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MA Fine Art student wins Bishops Art Prize 2014

A piece of portraiture created through an innovative use of laser engraving applied to wood has won the Bishop’s Art Prize 2014. The artist Greg Thurling who is an MA Fine Art student at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), received a £1,000 prize and his work will be on display to the public with the other finalists until Saturday 28 June.

(L – R) Lord Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James; competition judge and 2003 Bishop’s Art Prize winner Susan Gunn; third place winner Olivia Thomas; NUA Chancellor John Hurt; NUA Vice-Chancellor Professor John Last; winner Greg Thurling; second place winner Rhona Fleming; NUA BA Fine Art Course Leader Carl Rowe

(L – R) Lord Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James; competition judge and 2003 Bishop’s Art Prize winner Susan Gunn; third place winner Olivia Thomas; NUA Chancellor John Hurt; NUA Vice-Chancellor Professor John Last; winner Greg Thurling; second place winner Rhona Fleming; NUA BA Fine Art Course Leader Carl Rowe

The Bishop’s Art Prize is an annual competition which invites final year students at NUA to submit artworks in response to a specific theme set by the Bishop of Norwich. This year’s theme was ‘Spirit of the Seasons’, with works submitted from students from undergraduate and postgraduate courses in fine art, animation and textile design.

The winning work is titled 5773216, named for the service number of the subject Charles James Ewers, who served with the Royal Norfolk Regiment during the Second World War.

Bishop's Art Prize 2014 winner

Bishop’s Art Prize winner Greg Thurling with the Lord Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James

Greg says: “Charles was my Great Uncle and I made him the subject of this piece because of his great determination and perseverance throughout his life which stemmed from his experiences during the second world war. The chosen material references the wooden crucifix he carried throughout the war which symbolised his belief in returning home. Each individual panel represents a season or defining moment of his life. The engraving creates a sense of permanence and the narrative is continued by making this piece. I’m absolutely thrilled to receive the Bishop Art Prize and will be putting the prize money toward materials and equipment to continue my practice.”

Second placed winner of Bishop's Art Prize 2014

The Lord Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James, with second place winner Rhona Fleming

A three dimensional installation of four room interiors by MA Fine Art student Rhona Fleming won second place and a prize of £500, while third place was awarded to BA Textiles student Olivia Thomas for her four knitted jumpers representing the seasons. The winners were selected by a judging panel made up 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.

Lord Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James, says: “The exhibition in the Hostry is of a very high standard this year and can be seen until June 28th. Greg Thurling’s entry won since it addressed the theme imaginatively, was beautifully executed and reminded us also of the seasons of the spirit in human life. It was especially relevant soon after the 70th anniversary of D Day and movingly evokes the cost of war and the nobility of those who fought for our freedom.”

Third placed winner of Bishop's Art Prize 2014

Third place winner Olivia Thomas with the Lord Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James

Professor John Last, NUA Vice-Chancellor, says: “Prizes, scholarships and bursaries make an incredibly positive impact on the student experience and we are very grateful to Bishop Graham for his support. The Bishop’s Art Prize is a highlight of the ‘awards season’ and in the run up to the final year students’ Degree Shows which open to the public on 30 June.”

In total 21 pieces are included in the Bishop’s Art Prize exhibition, which is open to the public in the Hostry in Cathedral Close until Saturday 28 June. Admission is free and opening hours are 9.30am – 4.30pm (Sundays are 12 – 3pm, 1pm early closing Saturday 21 June).

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