Spotlight on The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2020 Winners

We were delighted to welcome The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2020 to Basingstoke's Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in October 2020. If you didn’t manage to catch the show you can take a 3D tour of the gallery by clicking below!

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Over the next weeks we'll be taking a closer look at some of the works in this wonderful exhibition. This week we present the winners and some of the judges’ thoughts.

Shortlisted artworks and the winners were selected by: Louis Wise, art critic and Sunday Times writer, Gill Saunders, Senior Curator at the V&A Museum, Tara McKinney Marinus, Visual Arts Exhibitions Manager at Hampshire Cultural Trust and artists Ishbel Myerscough and Paul Newland NEAC RWS.

Mark Entwisle, Paper Bag, 44 x 35 cm, First Prize

The First Prize went British painter Mark Entwisle (born 1961) for Paper Bag. All the judges felt it was a standout winner. Gill Saunders said, “The artist makes something spellbinding and beautiful from distinctly unpromising subject matter – a paper bag sitting on a wonky table in a bare nondescript room.” The quality of light and the delicacy of handling brings a melancholy and poignancy to the scene, which all the judges agreed was sensitively captured.

Katherine Jackson, Martha Resting, 39 x 34 cm, Young Artist Prize

22 year-old Katherine Jackson (born 1998) realised the feat of winning the Young Artist Prize for the second year in a row. The selection panel changes every year and the competition judges don’t know the name of the artists when making their decisions, so none of the selectors knew this recent graduate had been awarded the same prize the previous year. Katherine dazzled again, this time with an honest and intimate portrait entitled Martha Resting. Tara McKinney Marinus said, “It has a lonely solitude, which because of the times felt distinctly touching to all the judges”.

Gideon Summerfield, The Eternal Evening, 39 x 51 cm, Second Prize

The Second Prize was awarded to London-based artist Gideon Summerfield (born 1995), for his classically-inspired, yet contemporary piece, The Eternal Evening. “We loved the voluptuous sensuality, the rich colour, and the elegiac mood of Gideon Summerfield’s The Eternal Evening, said Gill Saunders, “It was quite unlike anything else submitted this year and won unanimous approval and enthusiasm from the judges.”.

Jennifer McRae, West End Summer, 76 x 56 cm, Third Prize

Scottish portrait painter and printmaker Jennifer McRae (born 1959) took home the Third Prize for her work, West End Summer. It was remarkable for its fresh colours, tight frame and audacious use of perspective. A bird’s eye view of a London interior, this painting demonstrates the artist’s playful mastery of watercolour as a medium, mixing several patterns and textures, from the rattan chair and the carpet to the sitter’s outfit and the objects carefully accumulated in the background. “I felt the studied togetherness that many of us have had recently, locked in with the ones we love”, commented Ishbel Myerscough.

The Willis Museum is currently closed due to national restriction. Please check opening dates through our website before travelling.

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