Awards Purchase Prize to Hope Student


As you may know I’m a big fan of art degree shows and have always done what I can to support the local art colleges and students through small financial sponsorships as well as promotion of events on these pages.

But this year, 2007, for the first time we decided to buy a painting by one of the students in the Hope University Fine Art & Design Degree Show. This will be known as the Purchase Prize, the painting will hang on the wall somewhere in the Cornerstone building and hopefully this will be an annual award.

It was all great fun and very exciting. We had a look round on Thursday afternoon and chose the painting – an untitled portrait by Hayley Smith. Its all top secret until the various awards were announced at the Degree Show opening on Friday night. I stood there nervously ready to hand over the cheque to the winning artist but my moment in the spotlight was spoilt slightly as Hayley failed to show when her name was announced!

Never mind, we found Hayley and her family later and were able to re-enact the ceremony in front of the winning picture.
This is one of four portraits in the same style, there’s a lot of texture from using things like string, tissue paper etc. layering and scraping back, there’s even some brightly coloured paper stuck onto the surface of the paint.
Of course, Hayley was delighted with her prize and will probably use the money as she spends the next year or so travelling.

As for the degree show, as ever, lots of interesting stuff. The design work (ceramics, metal, wood, textiles etc) at Hope is consistently excellent. Other painters that stood out included Beth Walls paintings onto steel, the figurative paintings of Richard Bannister and Victoria Lucas, abstracts by Sarah Pye and Gemma Agnew and marvelous drawings by Katriana Gillanders.

Hope University Degree Show ‘Untangled’ runs at Cornerstone Gallery from Saturday 26th May – Friday 1st June 2007, 10.00 – 16.00
(excluding Sunday and bank holiday Monday 27th and 28th May.