Sheffield artist Mandy Payne shortlisted for £20,000 prize

Mandy Payne's Beginning of the End
Mandy Payne's Beginning of the End

A Sheffield artist has been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize - the UK’s leading competition for British contemporary representational painting and drawing. 

Mandy Payne is one of 81 artists shortlisted for the main prize of £20,000, chosen from an initial pool of 1,191 – the highest number  of entries in the prize’s 14-year history.

Mandy a full time artist based in Bloc studios, on Arundel Street in the city centre, entered the competition for the first time this year, and is delighted to have made it so far.

“It’s really lovely, very special,” said the 54-year-old, who worked in the NHS for 25 years before completing her art degree in 2013 and becoming a full time artist.

“It means an awful lot to have made it this far, and I’m looking forward to the ceremony in London next month, though I’m not anticipating being near the prize winners.”

The final winners will be revealed on March 5 at a ceremony at the Mall Galleries in London.

Ian Rowley, chairman of the organising committee, said: “This year, we’ve been bowled over by the quality of the entries. There’s a tremendous diversity to the works combined with some very bold approaches and techniques.

“A record-breaking 2,400 works were submitted by over a thousand artists, which shows that representational art in the UK is in better health than the art establishment might surmise.”

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize for representational art – art that seeks to capture the real world – offers total prize money of £30,000. The first prize is worth £20,000 plus an engraved gold medal; and the second prize is £4,000. In addition to the Lynn Painter-Stainers prize itself, the competition’s organisers have introduced the Daphne Todd Prize, worth £2,000 which Daphne herself will select from the exhibition shortlist. The Brian Botting Award for outstanding representation of the human form is also worth £5,000.

The competition, which was created in 2005, is open to any artist, professional or amateur, and aims to promote and support fresh new talent. The open competition continues to champion the skill of draughtsmanship and representational painting.

Mandy added: “A lot of my work focuses on gentrification and urban landscapes, and for the past six years I’ve been focused on Park Hill. I work with concrete canvases, which I create myself, and use a process involving fine masking tapes, and spray and oil paints to create the finished effect.

“As you can imagine, they’re not light when they’re done, which makes it all the rest satisfying to be shortlisted, after lugging my entry halfway across the country," she laughs.

Some of Mandy’s work is currently on show at the Sidney + Matilda gallery, Rivelin Works, until March 15, alongside 12 other artists.