Paint Out Norwich 2017 saw over 200 works of art created by 37 artists, each in under 3 hours, across 3 days of Indian summer weather around the city. Wednesday night saw the Private View and Awards event packed out with a buzz around the unconventional yet contemporary, white-walled shelving, curated display of mostly unframed artworks. The ‘raw’, fresh off the easel, look embraces the fact that many of the paintings are literally still ‘wet’ and are sold to art lovers, in a giant white pizza-style box, as if freshly baked. Unlike other competitive reality shows and events, Paint Out is uncontrived, unpredictable, spontaneous public theatre, where you can truly ‘experience art, live!’
“2017 has been our most exciting year yet, not only in terms of the quality produced, but its diversity, and I have been blown away by the enthusiasm of the artists taking part. The event is as much about the art as the artists connecting with each other and the local community – they get three days of intensive art experience in a competitive environment, leaving as better artists, and with friends for life, and Norwich gains a living record of three days in October.” – James Colman
Paint Out Norwich 2017 Judges
The judges on the night, all of whom have links to Norwich or Norfolk, were Marcus Dickey-Horley (Curator of Access and Public Programmes who has worked at a number of major London galleries), Hugh Pilkington (Cley16 curator), and artist John Wonnacott, who also delivered a fascinating art talk “Confronting Appearances” on Tuesday.
The judging is a critical part of the event bringing an edgy critique and varied views of the paintings by art world specialists. The judges had to agree on the overall winner and individual media category winners. They were also able to nominate a commendation in their own right for a Judge’s Award prize from Cass Art:
- Marcus Dickey Horley, judge’s choice – Paul Alcock from Southend-On-Sea, “Looking Back”, at Mousehold Heath
- Hugh Pilkington, judge’s choice – Richard Bond of Norwich, “Indian Summer”, also at Mousehold Heath
- John Wonnacott, judge’s choice – Susan Field, also of Norwich, “Communication”, at Norwich Market
Overall Winner, Eloise O’Hare
First Prize of £500, donated by Leathes Prior, went to Norwich resident Eloise O’Hare for her watercolour and ink large painting of Norwich Station’s railway tracks, “Keeping Track of Time”. Eloise previously won Third Prize in 2015. Last Saturday, she also painted the spectators walking past and arriving at the VIP Directors entrance of the Norwich City v Hull City football match, at which some fans were wearing vintage Colman’s shirts. Ed Balls and Delia Smith, among others, feature in the painting and Delia came over to see herself in the large format painting. It is on show in the Cathedral Hostry 19-28 October, alongside the competition paintings.
Media Category Winners
Further prizes, sponsored by Strutt & Parker, were awarded in each of 5 categories:
Oils – Emily Faludy of Peckham, London, “Morning Illumination” on Riverside. Emily only went full-time as an artist 4 months ago and was “shocked but said that “life should be one long painting trip”.
Watercolour – Andrew Horrod, of Sutton in Surrey, “Five Past Four, Gunton Building”, painted outside NUA.
Mixed & Other Media (Acrylic, Pastel etc) – Ginny Bain, of Norwich, “Safety Railings onto the Wensum”, from Riverside
Illustration & Printing – Beverley Coraldean, who studied at Norwich School of Art and Design, “Café Britannia ~ A Sunny October Afternoon”, from Mousehold Heath. Beverley uses “a combination of architectural perspective drawings, detailed cityscapes and hand-drawn type to explore [her] love for cities”.
Nocturnes – Robert Nelmes, who also won the Royal Norfolk Show 2017 Paint Out, of Roydon near Diss, “Sasha Eating His Chips”, outside Grosvenor Fish Bar.
The Spirit of Plein Air award once again went to Norfolk-based American artist John Behm for his watery endeavour, positioning himself in kilt and bare feet in the River Wensum to get the best angle of view to paint Bishop’s Bridge.
A further prize, the Spirit of Norwich, was awarded to Alex Atkinson for his “Under the Elm” on Elm Hill. The artist, who lives in Norwich, clearly knows his city well.
Paul Gadenne, who travelled up from Kent, as in past years, just to join in the public paint out, won the public entry prize for the Ketts Heights and Mousehold Heath event on Sunday, for his painting “Norwich Cathedral”.
“Paint Out is an art event aiming to redefine 21st century en plein air art practice, evolving the genre to reflect our contemporary world. We are ambitious in our aim to deliver the most innovative plein air art event in the UK, where artists, collectors and public observers are all treated to a dynamic live art experience.” – James Colman
The paintings remain on view at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry as part of the Hostry Festival and Paint Out exhibition until 28 October.