Andrew Gifford awarded top prize in ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2015

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Andrew Gifford awarded top prize in ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2015

ING Commercial Banking is delighted to award Andrew Gifford the £5000 ING Prize for his oil painting 'The Tyne at Wallsend Study 1', one of a series of northern scenes that the artist entered into this year’s exhibition.

Andrew was born in Yorkshire and grew up outside Middlesbrough. He studied fine art at Newcastle University, graduating in 1992, and subsequently moved to France. Years later, a yearning to return to his roots got the better of him: ‘I longed to spend a bit of time in the northeast to remind myself where I’m from and reconnect with it.’ In April 2014, he returned to Wallsend, revisiting the streets he had spent so much time painting as a student. “One day,” he explains, “with an hour left of spring sunshine I moved down to the river and the industrial area to start a painting. Something magical happened to the river and the sky as the concrete jetties and warehouses turned the colour of molten steel from a blast furnace.” His series of studies, including Study 1, formed the starting point for four large studio paintings produced that same spring.  The Discerning Eye Founder’s Purchase Prize £2500, awarded by the Discerning Eye, an educational charity which encourages a wider understanding and appreciation of the visual arts, has been divided between two artists: Chris Bushe for his painting 'Summer Surf, Ardnave', and Tom Hughes for his work 'Studio corner with skull and coloured cubes'. Other prizewinners included Dion Salvador Lloyd (Discerning Eye Chairman’s Purchase Prize, £1000), Mark Hearld (Meynell Fenton Prize, £1000) and (Benton Purchase Prize, £1000), Rose Eva (Humphreys Purchase Prize £750), Delia Tournay-Godfrey (Lincoln Seligman Purchase Prize, £500), Elizabeth Sophia-White (Discerning Eye Sculpture and 3D Work Prize) and Alison Lumb (St Cuthberts Mill Award). The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition is a show of small works - including paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings and photographs - independently selected by six prominent figures from the art world. The dynamic selection panel this year comprised the founder of iconic British ceramics brand, Emma Bridgewater; respected fashion designer-turned-sculptor, Nicole Farhi, and actor, Larry Lamb, known for roles in EastEnders and Gavin & Stacey. They were joined by three respected art world professionals: Director of Visual Communications at Somerset House, Stephen Doherty; Editor of Artists & Illustrators Magazine, Steve Pill; and Gallery Director of The New Art Gallery, Walsall, Stephen Snoddy. The selectors have each curated their own section of the exhibition, drawing their selection from artists they have personally invited to exhibit, as well as artworks submitted through an open call. The result is six smaller exhibitions within one, each with very distinct personalities. Through this method too, works of lesser-known artists hang alongside those of more established artists helping to connect hundreds of new artists with new audiences. Exhibition information: All selected works (457, by 197 artists) will be on display at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1 until 22 November 2015. Open from 10am – 5pm daily. Admission Free. Nearest Tube: Charing Cross. All works are for sale:

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