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Ashington painter named winner of Woodhorn Museum’s Open Exhibition 2022

14/02/2022

Ashington painter named winner of Woodhorn Museum’s Open Exhibition 2022

Ted Taylor, a former mechanical fitter from Ashington, Northumberland, has been named overall winner of Museums Northumberland’s Open Exhibition 2022: A Portrait of Northumberland, which opens at Woodhorn Museum on Saturday 19 February.

The annual exhibition, which was postponed in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, invites artists from across the county and beyond to submit artworks based on a chosen theme. An expert selection panel then decides which works will appear as part of the final Open Exhibition.

Each year, the panel selects an overall winner and award highly commended to a small number of artists. Ted’s work, which depicts his father sitting on his favourite chair in his front room, was chosen as the winning entrant out of 160 submitted artworks.

The three highly commended artists are Luke McTaggart, a landscape painter from Amble, Northumberland; Gillian Lee Smith, an artist from Broomhill, Northumberland; and Marc Jeffrey, a Graphic Designer and amateur artist from Whitely Bay in North Tyneside.

The theme for this year’s Open Exhibition is ‘A Portrait of Northumberland’. Whilst it was selected before the coronavirus pandemic began, it recognises how COVID-19 has limited people’s opportunity to travel and narrowed the variety of compositions available to artists.

Rowan Brown, chief executive of Museums Northumberland, said: “We’re extremely proud to present the largest open exhibition in Northumberland, offering talented artists – both amateur and professional – the chance to display and sell their work, and showcase their artwork to new audiences.

“140 artworks will be displayed at Woodhorn Museum as part of this year’s Open Exhibition, with each one giving a unique perspective on the theme, A Portrait of Northumberland.”

The selection panel for this year’s Open Exhibition comprises portrait artist Leanne Pearce; Programmes and Learning Manager at Museums Northumberland, Liz Ritson; and winner of the Contemporary British Painting Prize, Narbi Price.

Narbi Price said: “All the judges were genuinely moved by Ted’s work, which is called ‘Remembered’. There’s a loving quality to the handling of the paint that really jumps out. It’s a very honest, direct and powerful painting.”

Leanne Pearce said: “The quality of the work entered this year has been of a very high standard, which has made it extremely difficult to select the final works to display in the open exhibition. We had to pick an extra highly commended work this year because the submissions have been so impressive.”

Ted Taylor, overall winner of Open Exhibition 2022: A Portrait of Northumberland, said: “My work, ‘Remembered’, is a painting of my father who sadly passed away recently. The painting was started when he was alive, and then gradually completed some time later. In the picture my dad is looking at his Navy News magazines, contently reminiscing about his exploits as a sailor onboard the aircraft carriers where he helped to maintain the ships aeroplanes.”

In addition to the awards given by the selection panel, members of the public will also be able to vote for their favorite artwork throughout the exhibition’s run at Woodhorn. A special ‘People’s Choice’ award will be presented to the artist that receives the most public votes when Open Exhibition 2022: A Portrait of Northumberland closes on Sunday 24 April. Many of the individual artworks are also for sale and will be available for people to take home when the exhibition ends.

Rowan Brown continued: “I’m extremely grateful to our principal funders, Northumberland County Council and Arts Council England, and to all the artists who applied to exhibit with us this year. It promises to be an inspirational and thought-provoking show.”

Open Exhibition 2022: A Portrait of Northumberland opens at Woodhorn Museum on Saturday 19 February and runs until Sunday 24 April 2022.

Entry to Woodhorn Museum is free for children aged 0-16, with an admission charge of £7 for adults and £6 for concessions. All passes are valid for unlimited visits for 12 months from the date of issue.

Woodhorn Museum is part of Northumberland’s museum service, Museums Northumberland, which cares for sites of historic interest and collections across the county.

Museums Northumberland comprises Woodhorn Museum in Ashington, Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, Hexham Old Gaol and Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum.

For more information about Museums Northumberland, visit www.museumsnorthumberland.org.uk.

-ENDS-

For more information, images or interview requests, please contact David Brookbanks on david@ludlowstreet.co.uk or 07948 563 612.