It’s every artist’s dream for their work to be exhibited to the public. Leading fine art supplies company, Jackson’s Art Supplies, ran an international competition encouraging artists of all ages and abilities to paint, draw or print to their art’s content for the chance to win their share of £10,000 in prizes and the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead in May.
There were six categories under which artists could submit their entries: Animals; Landscape/Cityscape/Seascape; Non-representational/Abstract; Portrait/Figure; Scenes of Everyday Life and Still Life/Botanical. This gave artists working across a variety of media and styles the chance to display their unique works of art on an international scale. The finalists were judged by an exclusive panel of 6 leading figures in the art community from across the globe.
This year 5,366 entries were submitted, and first place in the Landscape/Cityscape/Seascape category was awarded to Caio Locke, from London, for his piece entitled “Metropolis London”.
Caio admits that art was always his favourite subject at school, studying etching and printmaking before switching to painting during his Art Foundation. Since then he has been entirely self-taught, and has been a full time artist for around twelve years.
Whilst painting is the core of his practice, Caio has also been involved in fashion projects, 3D design and commissions, and participated in public art projects such as The Elephant Parade 2010 and Faberge Egg Hunt 2012.
Metropolis London is a large-scale panoramic painting measuring 155cm x 255cm. It was intended to accompany another of his paintings Metropolis Rio, its predecessor from 2008.
‘I have a strong personal connection with both cities. I can’t tell exactly how long it took since I was working on other commissions and paintings simultaneously, but certainly in excess of six months.’
It is painted in a style that could be described as ‘para-real’ or ‘para-realism’. ‘Metropolis London’ acts as a parallel to the reality, allowing for exploration of what can be imagined from what already exists. Perspective depth anchors the illusion, whilst the reinvented urban landscape offers temporary detachment from everyday reality. The painting aspires to the lucid dreaming state.
The Greenwich Observatory (foreground, right) marks the old meridian from where linear time is jettisoned to allow the present to coincide with past and future. The painting is divided into three conceptual columns: The left represents symbols of power, atop which Boudicca’s chariot charges across a sea of Roman shields; the centre combines the idea of transmigrating souls with London’s Eros and iconic communications tower; and the right embodies the material and scientific, where, as daylight approaches, the Victorians exit the dream by the right, following in the footsteps of the Romans.
Underpinning the whole is the notion of a meditative city, painted in the atmospheric hues of sky and water, as it reintegrates with patterns of nature through the vital flow of its arterial roads and tides. Of wider application, it is hoped that the premise allows the viewer, both familiar and unfamiliar, to relate to urban environments in a transformative way, insofar as what they might become, and to identify patterns, rhythms and continuities of nature still visible through the evolving manmade habitat.
Caio then went on to discuss his favourite artists:‘Goya’s works of the imagination, particularly his Los Capriccios and Los Proverbios series were an early source of inspiration. Later, I combined thinking about the surrealists, in particular De Chirico, with consideration of spatial illusion within the two dimensional surface, exemplified in the woodcuts of MC Escher. But it is the energy I see in the paintings of artists such as Van Gogh and Gauguin that brings the world into the vivid life I try to conjure in my cityscapes. More recently, I have been drawn to the paintings of Lithuanian composer and painter Mikalojus Ciurlionis for their edge of the world, timeless qualities. I am also influenced by architects such as Oscar Niemeyer and at some point I would like to experiment with painting non-existent cities from my imagination.’
Since its inception, Jackson’s Open Painting Prize has grown immensely over the last few years and this year Jackson’s are proud to announce that they are offering the winners £10,000 in prizes, an online showcase and the incredible chance to exhibit their stellar works at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead in May.
The panel of expert judges consisted of Andrew Bick (artist and curator), Kerry Ann Lee (artist, designer and educator), Tom Down (winner of Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2018), Haidee-Jo Summers (artist and author), Yves Blais (curator and producer) and Jennifer Conner (director, curator and publisher).
One of the expert judges, Tom Down from Birmingham, is last year’s competition winner. His work entitled, ‘frontier’, was chosen out of 3,327 international entries and made it through multiple rounds of judging by a panel of art experts. His success meant he received £5,000, a placement at the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead, a seat on the exhibition panel discussion and amazing exposure across social media sites, newsletters and more. His paintings are currently held in private collections across the UK and USA.
The six category prize-winning artworks can be seen here.
“Jackson’s Open Painting Prize is an excellent opportunity for artists internationally to share their talents with the rest of the world,” says Gary Thompson Director of Jackson’s Art Supplies. “We are very pleased to see a wide variety of media used this year, as well artists of all ages and abilities submitting their pieces.”