Open prize-winners at Ilminster

WINNERS of the prizes at the 2019 open exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre at the Meeting House will be celebrating their success in a special show at the arts centre until 25th January.

The eight artists include Devon-based Elaine Dixon, who won the top prize with her enigmatic charcoal drawing Party Time. She says of her experience of being an Open winner: “Many artists have difficulty finding a gallery that will take their work, particularly if it’s not of the commercial norm. My drawings/paintings fall into this bracket, so I occasionally enter open submission exhibitions as an opportunity to show them. I did wonder if they would be thought too wacky; instead I was pleased to be part of the selection and utterly amazed to be the overall prize winner. This has given me a great boost and encouragement to continue with my own personal artistic journey.  So, Ilminster, thank you very much indeed.”

John Davey, a Dorset-based sculptor who won the 3D prize for his stone carving Shield III, takes his inspiration from natural and man-made forms, as well as connections with the language of the ancients through their mazes, standing stones, geometric designs and spirals, as well as mathematical sequences.

There’ll also be work by Samantha Dodd, who won the coveted People’s Choice Award with her stunning painting of a diving kingfisher. Sam works from her studio in rural west Dorset, where she creates vibrant, acrylic paintings of British wildlife. Her inspiration comes from visits to RSPB reserves, wildlife trust areas and walking the fields.

The other exhibitors are joint runners-up Nicky Clarke and Michael Tarr and the three highly commended painters Philip Dudman, Chris Dunseath and Nancy Farmer.

Pictured: Diving Kingfisher, by Samantha Dodd.