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LJMU and Shanghai University are pleased to announce the launch of the John Moores Critics Award in the UK, which recognises emerging new talent in critical writing about contemporary art.
The Awards in Shanghai and Liverpool will provide an international platform for budding critics in both countries to connect with their audiences and arts communities.
The UK John Moores Critics Award runs parallel to the John Moores Painting Prize as part of this year’s Liverpool Biennial at the Walker Art Gallery (National Museums Liverpool). Judging has already started on the Award in China as the panel is set the task of whittling down the entries of critical writing, focusing on the John Moores Painting Prize China held earlier this year in Shanghai.
In the UK, entrants will have to focus their critical eye on this year’s John Moores Painting Prize shortlist.
The UK Award closes on 28 October and winners will be announced publicly at the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool) on Friday 16 November 2012.
Professor Juan Cruz, artist and Director of the LJMU School of Art and Design commented: “Critical writing about art, and art itself – like all forms of independent thinking – are constantly under threat from the pressure to conform exerted by social, political and consumer forces, whether in China or the UK. This new award is an important way to bring those pressures to mind and to resist
them, as well as to share experience between two significant art schools in the two countries.”
Professor Wang Dawei, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Shanghai University said: “Our responsibility as scholarly and socially engaged organisations is to develop critical thinking about art and the importance of international cultural exchanges. This is particularly important as Liverpool and Shanghai are twinned cities and have a breadth of shared history and contemporary alliances.”
Two winners, one from the UK and one from China, will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges.
- Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, UK President of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA)
- David Batchelor, artist and writer
- Sam Thorne, Associate Editor, Frieze Magazine.
Each will receive £2,000, plus the opportunity to complete a three week exchange visit to either the UK or Shanghai, as guests of either LJMU or Shanghai University. The winner from this year’s Award in China will be visiting Liverpool during the Biennial.
Four further awards of £1,000 will be presented to two highly commended entrants to the competition in each country.
Winning entries will also be published on a new dual language John Moores Critics Award website and published in a bilingual publication, alongside the winners of the John Moores Painting Prize. This will be jointly edited by LJMU’s School of Art and Design and the University of Shanghai.
How to enter
Critics of all ages and abilities are welcome to enter. Although the Painting Prize exhibition is open till 6 January, the Critics Award is open until Sunday 28 October. Entries received after this date will not be considered so please bear this in mind if you would like to enter.
Once you have visited the show at the Walker Art Gallery, consider what you have seen and think about how it has inspired you or otherwise. We encourage you to read the details in the official Painting Prize catalogue and online, then write your response piece, aiming for between 750-1000 words or equivalent in Chinese characters. Each piece will be judged anonymously and the winners’ names will only be revealed to the judging panel once a unanimous decision is arrived at.
All works should be electronic rather than paper-based, and emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org before the closing date.
Following last year’s successful artist residency as part of the John Moores Painting Prize China, four of the five finalists from this year’s competition have flown into Liverpool to exhibit their work and produce new works inspired by the city.
The painting prize is an extension of the long-running Liverpool-based competition which is due to open at the Walker Gallery as part of Liverpool Biennial 2012 on 15 September.
The artists have come over to Liverpool for a month and will be spending their time at Liverpool John Moores University’s Art and Design Academy, home to the Liverpool School of Art and Design and METAL at Edge Hill Station.
The finalists were whittled down from nearly 3,000 entrants by the panel of esteemed judges; Michael Craig-Martin, Tony Bevan, Yu Hong, Ding Yi and Liverpool Biennial’s former Chief Executive, Lewis Biggs.
The finalists are:
- Winner of the prize, Nie Zhengjie was selected for his oil on canvas work, ‘Being’, a study of migrant workers in China
- Hu Wenlong was shortlisted for his stunning oil on canvas, ‘Aphasia’ which took 18 months to paint using fine detail to create a photograph-like finish
- Zheng Jiang’s oil on canvas, ‘Waiting’, uses varnishing techniques to stunning effect
- Pu Yingwei’s oil on canvas, ‘Desire’ explores the different states of body in contemporary Chinese society
- Zhang Aicun’s piece, ‘Makeup NO.2′ is a bright acrylic on canvas, exploring through makeup packaging how women of different classes distinguish themselves depending on the makeup they buy and wear.
Ling Min, Head of International Development at the Fine Arts Academy of Shanghai University said:
“We are very pleased to be in Liverpool again with the finest talent from China’s fine arts community.
“This year’s John Moores Painting Prize China has been a phenomenal success and we received many more entries than the previous year, from all over China. We hope people from around Liverpool are able to come and see our exhibition, to meet the artists and see how exciting contemporary Chinese art can be.”
The collaboration extends further in September when, alongside the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery, the first John Moores Critics Award is launched, inviting the public to submit critical writing around the exhibition.
The Critics Award will run in parallel to the painting prizes in Liverpool and Shanghai and will offer two winners, one from China and one from the UK, the opportunity to travel to the UK and China respectively for residencies hosted by Shanghai University and LJMU as part of the cultural exchange programme. There will also be cash prizes for runners-up.
Professor Juan Cruz, Director of the Liverpool School of Art and Design said:”This collaboration marks an exciting time for LJMU and the city of Liverpool. Our new artists in residence have an exceptional talent and have done very well to get here. We are pleased to welcome them and we hope that their stay in Liverpool is as culturally enriching as it is inspiring for their art.”
The John Moores Painting Prize China show is on in the public gallery on the ground floor of the Art and Design Academy, Duckinfield Street, L3 5RD (beside the Metropolitan Cathedral).The exhibition is open until 7 September from 12noon to 5pm.
This activity was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Third year student of History of Art with Museum Studies, Rebecca Leary, is due to appear on BBC East Midlands, as part of her internship with stately home musuem, Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood. Rebecca will talk about the new tours available named, “What’s in Store” and their current exhibition “From Playmobil to Puppy Love – Growing up in the 1970s”.
Sudbury hall is a 17th century stately home in Derbyshire described as:
“a delight of 17th-century craftsmanship, ..exquisite plasterwork, wood carvings and classical story-based murals”.
The Museum of Childhood explores the childhoods of times gone by and allows visitors to make stories, play with toys and engage in roleplay, showing a range of archive film and interactive displays. The house was used by the BBC as the location for the interiors of Pemberley House in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.
Rebecca has been working on a number of projects with the musuems for the last few months that trace developments of the skills the National Trust uses in order to protect and preserve its collection in Sudbury Hall. Becky is also keen to advertise the museums to a new audience:
“Through the use of social networking and new media, the project aims to help improve and deliver education in conservation and to communicate our work to new communities.”
Rebecca’s interview will be on Thursday 3rd March at 6:30pm on BBC East Midlands. We look forward to hearing her then!
Please visit the blog below which was made by a History of Art & Museum Studies student, Rebecca Leary, who is volunteering at the National Trust.
Please do write comments on this blog and ask questions as it would help Becky’s project enormously