DIFFERENT views of the world were shared as artists from across the country came together to compete and raise money for two good causes.
The final of the Sussex Artist Award was held at Pallant House Gallery, in North Pallant, Chichester, on Thursday night with Elspeth Ross named the winner for her work Vintage Blouse.
The competition raises funds for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Chichester, and Outside In, a project started by the gallery in 2006 which offers a platform to those who face barriers to the art world because of health issues or learning difficulties.
Speaking after she was announced the winner, Elspeth said: “It is really exciting. I never in a million years thought I would win.
“I was just pleased to get into the exhibition.”
A total of 385 entries were submitted nationally to the competition, of which 60 were selected and 40 were on show at the gallery on Thursday night.
Elspeth’s photograph was created by placing paper coated in light-sensitive chemicals over a blouse in the sunshine.
As winner of the competition, Elspeth, a photography teacher at Kensington and Chelsea Further Education College, will now have a solo show in the Studio at Pallant House Gallery in 2014.
“I have never had to do an exhibition on my own before,” she said. “I will be keeping myself very busy.”
Second prize in the competition went to Hugh Hamrick for his painting, Green Chair and Owls, Interior.
“I am really delighted,” said Hugh from Rackham.
“I paint, but I hardly ever go in for showing my work. I saw the article in the paper and thought I would give it a try, I liked the idea, it was for a good cause and was with Pallant House.
“I was so pleased when I was selected, I had no expectation of getting second place.”
Hugh said the result would ‘spur’ him on to enter more exhibitions in the future.
In third place was Josephine Goddard who said she ‘really loved it’ when her name was called for her work The Tragedy of the Titanic.
“I am really pleased and I really enjoyed doing my painting of The Tragedy of the Titanic,” said Josephine, who attends the Aldingbourne Trust Creative Arts Studio in Bognor Regis.
“Everyone knows what happened, all those people died on the Titanic but there are lots of stories. I did meet someone who was a relative of the actual captain.
“Also My Heart Will Go On is my favourite love song.
“You know how much pain and heart was going through that, actually seeing your friends and family dying right before your eyes.”
Highly commended were Sue England, with The Black Dog, and Deborah Richards, with Shipping off Cowes: Dusk III.
“I am absolutely delighted,” said Deborah.
“I love Pallant House Gallery because I am particularly keen on British 20th-century art.”
The works were chosen by director of Pallant House Gallery Gregory Perry and John Gill, former director of the Brighton Photo Biennial and chairman of the British School at Rome.
“We were both impressed by the proficiency of the artists and the variety of the selection which reflects the vibrant art community in Sussex and beyond,” said Gregory.
“While making judgements on works of art is not easy as there is always a subjective element, we identified what we thought were the strongest pieces fairly readily.”
Agreeing, John Gill said: “When judging, you have to try to be as objective as possible, though inevitably there is a degree of personal enjoyment that comes into the decision-making.
“Much of the time we were responding to the clear pleasure in making the work, as well as the skill, colour, technique – and an element of being surprised.”
Proceeds from the competition and the exhibition, which runs until August 4, will be split between Outside In and St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
“We started the competition with Pallant House a few years ago,” said hospice chief executive Alison Moorey.
“It has just been a great partnership. It is a great celebration of working together in the community and raising some money for both worthwhile charities at the same time.
“Each year we see a great variety of works, I don’t know how the judges make up their minds.”