The public have made their decision and the winner of the Visitors’ Choice award for the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize has been awarded to Julian Brain for his painting Special Relativity.
Special Relativity uses a surrealistic re-ordering of a domestic scene to represent the experience of adoption, and the painting has won Julian a further £2008 in the Visitors’ Choice competition, generously donated by Rathbone Investment Management to celebrate the 2008 Capital of Culture year.
Lisa Bradshaw, John Moores exhibition officer said: “The public have been voting since the exhibition opened in September, and it’s been fantastic to see that they’ve chosen an artist who has risen to the challenge despite his lack of professional training.
“The themes and concepts that Julian has used in this painting are something the JM25 judges picked up on, and having been chosen for a second time is testament to the fact that his work has captured visitors’ imaginations and is something they feel they can relate to.”
Visitors to the exhibition could vote for any one of the 40 shortlisted works chosen to be in this year’s exhibition by a panel of esteemed judges consisting of artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, art critic Sacha Craddock and painters Graham Crowley and Paul Morrison.
This year the jury picked Peter McDonald’s Fontana as the £25,000 first prize-winner, and Julian Brain’s Special Relativity, Geraint Evans’ An Ornamental Hermit, Grant Foster’s Hero Worship, and Neal Jones’ Bruegel Camp were each the further prizewinners of £2,500.
Selected from over 3000 anonymous entries, the exhibition of 40 works is now on display at the Walker Art Gallery until 4 January 2009.
Also on show is John Moores Prizewinners 1957 – 2006, a display showcasing a selection of past prizewinners of Britain’s foremost painting competition. Winning artists on show include Jack Smith, David Hockney and Peter Doig.