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Judging panel announced for new fine arts prize

Press release   •   Jan 14, 2013 00:00 GMT

The judging panel for a new national £40,000 art prize run by Northumbria University has been announced.

The Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Art Prize, launched by Northumbria graduate Wee Teng Woon in 2012, offers final year students of fine art the opportunity to win one of three major prizes and two consolation prizes each year, valued at £40,000, through his family’s foundation.

The judging panel will be chaired by Turner Prize-nominated artist and BALTIC Professor Christine Borland, and comprises a wide range of artistic and cultural expertise and experience.

Professor Borland is an artist with a global reputation for collaborative, interdisciplinary practice-led research involving science and medicine. Her work explores the ethics of art, medicine and science from contemporary and historical perspectives.

Other panel members include:

Lisa Milroy, Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. The Canadian-born artist exhibits her paintings widely in the UK and abroad, and her work is held in many public and private collections.

Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial, the UK Biennial of International Contemporary Art, has acted as a curator for a variety of exhibitions across a large cultural spectrum. The former Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Gallery, London, Sally also acts as the External Examiner for the MA Fine Art programme at Central St Martins.

Sorcha Carey is director of the Edinburgh Art Festival, Scotland’s largest celebration of visual art which attracts 250,000 attendees annually. Sorcha has also been the Senior Advisor for Arts and Creative Industries at the British Council in Scotland and was involved in major commissions for Liverpool’s year as Capital of Culture in 2008.

The final panel member is Rebecca Morrill, Head of Collector Development (North East) for the Contemporary Art Society. Rebecca has also worked as Exhibition Curator at the Serpentine Gallery and was involved in co-curating exhibitions by artists including Gerhard Richter, Maria Lassnig, Anthony McCall and Damien Hirst.

The winner of the Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Art Prize will receive a £20,000 bursary which will be used to fund the cost of a Fellowship at Northumbria University. The prize will be open to final year students of fine art from across all universities in the UK.

The winner will also have access to dedicated studio space in the BxNU Institute of Contemporary Art in Baltic 39 in Newcastle. The Institute is the result of a collaborative partnership between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University, which received the Times Higher Education award for excellence and innovation in the arts last November.

The successful artist will also have access to exhibition space to showcase their work produced during their Fellowship and will receive mentoring from Professor Borland.

Two other major awards of £9,000 and £6,000 are available and two consolation prizes of £3,000 and £2,000 will be awarded at the discretion of the judging panel.

Mr Woon is a Northumbria University Law graduate. He lives in Singapore but has maintained strong links with the North East, retaining a house in Durham. He already funds prizes for students at the School of Law and the awards for fine art, which are offered in memory and celebration of his father Tai Jee, and mothers Lim Ai Fang and Cheong Kam Hee, will be awarded throughout his lifetime.

The closing date for applications is 30 January 2013.

For more information on the Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Art Prize and information on applying, visit

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