Millennium is delighted to announce that Joy Wolfenden Brown’s painting ‘The Lacemaker’ has won the First Prize in The National Open Art Competition, 2012 – winning the £10,000 1st prize ahead of 2100 applicants, the highest number of entrants ever received for the competition. In addition Sarah Ball’s ‘Freedom Rider 2’ won the best from Wales prize. The prizes will be presented by contemporary artist Grayson Perry on 25th October at Prince’s Drawing School, London.
Joy has commented ‘I was quite overwhelmed to hear that ‘The Lacemaker’ has won first prize. I am so happy and grateful; it’s a real honour. I am also very pleased for my painting because I am very fond of it!’.
Joy Wolfenden Brown’s paintings possess immense raw emotional honesty and as such feel hauntingly familiar. She captures fragments of experiences and moments in time where the inherent vulnerability of the figures depicted, often a lone figure, is palpable. Recent work connects the artist to what she describes as “a need to slow down and be still as the world appears to be overtaking and speeding by”. These are beautifully yet spontaneously executed reflections on the human condition, which have an unnervingly yet comforting unmasked quality.
Joy’s win follows on from the success of two other Millennium artists who have won in previous years – David Whittaker in 2011, and Lisa Wright in 2009. Now in its 16th year the National Open Art Competition, sponsored by Towry, is an annual open competition that attracts artists from across the UK.
Sarah Ball’s ‘Freedom Rider 2’ continues on from her ‘Accused’ series shown at Millennium in May, showcasing intimate and diminutive portrait paintings evolved from archived police photographs that record the faces of the Accused. The paintings investigate ‘mug shots’ from the Victorian Era through to 1950’s. A portrait of the accuser as much as the accused.
This year 95 works by 87 selected artists will be exhibited at The Minerva Theatre, Chichester between 11th – 21st October, it will then tour to the Prince’s Drawing School in London from 24th October – 1st November, and at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (6th – 18th November).