Iain Andrews, The Eat Me, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 60x50cm

The prize for weirdest trophy goes to . . . Bill Woodrow for his ‘Hammerhead’ sculpture for the Marmite Prize. Forget slender gold statuettes, this object would grace any mantlepiece.

The Marmite Prize for Painting is a non-profit project established in 2006 by painters Marcus Cope and Stephanie Moran. The Marmite Prize for painting was first held at the Residence Gallery in Hackney in 2006, dedicated to Georg Baselitz all the works were exhibited upside down. The 2008 exhibition, held at studio1.1 in Shoreditch had an along the ceiling hang dedicated to Oliver Kossack. The project questions the validity of art prizes that evaluate creative activity with the intention of assigning a monetary value to the ‘winning’ artwork.  As an alternative to a cash prize, the winning painter takes away the marmite, a hand-made vessel, which is awarded by the judges in recognition of artistic excellence. The judges of the most recent competition were painters Marcus Harvey, Dan Hays, Mali Morris RA and 2008 Marmite Prize winner Dai Roberts.

The winner of the 2010 prize was Iain Andrews who briefly appeared on the BBC’s School of Saatchi. No luck there but his abstract acrylic paintings based on classical and religious imagery have attracted attention elsewhere, even earning him in the Financial Times, that dubious tag ‘one to watch’. The Marmite runners-up each received a pat on the back.

Posted by Robert Armstrong


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