Mall Galleries and Foundation Derbyshire are pleased to announce the ninth winner of the Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award, one of the largest art prizes for an emerging artist in the UK. Glasgow-based artist Max Gimson (b. 1990) will take up the nine-month residency in Derbyshire, at Banks Mill, Derby, as he works towards two solo exhibitions: one at Derby Museum & Art Gallery, the other at Mall Galleries in London.
The biennial award brings a rising artist to Derbyshire to produce and exhibit a body of work inspired by the county’s landscape, heritage and people. In order to do so, Max will receive a bursary of £18,000 over the nine-month residency period, the use of a studio, expenses up to £3,000, and on-going support, mentoring, and professional development and teaching opportunities within the University of Derby’s BA (Hons) Fine Art programme.
The continuing theme of the award is ‘A Sense of Place’, about which Max says: ‘‘‘A Sense of Place’ as a theme embodies everything that I try to achieve in my paintings. The works I make are a ‘feeling out’ of my immediate environment. Encounters and experiences that hang around like psychological barbs in my thoughts end up informing anything from the narrative and figurative forms in my work, to more intangible qualities like mood and passages of colour”.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art in 2019, Max says about his work more broadly: “I’m interested in the temporal qualities of painting as a medium, how a painted surface can be fast and visually impactful and also slow, revealing itself over prolonged viewing through the use of gesture and materiality, somewhat like sensing the histories of a location, overlapping and interplaying into a present moment, through architecture, people and nature.”
Rachael Grime, Chief Executive of Foundation Derbyshire, says: “We are delighted that Max is joining us as the ninth recipient of the award. 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 will run from 1 October 2023 to 30 June 2024, following which Max’s solo, selling exhibitions will be held at Derby Museum & Art Gallery and Mall Galleries, London, between July 2024 and February 2025.
Previous winners of the Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award have included Ed Burkes (2019/20), 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).