UWE Bristol artist on John Moores Painting Prize shortlist

Issue date: 22 April 2016

University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) academic Richard Webb is an internationally respected painter whose work has just been selected for the John Moores Painting Prize 2016. Just 54 artists have been selected from more than 2,500 submissions. Richard's selected painting is entitled “The Landscape as Discourse” which was made during an International Residency at the Landscape Art Research Queenstown (LARQ) fellowship in Tasmania.

From the selected artists, four painters will be awarded prizes of £2,500, while the overall winner will receive a prize of £25,000. The names of the five shortlisted prize winners will be announced in June, with the first prize winner being revealed on 7 July. The John Moores Painting Prize is named after Sir John Moores, a noted philanthropist, who established the award in 1957. The John Moores Painting Prize exhibition is held in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, and aims to support artists and to bring to Liverpool the best contemporary painting from across the UK.

The 54 selected works will be exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery from 9 July as part of the Liverpool Biennial festival of visual art. Previous Prize winners include Peter Doig, Richard Hamilton, Patrick Heron and David Hockney.

Sir Norman Rosenthal, curator and former exhibitions secretary at the Royal Academy has described the John Moores Painting Prize as 'the Oscar of the British painting world'. It is the highest financial prize available to painters in the UK and considered to be the most significant painting competition, revealing the many strands and current developments in British contemporary painting.

Richard has been represented by The Benjamin Rhodes Gallery in London and Celia Lendis International Contemporary Art, UK. Forthcoming group Exhibitions will include a show at Herkenrod Abbey Gallery in Hasselt, Belgium in 2017.

As Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Drawing and Print, and also a Senior Member of the Advanced Centre in Drawing (ACiD), Richard is passionate in translating his own professional success into teaching as a critical part of his role at UWE. He said, “As a practicing artist who has enjoyed success I am really keen to ensure that I pass on this experience but also that I encourage students to understand fundamental principles that can guide them as they move through their personal artistic journey.

“Teaching is incredibly important to me; I believe it is about helping finding ways to enable a new generation of artists to practice and to get their ideas out, to find their own visual literacy, their own artistic voice. At the heart of all this is drawing, learning how to draw as a way of thinking. Whether drawing from observation or imagination, we then expand it still further into painting and print. It is all helping students to learn how to get at the unique ideas in their heads and to translate these ideas out.

“Being conscious of both contemporary and historical practices and where they see their work sitting. We have an amazing teaching team on the Drawing and Print programme. They are artists all at the top of their game, and absolutely committed to sharing their vast experience with each new cohort of students. I want to celebrate the greatness of Bristol as an Art College where artists who changed art history internationally have also taught, such as painters like Peter Lanyon, Paul Feiler, William Scott and David Hockney.”

Richard is proud of the heritage of the Arnolfini where the Drawing & Print programme is based. He believes that UWE's partnership with the Arnolfini, along with the accolade that the nomination for the John Moores Painting Prize brings, is the catalyst that gives UWE City Campus at Bristol and the Drawing & Print degree recognition as the place to go for drawing, painting and print in the South West.

He said, “The students who come to visit the Arnolfini on our open days and for interviews cannot believe how beautiful and inspiring an environment our new studios on the fifth floor are. This, along with a strong course profile, a record of excellent student achievement, and opportunities for international collaboration, all go towards creating a sense of ambition within the students.

“This programme contrasts with the great strengths in art education found in UWE's Fine Art programmes delivered at Spike Island and together we offer students a full and challenging menu of possibilities.”

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