The 3rd John Ruskin Prize exhibition and events programmme has now closed.

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Click here to buy The 3rd John Ruskin Prize exhibition catalogue.

The 3rd John Ruskin Prize - Recording Britain Now: Society, installation view at The New Art Gallery Walsall 25 February - 17 April 2016. Photo: David Rowan.

Read the latest #RuskinPrize newsletter here 13/05/16
The 3rd John Ruskin Prize exhibitions & event programme| Recording Britain Now: Society
The exhibition and programme for The 3rd John Ruskin Prize have now closed. Many thanks to all the artists who entered, our prize finalists and winners, selection panel and sponsors and supporters.  
Click here to view the Ruskin Prize Editions collection online with limited edition artworks available to buy by the 2015 shortlist. Proceeds support the artists and future John Ruskin Prize funds supporting emerging artists.
If you are interested in supporting  The John Ruskin Prize please contact Rachel Price, Project Manager here.

The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Timeline:

- 23 June – 23 November 2015 - Nationwide call for artists

- 9 December 2015 – Shortlist selection

- 14 December 2015 - Prize Finalists announced

- 9 February 2016 - Press Release: Shortlist exhibition Walsall

- 25 February 2016 – Shortlist exhibition & catalogue launch and Prize-winners announced at The New Art Gallery Walsall.

- 26 April 2016 – Press Release: London exhibition & programme announcements

- 5 May – 22 May 2016 – 2nd exhibition at The Electrician’s Shop Gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London

- 19 MayRegeneration: Who is it For? An open floor panel discussion held at The Electrician’s Shop Gallery with prize finalists Jessie Brennan and Hilary Powell

- 21 MayDrawing the Line: An urban & architectural sketchcrawl exploring East London’s evolving skyline

- 23 May – ongoing – Ruskin Prize Editions goes live 
Prize & Project Archive: 

Artwork above:  Oliver Jones '3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin' (2013). The 3rd John Ruskin Prize 2015 finalist. 


 Regeneration: Who is it For? 

Thursday 19 May | 7.30 - 9.30pm, doors @ 6.30pm for exhibition viewing + introduction
Regeneration: Who is it For?' is an artist talk with an open floor discussion lead by 3rd John Ruskin Prize Finalists: Jessie Brennan (2nd Prize winner) and Hilary Powell.  Following from last years symposium The Tide of Change in East London as part of The 2nd John Ruskin Prize: Recording Britain Now programme, this years talk will reveal the social impact of rapid urban regeneration. It is part of a programme of events accompanying The 3rd John Ruskin Prize - Recording Britain Now: Society.
More information | Tickets *£5 
Includes refreshments + screening of Legend: A-Z of The Lea Valley by Hilary Powell and introduction of works by this years prize finalists.
*A limited number of free concession tickets are available for students, under 18s, those with disabilities or in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance. 

 Image above: Jessie Brennan 'A Fall of Ordinariness and Light' (2014).  

The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Exhibition | Recording Britain Now: Society

Preview: Thursday 5 May 6-9pm

Exhibition continues: 6 – 22 May 2016

The Electrician’s Shop Gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, E14 0JY

Trinity Buoy Wharf Map | Join Facebook Event | Free, all welcome

 Drawing the Line

Saturday 21 May | 12 – 2pm Tour and urban sketch crawl of The Line along the Greenwich Peninsula with Megan Piper (Co-Founder, The Line) and Myles Linley (Artist and 3rd John Ruskin Prize Finalist).

3pm – 5pm Tour of The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Exhibition -Recording Britain Now: Society and part 2 of the sketch crawl at Trinity Buoy Wharf including visit and introduction toLongplayer housed with London’s only lighthouse. Complimentary refreshments served at the gallery.

Event partners:


More information | Tickets £5 / £7.50 - includes complimentary A4 hardback sketchbook and drawing materials courtesy GreatArt.

Image above: Alex Chinneck 'A bullet from a Shooting Star' (2015). Photo: Chris Tubbs.  

 The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Winners:
Announced 25 February 2016 at the New Art Gallery Walsall

Winner (£5000)Laura Oldfield Ford | Runner-up (£2000):  Jessie Brennan | Student Prize (£1000): Robin Sukatorn

Congratulations to all of The 3rd John Ruskin Prize Finalists:

Timothy Betjeman, David Borrington, Julian Bovis, Sally Cutler, Nathan Ford, Stephanie Grainger, Anne Guest, Susie Hamilton, Peter Haugh, Michelle Heron, Michael Johnson, Oliver Jones, Tony Kenyon, Myles Linley, Graham Martin, Julia Midgley, Joe Munro, Dominic Negus, Cherry Pickles, Hilary Powell, Teresa Robertson, Emily Vanns, Nettie Wakefield, Emma Wilde, Georgia Wisbey, Duncan Wood, Tanya Wood.

With thanks to our prize and exhibition partners and supporters.





Top: Michael Johnson 'Heir Tour: Presenting Baby' (2014). John Ruskin Prize 2015 finalist.

Left: Sally Cutler 'Richmond North Yorkshire Heads'   John Ruskin Prize 2015 finalist.




Click below to buy the exhibition catalogue at the introductory offer price of £6.50 (RRP £10)!
The John Ruskin Prize 2015-16 selection panel

Adam Dant (Artist), Gill Saunders (Senior Curator of Prints, Victoria & Albert Museum), Stephen Snoddy (Director, The New Art Gallery Walsall), Sue Grayson Ford (Founder, The Big Draw), Peter Miller (Director of Publications, Guild of St George).

The shortlist exhibitions

The artworks selected (from over 700 entries) for The 3rd John Ruskin Prize, see artists reflect upon and address a diverse range of topics including housing, CCTV, identity, technology and the political climate. In the same way that Recording Britain sought to map familiar townscapes and countryside under threat from World War Two and later from urban development, its contemporary counterpart Recording Britain Now: Society, is an invitation to artists across the UK to observe and record our country’s society, which is in a constant state of transition.

Please direct sales enquiries to:

The exhibition catalogue is available to purchase from The Big Draw Shop for the introductory price of £6.50!

The John Ruskin Prize

The Big Draw is delighted to bring The 3rd John Ruskin Prize to The New Art Gallery Walsall in 2016, the first West Midlands venue to host the shortlist exhibition. Founded in 2012 by the Guild of St George, in collaboration with The Big Draw, this open exhibition has quickly become recognised as a showcase for both emerging talent and established artists from across the United Kingdom.

Named after John Ruskin (1819-1900) the prominent Victorian artist, writer, philosopher and founder of the Guild of St George, the prize aims to uphold Ruskin’s belief that drawing helps us to see the world more clearly and makes us aware of its beauty and fragility.  

 "We want, in this world of ours, very often to be able to see in the dark – that’s the great gift of all; – but at any rate to see no matter by what light, so only we can see things as they are".  John Ruskin

The John Ruskin Prize was founded by the Guild of St George in recognition of the great thinker’s values.  Ruskin fervently questioned the social and political truisms of his day.  An art critic and an accomplished artist in his own right, Ruskin believed that drawing helps us see the world more clearly.  As digital and social media become increasingly prevalent, drawing can only grow in importance. We are taking more photos of our world than ever, but are we really looking? Now in its third year, The John Ruskin Prize aims to uphold Ruskin’s beliefs and invites artists to observe, record and comment on contemporary society through their work.  Read more The John Ruskin Prize and view the 2014 shortlist catalogue here.

For the past two years the prize has been affiliated with Recording Britain, the ambitious scheme which employed artists on the home front at the outbreak of World War Two. Initiated by Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-1983) the highly regarded art historian, author and broadcaster, with support from The Pilgrim Trust, Clark considered it an extension of the Official War Time Artist scheme. The result was a collection of more than 1500 watercolours and drawings, now stored at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, that provide a fascinating record of British lives and landscapes at a time of imminent change.

Statements from this years selectors:

“The artists selected for the exhibition present diverse perspectives on this year’s theme, with sensitive and sometimes unconventional insights into life in Britain today – from the evidence of poverty and homelessness on our streets to sites of urban regeneration cheek by jowl with dereliction and decay. But the sombre views are complemented by scenes which capture the energy, colour and conviviality that also characterise contemporary British society.  Gill Saunders, Senior Curator of Prints, V&A (Gill is also Keeper of The ‘Recording Britain’ collection held at V&A). 

“The New Art Gallery is delighted to launch the John Ruskin Prize and it is particularly important that artists have the freedom to make comment on what is happening in the world today and for the public to see and reflect on that art.” -  Stephen Snoddy, Director, The New Art Gallery Walsall

“To anyone who is just about to take a smart phone snap of their dinner or a selfie with their puppy I say stop , pick up a pencil and paper and instead , draw this subject which you find so interesting . By doing so you will enter a new realm of thought, memory and reflection , you will inhabit your surroundings on a more profound level and better still, your engagements with the past , the present and the future will be as an objective observer rather than as a passive subject of the monotonous whims and cruel indifference of quotidian habit. You can effect this transformation at any time and in any place. Please be aware though, your dinner may be cold when you finally come to eat it ". - Adam Dant, artist 

It is enlightening to compare the observations of our 30 finalists with those of the 63 artists commissioned by Sir Kenneth Clark (with funds from the Pilgrim Trust) to document Britain under threat during the Second World War. Creating an accessible online gallery from the V&A's historic Recording Britain collection and the contemporary imagery shortlisted for this Prize will make many more people aware of art's power to comment, provoke and urge action”. - Sue Grayson Ford, Founder The Big Draw 

Supporters of The John Ruskin Prize

The 3rd John Ruskin Prize and programme is generously supported by:  the Guild of St. George, The Pilgrim Trust, The publication ‘Good Old Drawing’ and The New Art Gallery Walsall.  With support from these partners, The 3rd John Ruskin Prize award totals £8,000: 1st Prize: £5,000, Second Prize: £2,000, Student Prize: £1,000 to support the selected artists’ ongoing creative practice.