Dame Emma Thompson sponsors art award for emerging women painters

PUBLISHED: 10:51 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:51 20 May 2019

Judy Clarkson, winner of the 2018 Holly Bush Emerging women artists award picture courtesy Ecclestone Art

Judy Clarkson, winner of the 2018 Holly Bush Emerging women artists award picture courtesy Ecclestone Art


Entries are now open for the Holly Bush Emerging Woman painter Prize with a hanging spot in Burgh House and £1,500 up for grabs, donated by the West Hampstead actor and activist

Dame Emma Thompson Picture: PADame Emma Thompson Picture: PA

West Hampstead actor and activist Dame Emma Thompson has sponsored an award boosting the careers of female artists.

The Holly Bush Emerging Woman painter Prize - named after the Hampstead pub which supports it - is now in its third year.

Aiming to give a leg up to women artists, entrants submit a watercolour, oil, pastel or acrylic painting along with up to 300 words saying how the £1,500 prize money would develop their career.

Sue Ecclestone of Ecclestone Art, which runs the award said it was "a huge boost to have the endorsement and support of Dame Emma Thompson who is based a stone's throw from the London pub that bears the name of the prize".

"She has pledged to support the project in future years."

"This award aimed at emgerging women artists is gaining traction. Supported by their brewery Fullers, The Holly Bush team have wholeheartedly thrown themselves behind their patronage for this initiative and with the added support of Emma Thompson the prize looks set to go from strength to strength."

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Last year's winner Judy Clarkson has used the fund to start a series of paintings of physical-theatre actor, Carli Jolie.

She is also working on her first portrait commission, fulfilling a long-held dream of a career in portraiture.

"​The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize has given has given so much to me as an artist," she says.

"The money has enabled me to invest in materials and studio space and embark on large-scale oil paintings of a more ambitious scope than my previous work, dealing with combined figures placed within a complex environment."

Entries for the 2019 award are now open and a judging panel that includes Burgh House director Martin Francis and Highgate artist Sue Spaull will narrow down entries to 21 artists who will exhibit at Burgh House in August.

Entrants must be over 18, living and working in the UK or the EU, and must never have exhibited in London before.

The award will go to the painter who has demonstrated exceptional potential to become an established professional artist. They will also get a hanging spot at the Flux Exhibition in London.

Runners up will earn £500 prize money plus £250 vouchers from co-sponsors Cass Art.

The deadline for entries is August 3 and further details can be found at ecclestoneartagency.com

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