Introducing the Prize Winners

The London Group Open 2023 prize winners and their reflections on winning.

The London Group were delighted to award eight prizes worth over £10,000 to non-member artists at the Prize Giving event on Thursday 16 November 2023

The Cornelissen Materials Art Prize, worth £500: Awarded to Lesley Bunch, for Shadow Sculpture 29

“I had always hoped to be selected for the London Group Open, and for that to happen, and then be awarded a prize, is such a huge honour. The Open is always a wonderful testament to the aims and nurturing nature of the Group; the show celebrating diverse, ground-breaking practice, with thought-provoking curatorial approach. I am so thankful to be awarded the Cornelissen Materials Art Prize. Walking into Cornelissen is a painter’s dream, with its dizzying array of colour and every brush that can be imagined, that you didn’t know you needed! It was a great pleasure to meet Nicholas Walt at Prize Giving, and I’m so excited to be back at Cornelissen adding new hues to my palette.” Lesley Bunch

Shadow Sculpture 29 is an oil on wooden panel painting representing shadows of borrowed objects with significant meaning from their lenders. In result, the work portrays a shadow that has formed its own entity.

Photos: Lesley Bunch with Nicholas Cornelissen and “Shadow Sculpture 29” oil on wooden panel, 50 x 50cm

The Schauerman Prize for Digital Art, worth £500: Awarded to Jonathan Armour for Sleeve Shock

“In my creative exploration of the body I am trying to devise digital techniques which make the pixel as visceral as oil paint on canvas. This prize and the feedback from so many during the exhibition suggests that I am achieving that in some way. These moments of recognition help ignite the long periods of simply making and working. Thank you so much.” Jonathan Armour

Sleeve Shock is a time-based digital work representing an interplay between both oil painting and digital mediums to investigate the human body.

‘‘We were blown away by the strange beauty of ‘Sleeve Shock,’ and Jonathan Armour’s remarkable 3D video techniques. We look forward to seeing what he does next,’’ shares Nicola Schauerman, Genetic Moo.

Photos: Jonathan Armour receiving the Schauerman Prize for Digital Art from Nicola Schauerman, Genetic Moo LG and “Sleeve Shock” (cropped still)

The Chelsea Arts Club Trust Stan Smith Award for an Artist Under 35, worth £1,000: Awarded to Ciana Taylor for Sex Education for Girls

“As a young video artist, winning the Chelsea Arts Club Trust Award for an Artist under 35 is a huge honour. It is so incredibly validating (and surreal) to be chosen from such a talented group of artists, especially by such prestigious and admirable organisations. I am so grateful!

” ‘Sex Education for Girls’ is a deeply personal film which I made for those who have been failed by that which should have protected them. To receive this level of support behind a topic so dear to me is incredibly special.” Ciana Taylor

Sex Education for Girls is a moving image work replicating an Irish sex education film from the ‘80s, in combination with distorted realities, forming an interrogation into the artist’s personal story.

Photos: Ciana Taylor receiving the Chelsea Arts Club Trust Stan Smith Award from Gill Ingham LG and film still from “Sex Education for Girls”, 8m 55s (cropped still)

The Vic Kuell Memorial Prize for Innovation, worth £1,000: Awarded to Emilia Gonzalez for Lean In

“I feel so honoured and thankful to have received the Vic Kuell memorial prize. Knowing of his legacy and dedication to The London Group, and his generous contributions that have enabled the development of many other artists, I am especially aware of the privilege that it is to see my work in this context. This show has furthered my desire to engage in conversation with the practices of the wonderful and powerful artists who are actively redefining how art can interrupt our expectations and become more impactful with the support of the collective.” Emilia Gonzalez

Lean In is a mixed media installation of clay, rubber and vapour-distilled scent, delving into themes of identity and the body.

Photos: Emilia Gonzalez receiving the Vic Kuell Memorial Prize for Innovation from Jockel Liess LG and “Lean In” clay, rubber, vapour distilled scent 150×150 (variable)

The JPES Partnership Prize, worth £1,000: Awarded to Stef Will for Untitled (Medicine Corrupted 2)

“It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to be selected to exhibit with The London Group, and a privilege to see my work sit amongst so many remarkable works of art. I feel profoundly grateful and very proud to have received the prestigious JPES Partnership Art Prize for ‘Untitled (Medicine Corrupted 2)’, and such supportive feedback and validation for my work. I am touched that this challenging work was recognised, as it is may not be the easiest to digest, but is very close to my heart. The show certainly amplified my aspiration to continue the meaningful conversations I had an opportunity to start with members of The London Group.” Stef Will

Untitled (Medicine Corrupted 2) presents an intersection of art and science to explore the human condition.

“We have long been a proud supporter of the arts community and are very pleased to sponsor the Partnership Prize once again,’’ says Miles Donohoe, Managing Director, JPES Partners. ‘‘The London Group’s ongoing commitment to providing a showcase for emerging artists plays a crucial role in giving a vital platform to new talent. We are delighted to be able to present our prize to Stef Will at the Prize Giving evening.’’

Photos: Stef Will receiving the JPES Partnership Prize Miles Donohoe, Managing Director, JPES Partners and “Untitled (Medicine Corrupted 2)” dye-sublimation print on aluminium, 70 x 50 cm

The Jeff Lowe Sculpture Prize, worth £1,000: Awarded to Peter Newell-Price, for Facade

“I am delighted and honoured to have been awarded the prize and hugely grateful to Jeff Lowe to be selected for it.” Peter Newell-Price

Facade, where the physical properties of carbon fibre bring the notion of a graphite pencil line into a three-dimensional sculpture.

Photos: Peter Newell-Price receiving The Jeff Lowe Sculpture Prize from Paul Bonomini LG and “Facade” carbon fibre, 93 x76 cm

The Felix & Spear Exhibition Prize: A solo exhibition at the prestigious Felix & Spear Gallery in London, awarded to Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson for Every Fibre

“A huge thanks to The London Group for facilitating such a brilliant exhibition and showcasing the work of so many talented artists; it’s an honour to be one of them. I’m very grateful to The London Group and Felix & Spear gallery for appreciating, ‘Every Fibre’, a piece of mine which is deeply personal and complex.

Undoubtedly, exhibiting with Felix & Spear opens new perspectives for my artistic career and creative growth. I’m looking forward to working on my solo show, please come to see it!” Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson

Every Fibre is a video work featuring stitched together items of clothing from people the artist missed, capturing solitude and presence.

Cameron Amiri, Director, Felix & Spear says, ‘‘Ania’s short film is hauntingly beautiful, touching and made a powerful impression, particularly in the current troubled times we’re living through…’’

Photos: Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson receiving the Felix & Spear Exhibition Prize from Amanda Loomes, President of The London Group and “Every Fibre”, 3m 26s (cropped still)

The London Group Prize, worth £2,000 was awarded to Bristol-based artist Niamh Collins for Sugar Rush

“After a bit of a difficult year, being selected was a huge boost to my confidence as an artist.  Being awarded the prize was the icing on the cake!  The fact that the exhibition was selected and judged by fellow artists makes it even more meaningful.  I will be using some of the prize money to buy a good supply of top quality paint, in luscious colours, and I now feel encouraged to carry on painting!” Niamh Collins

Sugar Rush is an oil on canvas painting representing experiences of landscape through colourful abstraction.

Gillian Ingham, the Exhibition Committee Lead for The London Group says, “Niamh Collins’s powerful abstract painting ‘Sugar Rush’ has won The London Group Prize of £2,000. The vibrant and intense use of colour, and the special relationship between ground and forms, excited the selectors. The confident drawing with paint adds to the arresting quality of this painting.”

Photos: Niamh Collins receiving The London Group Prize from Amanda Loomes President of The London Group and “Sugar Rush” oil painting, 88 x 94 cm

Photo of Lesley Bunch and Nicholas Cornelissen by Sumi Perera LG and photos of all other prize winners by David Wiseman LG