The winner of the Liverpool Art Prize 2012 is Robyn Woolston
Tomo wins the People’s Choice Award
Robyn will be awarded £2000 and a solo display at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery in 2013.
Liverpool-based Robyn Woolston, a filmmaker, photographer and installation artist who originally hails from the Midlands, is passionate about people, relationships and the way the world works, which is reflected in her work that also raises questions concerning social, economic and ecological perspectives.
Robyn began her career as an artist and film-maker before becoming more involved in installation work. Acutely aware of the world around her, Robyn once travelled to the Sinai Desert to embark on a three-day solo fasting experience with only a sleeping bag and 16 bottles of water for company, and it is this intuitive connection with the world and its inhabitants that Robyn uses to fuel her work.
Robyn’s work at the Liverpool Art Prize exhibition is, by her own admission, her most ambitious yet: “It’s my most ambitious work in terms of the opportunities and constraints presented by the space. I’ve been working with the Accumulator Tower at Metal so I’m dealing with shifting, and at times ephemeral, light. Plus the height of approximately eleven metres offered up some exciting engineering conundrums.”
On receiving the prestigious award Robyn said: “I am utterly overjoyed and overwhelmed. It hasn’t sunk in yet but winning the prize will hopefully open up new opportunities for me, giving me the chance to work in other interesting spaces with lots of different materials. I think it will enable me to widen my area of work.”
This year’s winner was drawn from shortlisted artists: Wallasey based audio and installation Alan Dunn, graffiti artist and painterTomo, and Jon Barraclough and Mike Carney from The Drawing Paper (a not-for-profit, independently published, newspaper-based gallery focussed on contemporary drawing practice) and of course Robyn herself.
Visitors to Metal at Edge Hill Station have also voted on their favourite works. The £1000 People’s Choice Award was awarded toTomo.
Tomo said: “Just to be part of the exhibition is the real prize. Most artists on the short list are a lot more established than me so it’s a real honour.”
Jenny Porter, Curator at Metal said: “This year’s Liverpool Art Prize is a great example of the exciting and dynamic art practices that are emerging from Liverpool at the moment. All the artists have made fantastic work and the exhibition has been really popular.”
Two new residency awards open to regional and national artists were also presented – the Metal Studio Award was presented to Anna Mulhearn with a prize including supported studio space for a period of one year at Edge Hill Station, and the Metal International Residency was awarded to Claire Weetman whose prize includes a month long residency in Shanghai in partnership with Shanghai Art School.
Prior to the ceremony, the panel of expert judges including Mike Stubbs, CEO and Director of FACT, Laura Davis, Arts Editor of the Liverpool Daily Post, Sook-Kyung Lee, Curator at Tate Liverpool, last year’s winner artist Markus Soukup, and Paul Hyland a representative from Duncan Sheard Glass, one of the exhibition’s sponsors, with Ian Jackson of ArtinLiverpool.com as (non-voting) chair met at Metal to assess the exhibited works together and made their final decision on who was to win this year’s prize. The artists have all created their pieces on site and some work specifically responds to and resonates with the unusual architecture of the gallery.
Robert Robson, Artistic Director at the Lowry presented the award. He said: “Metal is a remarkable space and Liverpool Art Prize is a fantastic celebration of the contemporary art scene in Liverpool.”
An after-party was held at LEAF on Bold Street, attended by the artists, judges and those involved in running this increasingly influential art prize.
Artinliverpool.com founded the Liverpool Art Prize in early 2008, it was one of the first major visual art events in the Capital of Culture year. The Art Prize is now a firmly established part of Liverpool’s annual arts diary, acknowledging the outstanding achievements of local artists and their contribution to contemporary art. It aims to promote national awareness and discussion of contemporary art in the city and to support individual artists in developing their practice.
This year the exhibition is accompanied by a huge amount of complementary activity curated and produced by ten artists’ studios and groups from across Liverpool who have partnered with the Prize to present Liverpool Art Month – a showcase of the city’s artists. See http://liverpoolartprize.com/?
Nominations for next year’s Liverpool Art Prize open on 17 September – see www.liverpoolartprize.com for more details
Images – Copyright McCoy Wynne
THE LIVERPOOL ART PRIZE 2012
Continues until Saturday 9 June 2012
Metal at Edge Hill Station, Tunnel Road, Liverpool, L7 6ND
Open – Tue – Fri 2pm – 6pm, Sat 12pm – 4pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
Viewings can also be made by appointment. Call  707 2277