architectural heritage and much-loved landscapes, he was more prescient than he knew. The drawings and watercolours (more than 1500 in total, now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London) that resulted over the three years of the project reflected not only recent changes to the landscape and threats to the built environment, but also recorded the dismal evidence of a way of life which was fast disappearing. Clark had envisaged the post-war decline of the country house, the redundancy of parish churches, and the demolitions that were changing the face of towns and villages, but the artists also captured a pervasive nostalgia for a society on the cusp of radical changes.
Clark was firmly of the view that only drawing and watercolour could properly capture the colour and atmosphere of a scene – the evocative ‘spirit of place’ – and specified that all the contributors should use these media. Recording Britain Now is inspired by John Ruskin, who believed in drawing as a means of seeing and understanding the world, but as the name suggests, it also echoes the spirit and subject matter of the original Recording Britain project. In 2015 the John Ruskin Prize encouraged artists to address the prevalent social issues of today. The responses were richly various, with sensitive and sometimes unconventional insights into life in Britain now – the railway station, with harried commuters, featured several times; the re-energisation of politics, embodied in Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to become Labour leader, was the subject of a series of lively drawings; the lonely toil of cleaners in a supermarket after hours, under harsh strip lights, captured something of the otherwise invisible night-time economy that underpins the daily life of our towns and cities.
Robin Sukatorn Jeremy Corbyn Speaks in Manchester 2015. Graphite stick on paper, 28.8 x 40cm The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Finalist: Recording Britain Now: Society
Louisa Puller Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, Wiltshire. 1942. Watercolour. V&A: E.2488-1949. Given by the Pilgrim Trust. ÂŠVictoria and Albert Museum. Recording Britain Collection
In both the 2014 and 2015 Prizes, many artists focused on the effects of this age of austerity, with the physical traces of homelessness and poverty on our streets painstaking evoked, and sites of urban regeneration cheek by jowl with dereliction and decay – broken glass, graffiti, and the ubiquitous betting shops that map urban deprivation. But such sombre views are complemented by scenes which capture the energy, diversity and conviviality that also characterise contemporary British society. Recording Britain Now: Society also offers an important contrast with its war-time precedent. Where the earlier project was focussed largely, though not exclusively, on rural scenes and subjects, the artists of 2015 explored mostly urban environments – London, Manchester, Glasgow, Sheffield – and engaged as much with people as with places. As the curator of a V&A touring exhibition showcasing works from the original Recording Britain project (and the editor of a book on the subject), I was invited to join the selection panel for the John Ruskin Prize this year, and last. Whilst it can be frustrating assessing work on the basis of digital images, there is always the thrill of encountering works where the artist has interpreted the brief with a fresh and original vision, inviting us to look at familiar scenes and subjects from a new perspective, conjuring beauty and drama from often bleak or prosaic situations. Just as the artists of the wartime Recording Britain documented their surroundings with an evocative empathy, so the artists of today are doing the same service for us, in their engaging depictions of contemporary society. Gill Saunders Senior Curator of Prints, Victoria & Albert Museum
The 1939 Recording Britain project was made possible with funds from The Pilgrim Trust. The scheme’s administrators commissioned some of the country’s finest watercolour painters, including Sir William Russell Flint, Charles Knight, Rowland Hilder and John Piper. Other younger artists – some fresh out of art school (such as Phyllis Dimond) - were also invited to submit. 77 years later, The Pilgrim Trust has lent its generous support to The John Ruskin Prize 2015/16, helping to develop Recording Britain Now: Society as a contemporary counterpart to the ambitious original project. The grant has also enabled us to significantly extend our support for both the shortlisted and winning artists through an increased prize fund, employment opportunities throughout the accompanying events programme and sales of artwork from two high profile shortlist exhibitions. Both projects highlight the ever vital role of artists as social, environmental and political commentators and as catalysts for wider discussion and positive change. Support from The Pilgrim Trust has also resulted in a free, publicly accessible, online archive featuring the artists shortlisted for The John Ruskin Prize 2014 and 2015 Recording Britain Now collections, including interviews with shortlisted artists and news on associated exhibitions and events. Further reading Online catalogue www.ruskinprize.co.uk www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/r/ recording-britain-collection www.thebigdraw.org/ruskinprize www.thepilgrimtrust.org.uk
Mandy Payne Past Imperfect 2013. Aerosol on concrete, 20 x 20 x 3.3cm. The 2nd John Ruskin Prize 2014 Runner up: Recording Britain Now.
Michael Rothenstein Corner of Grape Lane and Swinegate, York. 1940. Pen and ink and watercolour. V&A: E.2569-1949. Given by the Pilgrim Trust. ÂŠVictoria and Albert Museum
Mandy Payne All That Remains 2014 Aerosol and Oil on Concrete, 31 x 21 x 3.5cm. The 2nd John Ruskin Prize 2014 Runner up: Recording Britain Now. Acquired by The Ruskin Collection, The Millennium Gallery, Sheffield.
Edward Walker, Langley Court, Covent Garden, London, 1943. Pencil. V&A: E.1855-1949. Given by the Pilgrim Trust. ÂŠVictoria and Albert Museum. Recording Britain Collection
Joe Munro Skipchen Food Ambulance 2015. Collaged pen and ink reportage drawings on paper, 59.4 x 84.1cm. The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Finalist 2015: Recording Britain Now: Society.
Meet the selection panel to expose our quotidian environment as an arena saturated in visual cyphers and underpinned by latent political metaphor. Dant’s recent museum show Dant on Drink at The New Art Gallery Walsall engaged with the history, politics, language and culture of The British relationship with drink through huge tableau drawings and various of printed ephemera. His 5 year pamphleteering project Donald Parsnips Daily Journal took its inspiration from the birth and form of 18th century newspapers and saw the artist distributing 100 copies of the journal by hand daily until its cessation at the end of the millennium. His series of prints The Triumph of Debt catalogued the excesses and travails of The Banking and Investment community.
Adam Dant Artist Born in 1967 in Cambridge, Adam Dant studied Fine Art Printmaking at The Royal College of Art, MS University, Baroda, India, Liverpool School of Art and HDK Berlin. He was the recipient of The Rome Scholarship in Printmaking in 1993 and in 2003 was the winner of The Jerwood Drawing Prize. Dant’s large scale ‘narrative’ ink drawings combine depictions of familiar public spaces and monuments with various mythologies and histories
Recent commissions have seen Adam Dant working as the official artist of ‘The Queen’s Jubilee Thames Pageant’ on behalf of the Port of London authority and as ‘The Official 2015 General Election Artist’ for The Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art. Adam Dant’s work is exhibited internationally, and is in the collections of Tate Britain, MOMA New York, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Musee D’Art Contemporain, Lyon, HRH Prince of Wales, Museum of London, UK Parliament & various other public and private collections.
Senior Curator of Prints, V&A
Director, The New Art Gallery Walsall
Gill Saunders is Senior Curator of Prints in the Word & Image Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum, and an Honorary Member of the Printmakers Council. Her publications include Picturing Plants: an analytical history of botanical Illustration (1995, Zwemmer/V&A), Prints Now: Directions and Definitions (V&A, 2006; with Rosie Miles), Recording Britain (V&A, 2011) and In Black and White: prints from Africa and the Diaspora (with Zoe Whitley, V&A, 2013). She was a selector for the inaugural International Print Biennale in Newcastle in 2009. She co-curated Walls Are Talking (2010), an exhibition of wallpapers by contemporary artists, at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, and Surface Noise, (2011) a show of innovative contemporary printmaking at the Jerwood Space, London. In 2012 she devised Street Art: from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and Libya which toured to Tripoli and Benghazi, and she curated two recent V&A UK touring exhibitions – Modern Masters in Print: Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol, and Recording Britain. Her latest book, co-edited with Malcolm Yorke, is Bawden, Ravilious and the Artists of Great Bardfield (2015, V&A). She writes, lectures and broadcasts regularly on 20th-century and contemporary art.
Stephen Snoddy was born in Belfast, N. Ireland in 1959. He trained as an artist at Belfast College of Art where he graduated in 1983 with an M.A. in Fine Art. He worked at Arnolfini from 1987-91 on an exhibitions programme that included Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone, Gillian Ayres, Rachel Whiteread, Jack B. Yeats and Juan Munoz. In 1991 he became Exhibitions Director of Cornerhouse, Manchester, where he was responsible for bringing The British Art Show 4 to Manchester. In 1996 he moved to become Director of Southampton City Art Gallery, where he organised the 1998 Chris Ofili solo exhibition which won Chris Ofili the 1998 Turner Prize. In 1998 he moved to Milton Keynes to direct the construction of a brand new gallery as part of the £30 million Theatre and Gallery complex. Milton Keynes Gallery (MK G) opened on 8 October 1999 with ‘The Rudimentary Pictures’, an exhibition by Gilbert & George. In 2003 he was appointed Director, BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art, Gateshead where he refreshed the programme and engaged with artists of the region. In May 2005 he was appointed as Director of The New Art Gallery, Walsall where he has reviewed policies, restructured the organisation, enabled an acquisitions budget and increased visitor figures annually since 2007. Previously he has been a Director of the New Contemporaries and was on the Visual Arts Committee of the British Council for 10 years and he has recently had a solo show of paintings at Roberto Polo Gallery, Brussels.
Peter Miller Director, Guild of St George Peter Miller is a Director of the Guild of St George and is currently in charge of their publications. He has a lifelong interest in art, art history, drawing and painting. This was initially inspired by living with a grandfather who was a commercial artist in Blackpool and earned the name locally of ‘Michelangelo Miller’ for repainting the Carnival of Venice on the ceiling of the Tower Ballroom in the mid-1950’s. Peter has recently retired from a lifetime of antiquarian and second-hand bookselling to give more time to painting and has recently had two exhibitions based on walks through the landscape. As an enthusiastic walker, he finds the changing landscape, both urban and rural, offers endless subjects for drawing and painting and is thrilled to see the responses to Recording Britain: Society. We welcome Peter to the 3rd John Ruskin Prize selection panel for the first time.
Prize Founders Sue Grayson Ford MBE
Founder, The Big Draw
Master, Guild of St George
Sue’s formative experiences as founding director of the Serpentine Gallery have led to a career-long commitment to supporting emerging and less established artists (the original founding principle for the gallery) and to promoting access to contemporary art.
Clive Wilmer is Master of the Guild of St George, the charity founded by John Ruskin in 1871. An Emeritus Fellow in English at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, he is a lecturer on Victorian literature and recently completed a five-month stint at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, where he was a Visiting Professor.
Sue was the sculpture curator for the Liverpool International Garden Festival, and first exhibitions director at Manchester’s Cornerhouse. Later she directed London’s Photographers’ Gallery and Cardiff Bay Arts Trust (a public art agency). In 2000 she was commissioned by the Guild of St George to launch a campaign to promote drawing, which became an independent arts education charity in 2006. Sue founded the annual October Big Draw Festival and was Director of The Big Draw 2000-2015. The festival is now celebrated in over 26 countries. Sue joins the The John Ruskin Prize selection panel for the 3rd year. 18
He has written many lectures and articles on Ruskin, William Morris and their contemporaries. In that capacity he edited Unto his Last and Other Writings by Ruskin and News from Nowhere and Other Writings by William Morris for Penguin Classics. He is the author of several books of poetry, including New and Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2012) and Urban Pastorals (Worple, 2014).
Cliver Wilmer (Left) and Sue Grayson Ford (Right) with John Ruskin Prize 2014 Winner, Maggie Hargreaves (Centre) Photo: Andy Brown
The rd 3 John Ruskin Prize FINALISTS
“The artists selected for the exhibition present diverse perspectives on this year’s theme, with sensitive and sometimes unconventional insights into life in Britain today – from the evidence of poverty and homelessness on our streets to sites of urban regeneration cheek by jowl with dereliction and decay. But the sombre views are complemented by scenes which capture the energy, colour and conviviality that also characterise contemporary British society”
Gill Saunders Senior Curator of Prints, V&A and prize panellist.
Since its inception in 2012, The John Ruskin Prize has provided artists with a challenging theme to respond to. The prize, as a result, encourages entrants to reassess their practice and consider the world around them with greater scrutiny. One unique side effect of our â€˜no CV policyâ€™ is that artworks are selected by our panel by images alone; meaning the artists are only revealed after selection. This, for me, is an exciting moment of revelation. It has always been my experience that the most exciting artists assume many identities during their careers: They embody characteristics of scientists, psychologists, recorders and reporters, historians, designers, architects, and engineers. Their cross-disciplinary approach fosters a unique view of the world. Among our prize finalists this year are artists who have had (and still have) careers as writers, carers, lawyers, theatrical designers, educators, medical professionals and architects. Their experience infiltrates their artworks which resonate with impassioned and direct responses to the 2015 theme: Recording Britain Now: Society. The exhibition and events programme is all the richer for it. It would seem the sensibilities of the man behind the prize live on. A renowned polymath, John Ruskinâ€™s knowledge spanned many disciplines. His dedication was to nature, society and the world at large, and art was a vehicle for change within it. This too, is the key message of The Big Draw: draw to learn, not learn to draw. Enjoy The 3rd John Ruskin Prize exhibition. Rachel Price Project Manager, The John Ruskin Prize 2014 / 2015
Timothy BetjEman Timothy Betjeman (b. 1982) studied Visual Art and Philosophy at the University of Chicago (BA) before going on to a post-graduate diploma in Drawing from The Royal Drawing School in London, on a 2-year bursary award. Betjeman’s paintings are underpinned by strong draughtsmanhip, reflecting daily life in and around his studio in Camberwell, South London and his former home of New York. There is a fascination, evident in his subjects with dense clusters of activity to be found within wide open spaces, both urban and rural, and the way in which these conflicting dynamics can be reconciled in paint in haste in order to capture the moment. His work has appeared in recent years in The Independent and is in the collections of HRH the Prince of Wales, Clare College, Cambridge University, the Moritz-Heyman Foundation, and in various private collections. Recent exhibtions include: Lynn Painter Stainers Prize (2014), Mall Galleries London, Deja Vu, Identity Gallery, Hong Kong (2014), Blue Darling, George and Jørgen Gallery, London (2014) and Debut, Edel Assanti Project Space, London (2011).
‘McDonalds, Whitechapel’ is from a series I made while I was living just off of Brick Lane. It was winter and my studio was pretty uninhabitable, so I would take walks down to Whitechapel with a thick pad of watercolour paper and some multicoloured pens, making drawings wherever I sat down. I tried to draw what I saw without thinking much about what it was, or how the image was composed. At the end of a week I had about 100 drawings of this sort, some more discernable than others.
This drawing was made while having a coffee at McDonaldâ€™s on Whitechapel Road. I remember there was a couple having an argument on the counter beside me, and a father and son eating in silence together on a perpendicularly oriented table. The boy had a new pair of Nikes on and he kept looking down at them between bites of his burger. There was a discount trainer shop on the corner of Commercial St (now closing down) where his father had probably bought them. The place was very crowded and people could be observed and drawn coming and going without complete anonymity. It was really a great place to draw. Timothy Betjeman
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/timothybetjeman
Timothy Betjeman McDonaldâ€™s, Whitechapel 2014, 35 x 39cm (framed). Felt-tip pen on paper.
DAVID BORRINGTON David Borrington, MA RCA, is an artist whose practice is a direct response to fast-moving current social and world events. Through exposing flaws in the western democratic model his work aims to support the growth of true democracy. Borrington believes ‘it is an artist’s responsibility in society to record their surroundings through visual art as they see it – whether political, social, horrific, beautiful, sublime with as much honestly as possible’. David studied at Norwich School of Art and Design gaining a First Class BA (Hons) in Fine Art Printmaking and Photo-media, subsequently attending the Royal College of Art, gaining an MA in Printmaking in 2008. David has recently exhibited at: Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London (2014 -2015), Red Gallery London (2013) and Studio3 Gallery, Canterbury (2012).
David has previously been selected for the Royal Academy Summer Show (2009 – 2012) and has exhibited at Islington Art Fair (2008) and Affordable Art Fair, London (2008). Awards include: Axis MA Stars (2008) and LSI Architects Award 1st prize (2006). Notable projects include: Appointed artist fellow: Lawful Government of Hawaii and Borrington’s Empiricull Almanack: The satirical, political publication selected for The John Ruskin Prize 2015.
‘Borrington’s Empiricull Almanack’ (BEA) was founded in November 5th, 2009, as a record of world political events in the unique form of a limited edition box set of prints. ‘Truth’ has to stand the test of observation, time and experience rather than theory. As of November 5th, 2010, BEA declared itself an independent authority on the Truth. David Borrington
David Borrington Borrington’s Empiricull Almanack Vol 6 2015, 28 x 22 x 5 cm, Box of 13 Copperplate etching with hand coloured prints.
‘MPs Leak. Candee Crush!’ MP Nigel Mills has been caught playing Candy Crush for 2 1/2 hours during a Commons committee hearing. The investigation is started as there has been a breach of parliamentary rules. The Serjeant at Arms is currently very busy looking for the person who leaked the photographs to the public in a public meeting. The House of Commons is more interested in protecting itself than MPs not acting honourably with public finances. Incredibly, MP Sir Edward Leigh has justified Mills actions by saying that he has chaired many committee meetings and knows they are boring. Obviously his opinion is valid, as we live in a democracy but if this is the calibre of MP we have running our country we are in dire need. You could just imagine Robert Scott of the Antarctic saying ‘shall we turn back chaps and play cards as it is just a bit white and boring.’ David Borrington
David Borrington MPs Leak. Candee Crush! Detail and excerpt from Borringtonâ€™s Empiricull Almanack v.6 (2015).
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/davidborrington
Jessie Brennan Jessie Brennan (b. 1982, Plymouth) is a London-based British artist whose practice explores the representation of places through drawing and dialogue, informed by their changing contexts and a direct engagement with the people who occupy them. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2007 and has since exhibited nationally and internationally, including: REGENERATION! HS Projects, London, (solo and publication, 2015); Progress, The Foundling Museum, London (2014); Talents Contemporains, François
Schneider Foundation, France (2014); Coup de Ville, WARP, Belgium (2013); Cities & Eyes, Marian Cramer Projects, Netherlands (solo, 2012); and The Cut, Space, London (2011). Jessie is a freelance educator, visiting university lecturer and current Metal Peterborough artist in residence, where she is developing her Arts Council England supported project, Inside a Green Backyard. She is also a Visiting Research Fellowship at The Bartlett, UCL, (2016).
Selection statement “Delighted, thank you. I hope further conversations can be generated by the selection of A Fall of Ordinariness and Light and REGENERATION! Specifically, debates around the processes, language and intentions of regeneration, namely: whom is it for?” Jessie Brennan
Jessie Brennan A Fall of Ordinariness and Light 2014. Graphite on paper (framed in aluminium), 55 x 70 cm. Commissioned for Progress by the Foundling Museum, 2014. Sub-titled from left to right: The Order Land; The Scheme; The Enabling Power; The Justification.
A Fall of Ordinariness and Light (2014) was commissioned for Progress by the Foundling Museum, an exhibition of four contemporary responses to William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (1732-3). The work responds to Robin Hood Gardens; the social housing estate designed and built in the late 1960s by Alison and Peter Smithson; and its regeneration, but also directly to the problems associated with the estate’s representation. It takes the form of a series of four graphite drawings that imagine the estate’s planned demolition. In the meticulously rendered drawings, a section of the building appears to be in stages of increasing collapse and the story one of social failure; the fall of post-war aspirations of progress, the end of architecture for social good. And yet, narratives; just like notions of progress; need not run merely in one direction. In emphasising a reading that moves from right to left, we are encouraged by the fact that Robin Hood Gardens’ image is merely folded and crumpled. Robin Hood Gardens may not escape demolition but there is hope that social housing, like the spirit of a dormant brutalism, has the potential to rise and detangle itself from the logic of capitalist profit, and simply be a place to live. Jessie Brennan
‘REGENERATION! (Silent Grid, 2015)’ explores with residents of Robin Hood Gardens the qualities of lived-in brutalism and the personal impacts of redevelopment. It began as a series of recorded interviews with long- and short-term tenants, developed out of the process of making doormat rubbings; a starting point for engaging conversations. The book brings these together along with architectural plans and archive images, two series of drawings, a set of photographs by former tenant Abdul Kalam, and two essays: Owen Hatherley’s text charts the political decisions that led to the rise and fall of Robin Hood Gardens; Richard Martin’s essay contextualises the project through an analysis of my artwork. Jessie Brennan
Jessie Brennan REGENERATION! Conversations, Drawings, Archives & Photographs from Robin Hood Gardens 2015, 19.7 x 16.5 x 1 cm, Artist’s book (78 pages, published by Silent Grid).
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/jessibrennan
Jessie Brennan REGENERATION! Conversations, Drawings, Archives & Photographs from Robin Hood Gardens 2015, 19.7 x 16.5 x 1 cm, Artistâ€™s book (78 pages, published by Silent Grid).
JuliaN BOVIS Julian Bovis is an urban landscape artist working predominantly in pen and ink. Julian’s work largely concentrates on the built environment with particular emphasis on repetition, graphical pattern and perspective. Julian studied Architecture at the University of Plymouth and worked as an Art Director on Fleet Street for 20 years. In 2008 Julian left The Daily Telegraph and began working full-time as an artist. Recent collections have been shown at the Architects Gallery, London and Orleans House in Richmond.
In ‘Tyndale Monument’ I wanted to re-invent the building’s Victorian graffiti with phrases that reflect British society today. So on June 26th 2015 I asked all of my friends on Facebook to give me one phrase they’d like immortalised. What came back was surprisingly uplifting; the private lexicon of lovers, shout-outs to old friends, lyrics from favourite songs. In a world so violent and turbulent the words contained no anger or hate, just messages of love and hope. Julian Bovis
In ‘100 Bristol Houses’ I wanted to explore the creeping bastardisation of Victorian architecture. Rising property prices have forced many homeowners to “not move, but improve”. Yet the urban dream of space and individuality is rarely achieved; instead a new horror of indistinguisable modernism is created where millions of Britons robotically cook organic pasta in identikit glass boxes tagged onto otherwise perfectly-formed Victorian Houses. Julian Bovis
Julian Bovis Tyndale Monument 2015, 180 x 130 x 1cm, Ink on Paper.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/julianbovis
Julian Bovis 100 Bristol Houses 2015, 180 x 130 x 1cm, Ink on Paper.
Sally Cutler Sally studied illustration and printmaking at Liverpool art school, and graduated in 1991. Her preferred medium is linocut which she often incorporates with collage, painting, multiblock printing and hand printed lead type. Her current body of work focuses on different communities and the individuals and occupations within them. Sally is a visiting artist tutor at Dulwich Picture Gallery and is represented by Southbank Printmakers Gallery, London.
The ‘Heads Series’ of linocuts, of which ‘Richmond North Yorkshire Heads’ and ‘London Heads’ are a part, focus on communities and the roles of the individuals within them from specific regions of Britain. By sketching and talking to people over several months, from different areas that I have explored, I then go on to produce a group of individual linocut portraits per region. Sally Cutler
Selection statement “I am very pleased to have been selected for the John Ruskin Prize. What an exciting start to 2016!” Sally Cutler
Sally Cutler Richmond North Yorkshire Heads 2011, 90 x 65 x 3cm. Multiblock linocut and lead type.
Sally Cutler London Heads 2013, 50 x 50 x 3 cm. Multiblock linocut and lead type.
All the linocuts in this series feature profile portraits of real people with a description of their connection to the region printed beneath using old lead type. I hope the images form interesting artworks and also subtle historical documents recording societies and the varied bonds that connect them at a point in time. Sally Cutler
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/sallycutler
Nathan Ford Nathan Ford (b.1976) studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art graduating with BA (Hons) in 2000. Prior to and since graduating, Nathan has exhibited widely in the UK and beyond in group and solo exhibitions and had work shortlisted for a number of prestigious prizes including works exhibited with the Royal Society of British Artists (2001, 2002) and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (1999–2006). He won the Winsor and Newton Young Artist of the Year Award in 2001 and had work included in the BP Portrait Award in 2000, 2010 and 2011 where he was voted people’s choice: 2nd prize in the 2011 shortlist exhibition. His work has recently been shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize (2015). Nathan is represented by Beaux Arts Bath.
‘Party Wall’ took shape at an Art in Action event in 2015 as thousands of visitors drew on the piece over a period of 4 days. The piece is laced with declarations and doodles. A testament to our innate desire to leave a trace. I think its great, and I feel I can say this without any feelings of conceit as it feels like a gift from the public. Nathan Ford
Nathan Ford Party Wall 2015, 120 x 180 x 4cm. Oil, acrylic and pencil on board.
See more from Nathan at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/nathanford
Stephanie Grainger Stephanie Grainer’s career as a visual artist came via the route of theatre and academia. Stephanie has worked as a costume and set designer and as lecturer in theatre. Stephanie’s theatrical background has translated with a clear empathy for the human condition in her work as a fine artist. Most recently, Stephanie has been making charcoal and chalk drawn animations, a medium that links to her theatrical roots. Stephanie gained a Diploma in Theatre from Manchester Polytechnic in 1976 followed by a Certificate in Education from Bretton Hall College, Leeds University. Stephanie went on to formalise her studies in visual arts with The Open University, graduating with BA Art History in 1994 and went on to receive a Foundation Art and Design diploma from Sussex Downs College in 2014 with a Distinction. Exhibitions include: Contemporary Art Show Longitude 50.84 Lattitude 0.13, Circus Street Brighton (2014), Thinking Drawing Curious Projects, Margate (2015), Sotto Voce Group exhibition, Hastings (2015). Stephanie was born in Birmingham and currently lives and works in East Sussex. Stephanie is a member of the Blue Monkey artist Network based in the East Sussex.
The growing ageing population of Britain presents a challenge that society must resolve. Many elderly people are living without companionship and support, which would, in past generations, have been be provided by smaller closeknit communities. We are becoming more isolated and lonely as we age. Surely this is a paradox in an age of global communication? My drawings attempt to signal that the very technology, which highlights elderly isolation, may go some way to rebuilding new communities. Stephanie Grainger
Selection statement “I resolved that I would spend 2015 improving my drawing. I used the theme of the prize as a focus for my drawings, as if it were a college project. Being selected for the Ruskin Drawing Prize has given me a tremendous boost. I must admit I would never have tackled the subject of the elderly were it not for the Ruskin Prize.” Stephanie Grainger
Stephanie Grainger Sole Stranger 2015, 59.4 x 42cm. Charcoal on paper.
Stephanie Grainger Sole Stranger out of range 2015, 59.4 x 42cm. Mixed media montage.
Stephanie Grainger No Signal 2015, 42 x 59cm. Mixed media montage.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/stephaniegrainger
The UK is one of the most surveilled nations in the world. An estimated 5.9 million CCTV cameras keep watch over our every move. A controversial and frequently quoted statistic that originates from a hypothetical scenario that was used to provoke debate states that an individual is ‘caught on camera’ 300 times a day. Anne Guest
Selection statement “I am thrilled [to have been shortlisted] and can’t wait to see the whole exhibition. I think it will be a fascinating insight into how we view our society.” Anne Guest
ANNE GUEST Anne Guest has recently completed her MA Fine Art with Distinction at Birmingham City University. Her practice is an exploration of natural sciences and current affairs through a multi disciplinary practice that includes drawing, photography, video, found objects and installation. Concepts for her art stem from many aspects of natural science and current affairs. She enjoys merging fact and fallacy to create thought provoking work. Anne exhibits both nationally and internationally and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2008, the Shoosmith Art Prize in 2014 and 2015.
Anne Guest Every Move You Make 2015, 65 x 80cm (framed). Pencil on paper.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/anneguest
Susie Hamilton Susie Hamilton studied at St Martin’s School of Art, Byam Shaw School of Art and London University. She lives and works in London and is represented by Paul Stolper Gallery with whom she will be having a solo show in May 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include Here Comes Everybody, St Paul’s Cathedral, London (2015), Roaring Girls, The House of St Barnabas, London (2015), A New Heaven and a New Earth, St. Giles Cripplegate Church, London (2011); Madly Singing in the Mountains, Paul Stolper, London (2009); Black Sun, Studio Hugo Opdal, Norway (2009); World of Light, Triumph Gallery, Moscow (2008); Paintings and Monoprints, Galleri Trafo, Oslo (2007). Recent group shows include Art Suzhou, China (2016), The Names, Transition Gallery, London (2016); Drawing Biennial, Drawing Room, London (2015); Material Tension, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London
(2015); Promised Land, St Anne’s Galleries, Lewes (2015); John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2014); Derwent Art Prize, Mall Galleries, London (2014); Identities, Cornelius Foundation, Lagamas, France (2014); International Print Biennale, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle (2014); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (2014); One Equal Light, St James’s, Piccadilly, London (2014); Threadneedle Prize, Mall Galleries, London (2014). Her work is in numerous collections including St Paul’s Cathedral, Bernard Jacobson, Deutsche Bank, The Economist, Methodist Collection of Modern Art, Murderme Collection, The Groucho Club, St. Giles Cripplegate Church, The Priseman Seabrook Collection and New Hall Art Collection. Her paintings are in Picturing People by Charlotte Mullins, published in 2015 by Thames and Hudson.
Selection statement “Absolutely delighted, the theme of the show very much appeals to me.” Susie Hamilton
‘South Transept’ is of a cleaner in St Paul’s Cathedral and is part of a series of works made while on a residency in the Cathedral in 2015. ‘White Shopper’ is from a series of paintings of pensioner shoppers. I drew them in supermarkets near my home in east London. While the situations may suggest isolation, drudgery or the banality of modern routine the figures themselves, standing out against dark or muted backgrounds, have a resilient singularity with which they resist the dreariness or the uniformity of contemporary urban life. My work starts with drawing from life. I observe from the sidelines, scrutinising tourists, shoppers, holidaymakers, diners, hen nights and other scenes of leisure. I have to work quickly to try to catch particular poses and this means that figures are abbreviated and simplified and also morph into something misshapen and grotesque. This is a quality that I like because it says something about human vulnerability and about the pathos of those who process or trudge or consume or travel in the quest for meaning or excitement. Susie Hamilton
Susie Hamilton White Shopper 2012, 40 x 40 x 2cm. Acrylic on canvas.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/susiehamilton
Susie Hamilton South Transept 2015, 35 x 35 x 3cm. Oil on board.
Peter Haugh Peter Haugh lives and works in Somerset having studied at Camberwell and The Royal Academy Schools. He originally worked outdoors from direct observation but the restrictions resulting from the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001 led to a more studio based approach, painting with dry pigments, glue and acrylic. Most recently his work has addressed the subject of ageing and infirmity. Peter’s work has been shortlisted for a number of prestigious art prizes including The National Open Art Competition, he won The Bax Painting Prize at the Black Swan Open and recently a New Entrants Award at the Royal West of England Academy Open 2015.
A ‘single room with ensuite’ could be part of your holiday plans or a room in a care home. It is impossible in the minds of the young to believe that they might become incontinent yet, as technology takes us to the furthest planets, it is a reality for many of all ages. Recently I have seen too closely the undignified, terrible crumbling degeneration and death of my father with dementia. The commode and the Kylie (an absorbent blue or pink mattress cover) have become symbols of this degeneration in my work. I try and make the work ambiguous not for its own sake but to reinforce the juxtaposition of good health and illness. Peter Haugh
Selection statement “I am delighted to be part of this prestigious show and look forward to seeing how others have responded to the challenging theme.” Peter Haugh
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/peterhaugh
Peter Haugh Single Room With Ensuite 2015, 73 x 98cm. Collaged woodcut.
‘Americana Cosmetics’ is from a series of paintings depicting fast disappearing distinctive London shops. Living and working in inner London I notice more and more the disappearance of London’s socially and historically important buildings. During the past 3 years, when I began documenting these changes, I have seen neighbourhoods lose much of their individuality and charm to modern development. Many shops have closed down and have been left boarded up or ‘old’ shops, still in business, have been re-modelled substituting their original signage with new bright shiny awnings. I want to make it my mission to thoroughly document these changes. I am fascinated with transience, abandonment and survival. These themes seem to resonate more now that I live in an area that was devastated by the London riots in 2012 but is now slowly re-emerging. Michelle Heron
Michelle Heron Michelle Heron (b. Norwich) is a graduate of The University of Hertfordshire where she studied Fine Art. Michelle’s work has always been inspired by the suburban landscape she grew up in: bungalows, alleyways, shops, garages. Recording the mundane, the quotidian and the overlooked. Recent group exhibitions include: Lynn Painter Stainers Prize, Mall Galleries, London (2016), Creative Debuts, Canary Wharf, London (2016), Nothing Here, Free Space Gallery, London (2013) and Showcase Cities, Richmix, London (2012). Michelle currently lives and works in London.
Selection statement “I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize and to be amongst really talented artists. I look forward to seeing the exhibition and how other artists have interpreted the theme.” Michelle Heron
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/michelleheron
Michelle Heron Americana Cosmetics 2015, 50 x 76 x 2cm. Acrylic on canvas.
Michael Johnson Having gained a First class (Hons) in Fine Art at Reading University in 1984, Michael went on to be awarded a Scholarship at the Byam Shaw School of Art in 1985. Since then he has had several solo shows and has contributed to numerous group exhibitions including exhibiting drawings alongside Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach and others at The ArtSpace Gallery in 2004. Michael’s work is frequently selected for a number of prestigious prizes, most recently: The London Group Open (2015), The Discerning Eye (2014), Derwent Prize (2014) and Threadneedle Prize (2014). Michael’s work has been selected for
Michael Johnson Heir Tour: Presenting Baby 2014, 62 x 82 x 3cm. Oil on Canvas.
the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition between 2008 - 2010, and is held in private and public collections in the UK and aboard, including work held at Museum of London.
Selection statement “Over the moon’ is how I have described it, because of the important theme, the nonLondon venue but most of all because I love John Ruskin!” Michael Johnson
‘Heir Tour: Presenting Baby’ and ‘Deluge’ attempt to convey the all-pervading uncertainty of life in Britain instigated by the financial crisis, climate change and damage to the reputation of democratic institutions. Michael Johnson
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/michaeljohnson
Michael Johnson Deluge 2012, 110 x 85 x 3cm. Pencil on paper.
Oliver Jones Oliver Jones is an artist based in the UK working from his studios in both rural Shropshire and Birmingham where he co-runs A3 Project Space and Studios. Oliverâ€™s large scale, photo-realistic pastel works aim to question societies interpretation and notion of flesh, provoking the viewer to analyse the surfaces which are more closely evident in reality opposed to the manipulated imagery we are flaunted most apparently through media and industry. Oliver adopts techniques from advertising in an attempt to â€˜re-advertiseâ€™ and reflect a more common and truthful representation of flesh. His work aims to exemplify this improper depiction of the exterior
Oliver Jones Three Steps to Younger Looking Skin Part 3. 2013. 122 x 91.5cm, Pastel on paper.
commonly advertised, manipulated and exploited, by reflecting a more honest image of reality. The drawings use the fragile properties of paper and chalk pastel as the medium to reflect and enhance the fragile nature of the flesh. More importantly the application is so closely comparable to the way we apply products, touch and handle skin that the process symbolises the routines and rituals we go thorough to maintain it. Jones is represented in California through GUSFORD | los angeles and his work is shown both nationally and internationally including notable collections in Los Angeles, Frankfurt and Istanbul.
Selection statement “My work is only contextually complete when it is shown and “re-advertised” to an audience. For this to be acknowledged by such a historically and socially relevant and widely received prize, along with such a great space to be shown in, is something really special. ” Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones The Best a Man Can Get 2013. 122 x 91.5cm, Pastel on paper.
These works aim to readvertise the image of flesh that is more closely comparable to reality and the way we experience it and interact with it daily, rather than the vision that is portrayed and exploited through media and industry. Oliver Jones
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/oliverjones
Tony Kenyon Tony Kenyon studied at the London School of Printing, Graphic Design and Lithographic Art. Before retiring, Tony worked for many years in publishing as an author/illustrator and formalised his experience with an MA degree in Children’s Literature at King Alfred’s College. Tony is the author of eleven titles, including The Olly Bear series for Orion Publishing appearing in 14 co-editions. Pat-a-Cake for Candlewick Press USA won the Oppenheim Gold Medal for illustrated books. Tony first exhibited as a printmaker in Honolulu Hawaii with 4 successive annual shows at the Honolulu Gallery of Fine Arts. In the UK, Tony has shown work at: The National Trust, Mottisfont Abbey Gallery, The Rectory Gallery, Southwark, and was a prize winner in the Lancelot Andrewes Competition at Southwark Cathedral,
Tony has also studied bookbinding and has produced 4 artist’s books: Testament, Miseries of Life, Winchester Legends and Displaced. The artists’ book Testament containing 15 prints in various techniques was exhibited at the Sheffield International Artists’ Book Prize Competition (2013) and later at Refectory Gallery, Southwark. Displaced was shown in the 2014 Weiner Library International Artists’ Book Competition London. Tony’s work is held in private and government collections in Hawaii and in the UK.
Selection statement “Very honoured to be selected for the John Ruskin Prize shortlist. Particularly as I had been working on subjects that relate to the premise of the original ‘Recording Britain’ collection..” Tony Kenyon
The title of these works were derived from a collection of satirical prints by Thomas Rowlandson drawn in the early 19th century entitled ‘Domestic Miseries’ and ‘The Miseries of Travelling’. Looking at graphic work by the German Expressionists led me to do a separate limited edition of the 9 hand coloured prints. My intention with the book and prints was to record a view of British society today, which falls in line with Clarke’s original brief for Recording Britain. A further edition of prints and drawn lithographs are in production looking at ‘Celebrity Culture’. Tony Kenyon
Tony Kenyon Miseries of Life (Saturday Night) 2015, Book spread 21 x 44cm. Artists book.
Tony Kenyon Miseries of Life (On the Train) 2014, 38 x 39cm. Coloured drypoint print.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/tonykenyon
Myles Linley Myles Linley was born in 1967 and studied Fine Art at Bristol Polytechnic, graduating in 1989. Myles is known for his expressive and dramatic cityscapes and landscapes. In recent years he has exhibited widely across the North of England and further afield. In 2014 three of Myles’ images of industrial Hull featured in the blockbuster show Art and Yorkshire ; From Turner to Hockney at the Mercer Gallery Harrogate.
Selection statement “I am absolutely delighted to have been selected and very much looking forward to being a part of the exhibition” Myles Linley
The demolition of the Rank Hovis Flour Mill in Hull seems particularly poignant as the sight will be used to build a Radisson Hotel (to be ready in time for the City of Culture 2017). Myles Linley
Myles Linley Paving the Way for the Radisson Blu (The Demolition of the Rank Hovis Flour Mill, Hull). 2015, 60 x 90cm. Charcoal, ink and acrylic on paper.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/myleslinley
‘Red Road 2015’ forms part of a series of paintings, drawings and prints of the Red Road estate in north east Glasgow, the remaining tower blocks of which were demolished in October 2015. The series documents not only the scale of the iconic development and its presence on Glasgow’s skyline, which led to the flats becoming an integral part of Glasgow’s cultural history, but also the change that occurred around the flats as they became less relevant in today’s society as a solution to the city’s housing problem. Graham Martin
Selection statement “I was over the moon to find out that I had been shortlisted for The John Ruskin Prize 2015! Drawing forms an integral part of my practice and so it is amazing for that to be recognised by such a prestigious prize..” Graham Martin
Graham MArtin Graham is a Scottish artist living and working in East London. He is interested in architecture and urban spaces, in particular the social housing and iconic tower blocks built throughout London, Glasgow and more widely the UK in the 60’s and 70’s. His paintings, drawings and prints document these buildings, the surrounding urban environments and our interaction with them. His focus for the past three years has been the rapidly changing landscape of East London and more recently he has been working on a series of paintings, drawings and prints of the Red Road flats in Glasgow, the remaining blocks of which were demolished in October 2015. He works principally in acrylics, building up layers of paint in order to achieve a level of luminosity and transparency. Working from photos and drawings he attempts to accurately represent the subject he is painting whilst incorporating areas of abstraction in his work.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/grahammartin
Graham Martin Red Road 2015 2015, 125 x 152 x 4cm, Acrylic, graphite, ink and spray paint on canvas.
Julia Midgley Julia Midgley R.E. Dip. A.D. is a figurative artist who works predominantly on paper drawing subject matter from direct observation. Her work features in public, private, and corporate collections in the UK and abroad, and she is the recipient of National awards for drawing, painting, and printmaking. A past Vice President of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, Julia is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers, R.E. , and until retirement in 2013, was Reader in Documentary Drawing at Liverpool School of Art & Design, LJMU. As a documentary artist events are recorded out on location through drawing as they take place. Reportage projects take the form of Residencies, for example most recently
War Art & Surgery, a WW1 Centenary project describing the training of military medical officers and the rehabilitation of recovering servicemen and women following reconstructive surgery. Works feature in the following public collections: Wellcome Collection Library, London; Science Museum, London; Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; University of Liverpool; Grosvenor Museum, Chester; Tufts Collection, USA; National Army Museum, London; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Gainsborough’s House Museum, Suffolk.
Selection statement “I am really delighted that these works have been selected. It is a great thing to be acknowledged by a distinguished selection panel and doubly rewarding to know that the significance of drawing as a record has been underpinned by virtue of inclusion in this year’s John Ruskin Prize.” Julia Midgley
Aware of wounded service personnel returning home from Afghanistan in 2011 it seemed important to record the work of military medical practitioners and the rehabilitation of their patients following surgery. Wishing to recognise surgeon artist Henry Tonksâ€™ WW1 pastels of reconstructive facial surgery, a project to depict military medicine in the 21st Century seemed timely. Now in 2015 the subject is still poignantly relevant with the escalation of military activity in Syria. The works selected reflect a young soldier taking his first steps on prosthetic limbs; a surgical team training rotation in preparation for the arrival of wounded patients; and a simulation of patient treatment on board a Medical Emergency Rescue aircraft. All are works on paper drawn directly from observation; no camera is used. Julia Midgley
Julia Midgley WAS056 First Steps 2 Rifles 2012, 28 x 38 x 2cm, pencil & watercolour.
Julia Midgley WAS099 Listen In 2013, 28 x 38 x 2cm, Ink watercolour & acrylic ink.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/juliamidgley
Julia Midgley WAS148 Patients on Board 2014, 38 x 28 x 2cm, Ink, acrylic ink & watercolour.
Joe Munro Joe Munro is an artist and illustrator whose practise has evolved from primary, visual journalistic principles of illustration; documenting, interviewing and investigating his subject matter on location. His drawings, created in situ with pen and ink, often target social issues and current affairs in the UK. A recent graduate from the University of the West of England with a First Class Honours degree in Illustration, Joe also became a recipient of several
national art awards for his drawings during this time. Since graduating, he continues to push himself to deliver engaging projects, most recently negotiating a travel bursary with Moleskine to run a three-week reportage project in Cuba. His work has been featured in the following exhibitions: Reportager Awards, Bristol; Poetic Science, Bologna; Leftovers, Bristol; D&AD New Blood, London.
Selection statement “I am overwhelmed my work has been shortlisted for its ability to capture a part of British society I care so greatly about. It’s also exciting to have the chance to meet other nominees, see some great works and share some new ideas.” Joe Munro
Joe Munro 25 % of sales from Joe Munroe’s limted edition prints of ‘Skipchen Food Surplus Cafe’ and ‘Food Ambulance’ will be donated by The John Ruskin Prize and the artist to the community enterpise featured in Joe’s selected drawings: The Bristol Skipchen cafe More on Skipchen: thebristolskipchen.wordpress.com Sales enquires: email@example.com
From farm to fork, this project recognises the importance of challenging our conceptions and knowledge of existing systems of food production, distribution and waste in Britain today. This project extensively highlights the ramifications of the way in which we, as a nation, are dealing with food waste. However, through making these works has created a platform of drawings that collectively show resilience, protest and solutions to this issue. The projects often involve volunteering programmes that tackle social isolation and ideologies that push for positive social change within communities. By collating these projects into visceral and engaging forms of visual data: the correlation of beliefs towards change can be realised as a platform, to challenge and interrogate stubborn attitudes of social responsibility. Joe Munro
Joe Munro Skipchen Food Surplus Cafe 2015, 42 x 59.4cm, Digitally collaged pen and ink reportage drawings on 300 gsm somerset satin smooth. Limited ed.of 50.
Joe Munro Food Ambulance 2015, 59.4 x 84.1cm, Digitally collaged pen and ink reportage drawings on 300 gsm somerset satin smooth. Limited ed.of 50.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/joemunro
Dominic Negus Dominic Negus is a visual artist based in Brighton. Not content to persue only one direction of investigation, Dominic’s practice spans multiple subjects and themes using paint, print, sculpture, photography and video. Dominic studied at The College of Printing and has subsequently gone on to be shorlisted for a number of distinguished prizes including: ING Discening Eye (2013 /2014), The Threadneedle Prize (2012 /2013).
Selection statement “I am honoured and excited to be selected for such a prestigious competition as The John Ruskin Prize 2015.” Dominic Negus
I live and work in Brighton and over the last few years I’ve noticed an increase in people sleeping rough in the area. As shops were shut down more ‘spaces’ became available for the homeless to occupy. This painting pays homage to those unfortunate enough to be in that situation. Dominic Negus
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/dominicnegus
Dominic Negus Urban Bed II [Dyptych] 2013, 150 x 70 x 3cm, Acrylic on canvas.
Laura Oldfield FORD Laura Oldfield Ford (b. 1973 Halifax, West Yorkshire) is a London based artist and writer. Laura’s work is a multidisciplinary psychogeographic mapping of deindustrialised zones. Laura seeks to investigate new forms of socio-political discourse that have arisen as a result of the radical reordering of urban space in the post-industrial era. Central to her research is critically engaged walks— dérives—through post-industrial zones. Laura explains: For Guy Debord, a ‘dérive’ refers to the exploration of urban areas in order to expose, and reassemble, their cognitive and social mapping. Debord develops the concept in the Theory of the Dérive—a work which, in its critique of capitalist urbanism, posed a significant challenge to the reductive assumptions of standard geographical practice. Laura completed a BA at the Slade in 2001 and an MA in Painting at the RCA in 2007 . In 2013-2014 she was Stanley Picker Fellow at Kingston University. She is the author of Savage Messiah, Verso (2011) and is currently a researcher at the Royal College of Art. Recent exhibitions include Itinerant Code Tensta Konsthall,
Stockholm (2015), Ruin Lust, Tate Britain (2014), Seroxat, Smirnoff, THC, Stanley Picker Gallery (2014), Anarchy Unmasked, British Library (2014), Soft Estate Bluecoat Liverpool (2013) and Spacex Exeter (2013), Desire Lines, Caja Madrid, Barcelona (2012), There is a Place, The New Art gallery Walsall (2012), Recording Britain, V&A (2012), Orbitecture, Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2011) and Poster Sites Arnolfini, Bristol, (2011). Selected recent public lectures include, Herbert Museum Coventry, Queen Mary’s University London ,Tate Britain, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Goethe Institute Amsterdam, Stanley Picker Gallery, London, Spacex, Exeter, The British Library, LSE ,Southbank Centre London, Arnolfini Bristol. She is a visiting lecturer and tutor at Goldsmiths, University of London, Central School of Speech and Drama, Sandberg Insitite Amsterdam and Kingston University. She has also coordinated workshops as part of schools and community outreach programmes since 2004. Laura is a contributing writer to the Guardian, Art Review and Granta Magazine.
The edge of the city is where its essence lies, where its political life emerges as a pulsating current in the industrial estates, retail parks and motorway flyovers . It is in these liminal zones, these sites in the margins,where the veneer of consumerism is shredded like the posters on derelict buildings. To know a place is to burrow into it, to set out and walk through its walls and beneath its streets. On solitary walks you brush the skin of your repressed memories and desires, the city of your own history ; you feel not just the reverberations of global conflict and economic fluctuation but the tremors and fault lines of your own past. Laura Oldfield Ford
Laura Oldfield Ford Cash4Gold 2014, 304.8 x 121.9cm, Acrylic, ballpoint pen and marker pen on watercolour paper.
Laura Oldfield Ford Colliers Wood TQ275705 2014, 150 x199.5cm, acrylic and oil on canvas.
Laura Oldfield Ford Winstanley Estate series 2014, various sizes, acrylic and oil on MDF board.
Laura Oldfield Ford Winstanley Estate series, cont.
the suburbs, deindustrialised zones and liminal sites are the new inner city, a reversal has taken place. Once maligned areas in London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham have become the chic residences of a new bouregoisie; spaces that once opened for experimentaion and drifting have been locked down and sealed off; squatting has been made illegal, being on the dole means attending endless time wasting courses constructed only to please a faceless consituency in Middle England. 80
Time has been co-opted, there is no longer the time to wander and dream in a city where rent is exorbitant. The desirability of investing in a brand, London World City, of having a santised hertiage industry and cultrual emblems (remnants of an appropriated psychogeography) means that the working class are subjected to an intense campagin of social cleansing.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/lauraoldfieldford
Laura Oldfield Ford
‘Membury Services’ depicts a single figure in an exaggeratedly relaxed pose at a drive-thru Starbucks in Membury motorway services. The scale of the car park, the cars which may or may not be empty, and billboard the size of a house, emphasises the iscolation of the figure. An Americanised setting in the midst of an English rural landscape; it is both alienating and comforting. Cherry PIckles
CHERRY PICKLES Cherry Pickles was born in Bridgend, South Wales. Cherry studied Mathematics at Ulster University and subsequently went on to study Painting at Chelsea and the Slade Schools. Based in Pembrokeshire, she has travelled widely to paint, working in Jordan, Italy, Berlin, India, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the USA. Greek culture is a reoccurring theme in Cherry’s art which means Greece is a destination to which she frequently returns. Cherry has exhibited her work all over the world including recent shows in Wales, London, USA and Athens. For many years she was a senior lecturer at Cardiff Art School and is currently a tutor at the Royal Drawing School in London. In 2014 she held the Guston McKim residency at Yaddo in New York State.
Cherry PIckles Membury Services 2015, 61 x 91cm, Oil on linen.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/cherrypickles
Hilary Powell Hilary Powell is an artist making work that leaps across media and demolition sites, in and out of scrap yards and academia in its investigation of change, transformation and construction/destruction. Hilary has a BfA Fine Art from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University and an MA Scenography (Central St Martins School of Art and Design). Hilary also has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Goldsmith’s College and has been Honorary Research Fellow at the London Consortium and more recently AHRC Fellow in the Creative in the Creative and Performing Arts, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Hilary has just completed residencies in UCL Chemistry (Leverhulme Trust) and East London Printmakers and is currently artist in residence with Maylarch demolition.
Selection statement “I’m thrilled that the work can travel and be part of something that values art as a way to not only record but to critique and reimagine space and society – provoking new ways of seeing places and people, and going beyond the surface of things.” Hilary Powell
Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley is a pop-up book created on a public production line in Stratford, East London. Each pop-up page is a moving vision of urban change as pylons collapse, tower blocks grow and bombs drop. As a handheld animation of regeneration it is local and universal - charting and reimagining industrial decline, mutating place names, flora and fauna and local legends. Hilary Powell
Hilary Powell Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley (Detail) 2014, 26 x 21 x 2cm, Pop-Up Book (drawing, laser cuts, collagraph, etching).
Hilary Powell Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley (Detail)
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/hilarypowell
Hilary Powell Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley (Detail)
‘Dying’ is a short graphic story. I’d been illustrating for a wide range of clients for over 30 years when my mother needed to be admitted to a nursing home. In the same week I was commissioned to illustrate a leaflet on Abuse in Care Homes. ‘Dying’ seemed to evolve from those two consecutive events: I felt compelled to write the strip to try to make sense of the experience.
Teresa Robertson Teresa Robertson B Ed MA is an illustrator who works in line and watercolour on paper. Her work started 30 years ago with commissions for local authorities mostly illustrating leaflets for children’s homes, respite care services and youth justice departments. This led to work with the British Council and clients such as The News at Ten and The National Trust. In 2001, she painted her first ‘house portrait’;Teresa’s talent for capturing a moment in time is embodied in these portraits and has lead to over 200 commissions since then.
After an MA in Children’s Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, She has worked extensively with the agency Arena works. Comic strips are a new venture for Teresa. Dying was shortlisted and Tarquin was a finalist for the Observer Cape short graphic story competition. Teresa is now working on a book of further short graphic stories. Her subject matter in these so far touches on love, loss and regret. Teresa will be expanding on her work with comic strips by tackling dilemmas faced by younger readers.
It was one of the saddest, most challenging years of my life, yet my mother was managing to make us laugh as she opened her heart and showed her vulnerability. It felt like we were switching roles; I became her mother, she my child. For the previous two years she had been constantly and frustratedly harping on about wanting to â€˜close the chapterâ€™, yet when she was finally in the nursing home and bedridden, the urgency of this (unintentionally hilarious) death wish seemed to fade away, and the four months she spent there seemed to prepare her to accept her demise. Teresa Robertson
Teresa Robertson Dying 2014, 56 x 42.8cm. Ink and watercolour on paper.
Teresa Robertson Dying
Teresa Robertson Dying
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/teresarobertson
Teresa Robertson Dying
Robin Sukatorn Robin Sukatorn was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1991. After completing a foundation year in art and design at University College Falmouth, where he specialised in figurative drawing and painting, he went on to gain a first class degree in History and Philosophy at the University of York. During Robin’s two years living and working in Edinburgh he undertook short courses in illustration and graphic design at the Edinburgh College of Art. In 2015 Robin moved to Manchester to embark on an MFA in Illustration at the Manchester School of Art. Robin is primarily a figurative artist, drawing with pencil, ink and charcoal and aiming to capture the essence of scenes, characters and events from the contemporary world with a loose, vibrant and gestural application of line. His practical research is currently focused on reportage illustration, specifically looking at the role of drawing as a means of social commentary, and he is continually seeking out opportunities for live documentary drawing in the civic, political and cultural life of Manchester as well as further afield. Robin is also interested in editorial and book illustration, and continues to explore painting, lithography, etching and digital media as elements of his practice.
My creative practice as an illustrator is motivated by a desire to document the people, customs and social issues of the world around me, with a particular focus on contemporary civic, political and cultural life. In this spirit I am developing a lively, intuitive and loose style of ‘reportage’ drawing, in which I respond to current events and illustrate them live on the scene. My submission for this year’s John Ruskin Prize is based on a trip to document a public rally outside Manchester Cathedral, at which newly elected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gave an impassioned speech in support of the postal services.
Selection statement “As a passionate advocate for drawing as a means of representing the world around us, I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this year’s John Ruskin Prize, and particularly honoured to be selected alongside such a range of talented and inspiring artists.” Robin Sukatorn
My drawing represents a culmination of live observational sketches and photographs which I captured from within the crowd, along with my memories and impressions of the event. I have aimed to illustrate the vibrant atmosphere and energy of the scene, as well as documenting a moment in time which reflects the shifting landscape of contemporary British politics. Robin Sukatorn
Robin Sukatorn Jeremy Corbyn speaks in Manchester 2015, 28.8 x 40cm. Graphite stick on paper.
Robin Suckatorn Illustration as Reportage - Sketchbook, Autumn 2015. Manchester, Liverpool, London 2015, A4 (Hardback, Portrait Sketchbook). Various media.
The sketchbook series: ‘Illustration as Reportage’ reflects my practical research into reportage illustration during my first term of postgraduate study at the Manchester School of Art. Through directly observing and immersing myself within various scenes and events, I aimed to capture snapshots of contemporary Britain through live documentary drawing. Highlights include a mass antiausterity march through Manchester, a public rally in support of postal service attended by Jeremy Corbyn at Manchester Cathedral, council meetings at Manchester and Liverpool town halls and the Hallé Orchestra performing at The Bridgewater Hall, as well as sketches from gallery exhibitions, libraries, cafés and urban spaces. Robin Sukatorn
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/robinsukatorn
Emily Vanns Emily Vanns is a fine artist living and working in North London. She studied Fine Art at Kingston University, graduating in 2014 and has since studied at The Royal Drawing School in Shoreditch. Emily works in a range of materials including oil pastel, graphite and paint and is interested in a wide range of subjects including human traces and memory. Her recent work often references digital culture, exploring the blurred lines between the tangible and intangible worlds that we occupy simultaneously.
New Heterotopias refers to an essay written by philosopher Michel Foucault. A heterotopia is a place that exists and operates outside the norms of the everyday yet has a function within society, a museum being one of them. I have always been fascinated by museums. Behind their walls and colonnades, history is encapsulated in a linear way but technology is changing that. I hope that what I have managed to capture in my drawing is the paradox of accessibility and isolation that this type of society can create. I want the viewer to think about how digital technology removes us from experiencing something right in front of us but also creates new spaces for history to exist in. Emily Vanns
Selection statement â€œI am very excited to be shortlisted for the Ruskin Drawing Prize. I think it is a fantastic opportunity for emerging artists to have their work shown. It is also a great incentive to keep drawing alive and relevant in contemporary art. â€? Emily Vanns
Emily Vanns New Heterotopias 2015, 35 x 59cm, India ink and oil pastel on paper.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/emilyvanns
Nettie Wakefield Nettie Wakefield (b.1987) completed a foundation year at Chelsea College of Art and a BA in Art History at Leeds University. Nettie sebsequently completed her Masters degree in Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art in September 2013. Nettie has been working on independent projects since 2009 and was shortlisted for The Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2013.
Selection statement “News of selection was a lovely surprise, i feel very honoured and im very much looking forward to seeing the other works.” Nettie Wakefield
The Hijab’s role is to protect women from the gaze of men; to ‘save’ women from being objectified and coveted. Some say it is to protect men from themselves, from their baser instincts; the implication being that men need this help because they cannot help themselves. “Reverse portrait : Hijab” provokes the debate further by presenting us only with the Hijab itself. The concealment of the woman is total. And yet perhaps it serves only to increase our curiosity, to tempt us to peer around the image to glimpse more. Can our prurience ever be truly denied? And should it be? When cultures meet, many questions arise that we may struggle to answer. Such important questions deserve to be fully considered, spent time with, aired. And that requires pausing, seeing clearly, and taking note. Nettie Wakefield
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/nettiewakefield
Nettie Wakefield Reverse Portrait 2015, 29.7 x 42cm. Graphite on paper.
Emma Wilde Emma Wilde (b. 1971, London) studied at Norwich University of the Arts and Aberystwyth School of Art. She currently has a studio in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire where she lives and works. Emma’s practice focuses on painting and drawing. She is interested in how nature and the built environment coexist or impose themselves upon each other and the relationships that occur between these liminal spaces. Much of her work has explored forgotten or overlooked pockets of suburban areas in Milton Keynes. Recent exhibitions include The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London, (2015) MK Calling 1 and 2, Milton Keynes Gallery, (2013 and 2015), Paintings and Drawings, Milton Keynes Arts Centre, (2014), The Drawing Biennial, The Drawing Room, London (2013), Drawings, Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton, (2012) Salon Art Prize, Matt Roberts Arts, London, (2012). Emma’s work is held in many private collections and she has recently constructed a body of work for the The New Archive at NN Contemporary Art, Northampton. In 2013 she was awarded the MK Community Foundation Arts Bursary to support her practice.
These works focus on suburban housing estates in my home town of Milton Keynes. The estates expanded rapidly in the 1970’s from an original and unique plan to build the largest New Town in Europe. Over the last 45 years this planned suburban landscape has been softened, riddled and embellished by the mass planting of once tender saplings. The town has aged and weathered, roots have extended out and the housing estates have become contained within a fortress of greenery. I am interested in where these man-made and natural worlds meet. Emma Wilde
Selection statement “Drawing is an integral part of my work, I see it as an immediate means of documenting and exploring close up observations from the subjects I choose. It is is something I continuously learn from and with every drawing I find more and more within the simple act of looking. The John Ruskin Prize underlines the importance of drawing and how the act of drawing, slowing down and looking can still communicate so much. For this reason I feel privileged to have been short listed.” Emma WIlde
Emma Wilde The Back of Creslow Court 2013, 19.5 x 28cm, Pencil on Paper.
It is within these liminal spaces I try to record through drawing and painting the tension within the constructed and the wild and all the shades between the two. Watching the town mature over the years, witnessing and recording itâ€™s shifts and moods is, in a way, a portrait of a burgeoning garden of personal memory and experience that comes with living in a certain place and time. Emma Wilde
Emma Wilde Manshead Court 2014, 18 x 27cm, Watercolour on Paper.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/emmawilde
Emma Wilde Outhouse 2014, 19.5 x 28cm, Pencil on Paper.
Georgia WisbEy Georgia Wisbey is a multimedia artist living and working in Essex. She has an affinity with natural materials which is reflected in her work. Introducing children to natural materials in a creative way has played a large part in her working life, as has working collaboratively in many and varied community projects. Alongside her work as an artist-educator in a number of community settings including local councils, museums, parks and hospitals, Georgia continues to exhibit her work throughout the UK. Notable projects include: Encrypt, The Crypt Gallery, London (2012), If This, Bermondsey Project Space, London (2013) and a large scale on site sculpture commission from The Portland Stone and Quarry Trust (2011).
â€˜The Essex Diptychâ€™ is an artwork of contradiction. Made in part to honour a much-loved Staffordshire bull terrier and influenced by the frequent misuse of the breed as weapon dogs. The studying of diptychs, in particular The Wilton Diptych, largely influenced the format of the piece enabling the absurdity of contridiction to be communicated. These two inspirations collided resulting in the work becoming a comment on contemporary society - connecting the heraldry on The Wilton Diptych to the present, where I have seen many young men holding the leash of living heraldry in their hands, as one might hold a shield.
I felt called to distort the second image, as the knowledge of the darker side of the use of these beautiful dogs for dog fighting. As such themes as ownership and identity, balance of power, class inequalities, social standing, and brutal territorial battles continue to ring through our history, how much have things really changed in current British society? Georgia Wisbey
Georgia Wisbey The Essex Diptych 2013, 85 x 66 x 2cm (each), Rabbit skin size on Beechwood ply, gesso, pigment paints, acrylic paint, gold leaf and damar varnish..
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/gerogiawisbey
Duncan Wood Duncan Wood (b.1960 London) is a visual artist working primarily in paint. Duncan studied at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating in 1984 with a BA (Hons) Fine Art. He went on to further his studies at The Institute of Education, University of London (Since 2015 the UCL Institute of Education), and The City and Guilds of London Art School graduating with an MA Fine Art Painting in 2003. From 2008-2013 he was a member and Senior Tutor at The Prince’s Drawing School and an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University (2011-2013). Recent exhibitions include: Derivations and New Directions, Browse & Darby, London -solo (2013), Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Competition, Kings Place Gallery, London (2013) and ING Discerning Eye, London (2011). Art Fairs include: The London Art Fair and Art Chicago, 2011 (with Browse & Darby). Duncan’s work is held in Public and Corporate Collections including: The Duke of Devonshire and the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees, Chatsworth and Lismore Castle, The William Louis Dreyfus Foundation Inc (New York), The Finnish Embassy, The National Trust and Sheffield Hallam University.
As with many painters working today, I have attempted to wrought an image that captures the beauty of everyday contemporary objects and scenes, often overlooked but also, as far as possible, depict ‘The Colour of Life’. I wanted the abstracted, rectangular form of the electric advertising bill-board, to be the main feature, as I found from a certain distance, its bright colours and shapes were unusual and striking. Modern urban-landscape at night with artificial light, I find often transforms into simplified, more minimal forms that can be more compelling than the same scenes in daylight. Duncan Wood
Selection statement “I am delighted to have work selected for The 3rd John Ruskin Prize, and very pleased to be able to contribute to a show linked to the work and memory of John Ruskin, who knew how vital our wonder and appreciation of Nature was and is still today.” Duncan Wood
See more on this artist at: www.ruskinprize.co.uk/duncanwood Duncan Wood Advertisement 1 2011, 33 x 38cm. Oil on Board.
Tanya Wood Tanya is a Hampshire based artist whose current practice is meticulous pencil drawing and exploration of the nature of being. In 2012 she gained a First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art at the University of Chichester and has gone on to have work selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the National Open Art Competition as well as exhibiting at the Royal College of Art. Her work was selected to represent the National Open Art Competition at the Watercolour and Works on Paper Fair at the Science Museum in 2013. Since September 2012 Tanya has been a member and studio holder at Art Space, Portsmouth. She concluded MA Fine Art studies in September 2014 with a Distinction . Tanya has exhibited widely throughout tne UK.
â€˜Platform edge: Change Hereâ€™ is part of a body of work produced following months of observation at regional and national railway stations. The station for some is an everyday experience and a site of change; the digital platform and platform edge are both in many ways, a precarious line between one condition and another. How many of us pay attention to where we are when we are routinely between places? Through the meticulous rendering of surfaces, places and spaces and by focusing on a moment, I hope to provide a space for pause, drawing attention and awareness to ordinary reality in order to experience the present, more intensely. Drawing is my passion and helps me make sense of the world, it is an invitation and opportunity to spend more time looking at our immediate environment and our place in it.
This work and limited editions available at www.ruskinprize.co.uk/tanyawood
Tanya Wood Platform Edge: Change Here 2014, 67 x 88 x 4cm. Pencil on paper.
Behind the prize: About the Guild of St George The Guild of St George is the charity for arts, crafts and the rural economy founded by John Ruskin in 1871. The name refers to the medieval guilds and Venetian scuole that Ruskin admired for bringing creative individuals together. Members of the Guild are called ‘Companions’, a term chosen to suggest a sense of common mission and shared interest. Ruskin intended that the Guild would represent a utopian challenge to nineteenth-century society and hoped that a body symbolised by St George could slay the dragon of modern industrial capitalism. In Ruskin’s life-time, the Guild was given houses in Barmouth, Wales, which it rented out to local fishermen at modest rates. It established small but short-lived agricultural communities in Totley and Cloughton Moor, both in Yorkshire. A larger community grew up in the farmland and woodland of the Wyre Forest. That still thrives today and is at present developing an ambitious creative and cultural programme. Most significantly, Ruskin established an exemplary, educational collection of art and artefacts (paintings, drawings, prints, textiles, architectural casts, books, manuscripts, and coins). Opened to the public in 1875, St George’s Museum was based in Walkley, on a hill away from the smoke of industrial Sheffield, whose artisans and craftsmen Ruskin sought to inspire. The Collection moved to Meersbrook Hall in 1890 and later to Norfolk Street in the city centre. Today, the Ruskin Collection (as it is now called) 114
is free to view at the Millennium Gallery. Fresh displays are arranged twice a year in its own dedicated space next to the Winter Gardens. In 2015, the Guild initiated a project, RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD, to re-invigorate the relationships between Ruskin, the Guild, and Sheffield’s communities. The third of the Guild’s Triennial Exhibitions, In the Making: Ruskin, Creativity and Craftsmanship, is running at the Millennium Gallery until 5th June 2016. Previous exhibitions have explored Ruskinian concerns around the role of art in society, and issues of sustainability, Aesthetics and the environment.
‘St George and the Dragon’ after Carpaccio (1872) by Ruskin (from the Ruskin Collection).
In the 20th Century, the Guild was given a wildflower meadow in Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire, which is managed for it today by Natural England. The Guild also provides cheap, good-quality housing in its arts-and-craft style properties in Westmill, Hertfordshire. In recent years it has held a series of symposia that seek to debate issues of contemporary concern from a Ruskinian perspective. It hosts two annual lectures, one of them in collaboration with Whitelands College, Roehampton University. In the 1880s, when Whitelands was a teacher training college, Ruskin initiated a May Queen Festival there which survives in modern form today. The Guild has also become an active publisher with a strong online presence and a global reach.
In 2000 the Guild founded the Campaign for Drawing. This grew into the modern, independent charity, the Big Draw, to which the Guild still makes an annual donation. In 2012, the Guild began to fund the John Ruskin Prize. Like many of the Guildâ€™s activities, the Prize aims to encourage people to explore Ruskinian values and ideas in the context of contemporary life and work. www.guildofstgeorge.org.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
Establishing The John Ruskin Prize & Acknowledgements When Clive Wilmer, Master of the Guild of St George, proposed an annual John Ruskin Prize, I welcomed the chance to provide a platform for young and less established artists. As the Serpentine Gallery’s founding director, my aim had been to exhibit exceptional artists, especially those from outside London who had been overlooked – or lacked the skills for self-promotion. Three John Ruskin Prizes later, the Guild’s inspired sponsorship has allowed The Big Draw to win enthusiastic support from the arts community by offering much-needed exposure for their work. The Prize is open to all artists, amateur and professional, based in the UK and aged eighteen and over; thanks to its growing reputation and the appeal of the Recording Britain Now theme, entries have trebled since year one. As importantly, many are of remarkable quality. Our judges brought great expertise to the challenge of reducing over 600 entries (based on digital images of original artwork) to a shortlist of 30 artists whose work forms the present exhibition. Once the exhibition was installed, they had to choose just three prize-winners. We are grateful for the commitment and wisdom they brought to these tasks.
Particular thanks go to Gill Saunders for joining the selection panel for a second time, and contributing an essay which illuminates both the historic and contemporary relevance of Recording Britain Now. Stephen Snoddy, Director of New Art Gallery Walsall, not only helped select the finalists, but provided superb space in the gallery for the first showing of this exhibition. As a renowned recorder of the quirks and hypocrisies of contemporary Britain, Adam Dant brought a practitioner’s unrivalled insight to the selection task. Peter Miller, a Director of the Guild of St George, and I completed the panel. The Prize’s emphasis on observation reflects John Ruskin’s belief that drawing helps us to see the world more clearly, and therefore take greater heed of its fragility. Many of this year’s finalists share a conviction that today’s environmental threats arise from indifference, neglect and urban dereliction. While Ruskin would surely have applauded their powers of observation, he would have been disheartened by the negative aspects of today’s cities and urban society revealed in much of the work. Despite this, thanks to a rich mix of subject matter, ideas and materials, the exhibition is certain to surprise and provoke, while prompting recognition, reflection and pleasure. The generous support of The Pilgrim Trust means our three winners will receive substantial prize money to help them further their practice. They will benefit from sharing their work with an audience. The two previous exhibitions were seen by over 37,000 people, and ten pieces were
sold – to the delight of their creators. Both our 2014 winner Maggie Hargreaves, and runner up Mandy Payne are in the early stages of second careers as artists, having transferred invaluable knowledge and skills from their earlier work (Maggie as a biologist and Mandy as a dentist). Their awards have given them even greater determination and confidence to continue their development as artists. For Carol Wyss, winning the first John Ruskin Prize with her outstanding Giant Knotweed print reinvigorated her practice - leading to further exhibitions here and abroad. I feel certain that the 2015/16 winners (not yet chosen when this catalogue went to press) will take equal encouragement from the recognition accompanying the Prize. Thanks to The Pilgrim Trust and the Guild of St George, The 3rd John Ruskin Prize, Recording Britain Now: Society will be seen in Walsall, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London and on line, restoring the human presence absent from the 2012 and 2014 shortlists, and presenting work of undeniable contemporary relevance and resonance by 30 artists at different stages of their careers. We hope too that this publication and the exhibition will point readers and visitors to the original ‘Recording Britain’ archive, which can be researched on the Victoria & Albert Museum’s website. Sue Grayson Ford MBE Founder, The Big Draw
Read more here: www.thebigdraw.org/ruskinprize Join the conversation @The_Big_Draw #RuskinPrize View and buy works from the 2nd and 3rd John Ruskin Prize collections and Limited edition prints by the artists here: www.ruskinprize.co.uk By stocking up on art, resources and materials and from www.bigdrawshop.co.uk you are directly supporting our charity!
John Ruskin Prize 2015
The Campaign for Drawing (The Big Draw) registered charity no. 1114811
The 3rd John Ruskin Prize
Recording Britain Now: Society
This catalogue showcases The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Finalists and their artworks (selected from over 700 entries) that responded to the theme...