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Bishop’s Art Prize opens to public as winners of annual prize announced

Natalie Moles-Smith with judging panel at the Bishop's Art Prize exhibition

An arrangement of a collection of letters cast in solid bronze to highlight the high value that we place upon the weight of handwritten words was selected as the winner of this year’s Bishop’s Art on Tuesday 12 April. Created by Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) BA Fine Art student Natalie Moles-Smith, winning entry Epistle is among 24 creative works on display in an exhibition which is now open to the public in the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral.

The works, which are all by students from NUA studying for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in fine art, textile design, photography and moving image and sound, respond to the brief Unexpected Blessings set by the Bishop of Norwich.

The annual Bishop’s Art Prize competition invites students in their final year of study to submit work that explores Christian themes. A judging panel formed of the Rt Revd Graham James, NUA Vice-Chancellor Professor John Last, NUA Fine Art Course Leader Carl Rowe and 2003 Bishop’s Art Prize winner Susan Gunn selected the winners last night, who will receive cash prizes including a first prize of £1,000.

Speaking of her prize win, Natalie Moles-Smith said; “I feel really humbled to have been awarded the Bishop’s Art Prize this year, and to have the opportunity to exhibit alongside some exceptional artwork. From initial concept through to production, Epistle has been a pleasure to develop and to receive this accolade is a real high point in my artistic career.”

The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James, said, “This year’s exhibition is of exceptional quality. The students have responded to the brief- Unexpected Blessings – with imagination and flair. In the judging I could not decide simply on the top three so created an extra third prize. The winning entry is a beautifully executed bronze based on handwritten letters which have become a special blessing in our age where they have become much rarer.”

Carl Rowe, Fine Art Course Leader at NUA, said, “All of the judges would like to congratulate everyone on their submissions and it’s great to see students from such a breadth of courses taking part in his art prize. I’d very much encourage the public to come and see for themselves the work on display.”

The Bishop’s Art Prize exhibition is open to the public until Saturday 23 April at The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. Admission is free and opening hours are 9.30am – 4.30pm (Sundays are 12 – 3pm).

Full list of Bishop’s Art Prize 2016 winners

First prize:
Natalie Moles-Smith, BA Fine Art

Second prize:
Hollie Quinn, BA Textiles

Third prize (joint winners):
Anna Cox, BA Fine Art
Time Continues

Christine Leech, MA Fine Art
Untitled (engagement)

Highly Commended:
Charles Beerling, BA Photography

Bradley Morgan Johnson, MA Moving Image and Sound