LONDON.- The winner of the prestigious Aspect Prize, the premier award for Scottish artists and one of Britains largest independently funded art prizes, is to be announced at a reception at The Fleming Collection in London on 11 January 2010. Four of Scotlands most talented contemporary artists have been shortlisted for the prize and the winner will take away £10,000 in addition to the £5,000 that each of them has already received. Works by the four artists Patricia Cain, Alec Galloway, Paul Kennedy and Scot Sinclair will be exhibited for sale at The Fleming Collection at 13 Berkeley Street, London W1 from 12-16 January 2010. A painting by the winning artist will be selected for inclusion in The Fleming Collections permanent collection.
It is the first time in The Aspect Prizes seven-year history that the award ceremony and subsequent exhibition have been held at The Fleming Collection, which began life as a corporate collection and has evolved into the only museum entirely devoted to Scottish art in the United Kingdom. "We are delighted that The Fleming Collection is on board for this year's prize," says Charles Jamieson, chairman and co-founder of the award. Not only does it have a pre-eminent collection of Scottish art, it has a wonderful centrally located gallery in London, which is quite different from the commercial gallery spaces in which we have exhibited in previous years. It is a fantastic opportunity for all concerned."
Selina Skipwith, Keeper of Art at The Fleming Collection, who is a member of The Aspect Prize judging panel, says: We are delighted to be involved in this important award which encourages contemporary Scottish art. This is in tune with The Fleming Collections policy of supporting and buying the work of upcoming Scottish artists.
The Aspect Prize is supported by Aspect Capital Limited, a London-based systematic investment manager, and is one of the largest prizes for painting in the UK with a total fund of £30,000 (The Turner Prize fund now stands at £40,000). To enter The Aspect Prize artists must be Scottish or permanently based in Scotland and must not have had a solo show in the London area during the last six years. There is no age limit. This year 157 submissions were received and the four finalists were announced at Paisley Museum and Art Gallery last June. The prize is organised in conjunction with Paisley Art Institute.
This years finalists are a former lawyer, a renowned glassmaker, a community artist and a former building labourer. They are:
Patricia Cain, 46, from Glasgow. Newcastle-born Cain attended art college for a year in the1980s but then trained as a solicitor. She moved to Glasgow in 2001 and, although qualified to practise law in Scotland, she has worked as an artist for the last five years. Last year she was awarded a doctorate by Glasgow School of Art. Her recent work focuses on the development along the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow.
Alec Galloway, 44, Skelmorlie, Inverclyde. Known for his skill as a stained glass artist, Greenock-born Galloway has recently made a name for himself as a painter. His glasswork is in many prominent buildings around the world including the Burj Al Arab, the tallest hotel in the world, in Dubai. In 2005 he established the Watersongs project in Greenock, a public arts initiative incorporating art into the regeneration of the town's waterfront. He is head of the Architectural Glass department at Edinburgh College of Art.
Paul Kennedy, 27, Glasgow. Kennedy is involved with community-based arts projects in Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire and Ayrshire. This experience has fed into his work and recently, while working at the Red Road flats in Springburn, he found himself in Springburn Park, looking at the ruins of the once grand Winter Gardens. The sense of nostalgia and sadness that this inspired led to his winning portrait, Springburn Hopes, which depicts his young cousin Jamie.
Scot Sinclair, 42, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Sinclair has travelled a long way since growing up in a tower block in Johnstone, Renfrewshire. After more than a decade spent working on building sites and in factories, he realised his dream of going to art school by studying at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen. Since then, he has lived in the United States, firstly in Illinois, where he gained a Master of Fine Arts degree, moving on to teaching positions at the University of Missouri and the University of Louisiana, where he is currently an assistant professor.