Photography: Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk/

Showcasing art in public spaces is currently a challenging task. Thankfully, Walker Art Gallery are pressing ahead with this year’s JOHN MOORES PAINTING PRIZE exhibition.

Over 67 artists’ work will disrupt, celebrate and inspire the current British painting scene in this years iteration of the biennial competition. The entries have been chosen by a panel of judges who, due to Covid restrictions, utilised high spec cameras, screens, speakers and AV software allowed judges to appreciate the scale, texture and detail of the works in real time.

JOHN MOORES PAINTING PRIZE 2021 Image 2

The process has led to paintings from five artists been named on this year’s prize shortlist. Kathryn Maple, Robbie Bushe, Michele Fletcher, Steph Goodger and Stephen Lee, are all in the run-in for first place, and a cash prize of £25,000, set to be announced on 4th March. The jurors for this year’s exhibition come from an array of creative fields, with the panel featuring writer Jennifer Higgie, artist Michelle Williams Gamaker and musician Alison Goldfrapp. At the time of writing it is unsure when the gallery exhibition will open but for now art fans can enjoy the pieces online with a virtual experience of the show.

The variety of entries and jurors mean that every iteration of the biennial prize exhibition is different from the last, but in this event one message prevails: in these uncertain times, art must come together. A virtual tour of the exhibition, comprising of 67 pieces of a huge variety of styles and subject matter, launched on 12th February, and will run until the 29th June.

You can visit a virtual tour of the John Moores Painting Prize here.

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