The 2009 EAC Art Awards exhibition opened on Tuesday 1st December, at The Bankside Gallery, in perfect December weather.
It was fascinating to see the real artworks for the first time, after many, many days of viewing them online. On the whole, the colour reproduction online was remarkably accurate, with one or two notable exceptions, but nothing can prepare one for the size and drama of some of the artworks: Richard Benjamin’s “Big Market Newcastle”, Hugh Cannings’ “A Shop in Provence, Mick Beale’s “Forest Walk”, Nickie Jones’ “Sophie”, and Valerie Biddulph’s “Untitled 1” , to mention just five, were all larger than life and so much more eye-catching than they had even been on screen.
Other artworks were far more intimate and required the viewer to get up very close to appreciate the fine detail, eg. three very different but beautifully intricate embroideries, by Judy Dames, Mary Roscoe and Joan Speare.
This year EAC arranged for professional filming and photography of the event, and a number of the afternoon and evening visitors were interviewed about their work. The resulting video and photographic record will be made available on the website before Christmas.
The following prizes were awarded during the evening event:
The Girlings Prize for Landscape / Seascape to Alan Bowering for “Tranquillity – Mevagissey”
The Caring Homes Prize for Still Life to Judy Dames, for “ A Beane not Open, a Beane Open”
The Peverel Prize for Watercolour to Barbara Hughes for “Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic”
The EAC Prize for Drawing to Nancy Howie for “Ex Libris”
The EAC Prize for Oil Painting to Sarah Maria Rhys for “Last Dance”
The EAC Prize for Portraiture to Sandra Smith-Gordon for “Self Portrait at 70”
The EAC Prize for 3D work to Jeff Perks for “Chicken in a Basket”
The EAC Prize for Photography to Carol Allen for “The Point””
The Leisure Painter Subscription Prize to Gillian Flack for “Onions and Blue Vase”
The Artist Subscription Prize to Brian Collins for “A Shady Spot, Luxor”,
The Earnley Concourse Prize to William Belshaw for “Making Sandcastles”
The EAC People’s Choice Award to Gordon Morley for “Downham Village, Lancashire”,
The Angela Farnell Memorial Prize to Richard Benjamin for “Big Market, Newcastle”.
Our grateful thanks to all our prize sponsors - Abbeyfield, Girlings Retirement Options, Caring Homes, Peverel Retirement, Earnley Concourse, The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines - for their generosity, and particularly to Abbeyfield for also sponsoring the preview event.
This, the 16th EAC Art Awards is proving itself to be a resounding success, with one of the highest entry rates in recent years, and the high standard of work, as always, impressing and delighting all those who participate, not only by visiting the real exhibition in London, but also by viewing online.
And the fun is not over yet! Keep your eyes on the website. The new video of the preview event, and a selection of photos will shortly be uploaded.
Don’t forget, you can still visit the exhibition between now and Sunday 6th December. The Bankside Gallery is open from 11am until 6pm each day and admission is free. The closest tube station is Southwark.
A number of pictures are already sold, but it is still possible to buy excellent original works at very reasonable prices!