We congratulate our fantastic artist Debbie Lawson on having her work “Persian Bear” (photo, detail) shortlisted by the prestigious John Ruskin Prize 2017! This year’s theme for The John Ruskin Prize was “Master of All Trades” and celebrated the ‘Artist as Polymath’.
A record number of submissions from fine artists, makers and craftspeople from across the UK responded to the call for contemporary Polymaths. The final shortlist of 26 artists was selected from over 1000 entries, their works “defies categorisation, dissolves boundaries and has a joyous disregard for the conventions of their chosen materials and disciplines” to quote the Ruskin Prize home page.
The theme of this year’s prize, which placed the artist centre stage as modern-day Polymath, seemed to resonate strongly with the current zeitgeist and mood. For the first time it enabled artists whose work was interdisciplinary and more fluid to submit, and resulted in a huge number of high quality applications from which it was a real challenge to shortlist”, sais the jury.
Lawson´s magical carpets have enthralled many, and are held in the collections of, among others, Charles Saatchi, Mario Testino, the House of Lords, Nottingham Castle Museum, the University of the Arts London, the University of Dundee and in many international private collections. Alas “Persian Bear” didn´t make it to the top this time, but is now on display, with the other short listed works, at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield.
The shortlisted artists’ works acts as a mirror to reflect recent political and social change. The exhibition thus offers both a contemporary and traditional interpretation of the polymath theme as well as exploring the quirky, playful and beautiful’.
The John Ruskin Prize is now in its fourth year. The Award is £5000 with £3000 going to the winner, and £1000 going to both the Second Prize and Student and Recent Graduate Prize winners.
Exhibition 21. June – 8 October
Millennium Gallery, Sheffield (UK)