Announcement of eighth winner of prestigious art prize in Derbyshire

Wednesday, 10th April 2019

Foundation Derbyshire has announced the winner of the eighth Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award, one of the largest art awards in the country. Artist Ed Burkes will take up his residency in Derby in October 2019.

The biennial Award brings a rising artist to Derbyshire to produce work inspired by the county’s landscape, heritage and people. The continuing theme of the Award is ‘Sense of Place’, inspired by the people, landscape and heritage of Derbyshire.

Since graduating from Falmouth University in 2016 with a First Class Honours BA in Fine Art, Ed’s work has been selected for a number of exhibitions, including Saatchi Invest in Art and FBA Futures 2017 and he has been shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries and won the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Travel to Italy Award in 2016.

Ed has said about his work:

“It is sparked from a commonplace drawing or situation: A friend drinking coffee, a buddy pulling up his socks, someone browsing in the fruit and veg section of Tesco express. Through the process of painting these preliminary considerations begin to wobble out of sync to a point where their distinctiveness as a primary source slips away.” The bright colours and bold compositions give the everyday scenes a mythic and heroic air.

In 2019, in a new collaboration between the Award and Mall Galleries, past exhibitors of FBA Futures, the UK’s largest annual survey of emerging figurative art, were invited to be considered for this exciting residency, which provides the successful artist with a nine-month residency, a bursary of £18,000, a studio, a contribution to the cost of materials and on-going support and mentoring from the University of Derby’s College of Arts. It is fast becoming one of the most coveted, prestigious and nationally recognised Art Awards in the UK.

During his residency, Ed will be based at the University of Derby’s Banks Mill Studios, from where he will produce a portfolio of new work for solo exhibitions at Derby Museum and Art Gallery and Mall Galleries in London. He will also contribute five days of teaching at the University of Derby’s College of Arts and lead a series of educational workshops in the community, supported by funding from Rolls-Royce plc. Collaboration with the University of Derby’s College of Arts, will enable art students to gain valuable insight from the experience and practices of a working artist.

Previous winners of the Award have included Eleanor Watson (2016/17), Kerri Pratt (2014/15), Bartholomew Beal (2012/13), Natalie Dowse (2007/08), Helena Ben Zenou (2005/06), Kerry Harker (2003/04) and Lewis Noble (2001/2).

Ed said:

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to spend nine months delving into the historical intrigues that Derbyshire has to offer. Engaging with the wider community of the contemporary art world with a teaching fellowship at Derby University is something I am incredibly excited by and can’t wait to get started. I am going to produce a large, ambitious, and historically grounded body of work from the premise ‘sense of place’ and will be looking to concretise and foster long term connections and relations.”

Rachael Grime, Chief Executive of Foundation Derbyshire said:

“We are delighted that Ed is joining us at this really exciting stage in the Award’s development. We can’t wait to see how he responds to our county and brings his exceptional talent to bear on the residency.”

The nine month residency runs from 1 October 2019 to 30 June 2020. The final exhibition will be held at Derby Museum and Art Gallery from September 2020 and at Mall Galleries, London in January 2021.

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