The five paintings shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 have been announced, with the UK’s longest-running painting prize celebrating its 30th edition and 60th anniversary year.

The shortlisted works are: Quilt by Billy Crosby; King and Queen of Wands by Jacqui Hallum; The Thunderous Silence of Your Presence by Tom Howse; GIANTS by Joseph O’Rourke and The Divide, Beyond Reasoning by Shanti Panchal.

The overall winner will receive a £25,000 first prize, which will be announced at the Walker Art Gallery as part of Liverpool Biennial on 12 July. They will also receive a three-month fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University, plus an ‘in-focus’ solo display at the Walker Art Gallery in 2019.

The other shortlisted artists will receive £2,500 each, while the winner of the Visitors’ Choice Award will receive £2,018.

The paintings were selected from over 2,700 entrees by a judging panel that included the artists Monster Chetwynd, Lubaina Himid CBE, Bruce McLean and Liu Xiaodong, and curator Jenni Lomax.

Himid said: “We have chosen works which seem to want to engage in many different ways – sometimes challenging and provoking, sometimes so bold they almost caused us to laugh out loud. And yet in amongst these predominantly large-scale, striking works, there are still and gentle moments which seem to overwhelm us with their strength.”

Devon-based artist Jacqui Hallum’s King and Queen of Wands features ink on cotton. It references various imagery ranging from medieval woodcuts and leaded glass windows to tarot cards and Art Nouveau children’s book illustrations.

Meanwhile, London-based Tom Howse’s work, The Thunderous Silence of Your Presence, explores how ‘humans can be drawn to cosmological explanations and folklore to sooth their fear of the unknown’.

Mesar, Gujarat-born artist Shanti Panchal’s work, The Divide, Beyond Reasoning, was created by a slow, meditative process, with washes of colour painted onto the surface of textured paper. The colours were then mixed on the paper, creating a fresco-like effect.

Dumfries and Galloway-born Billy Crosby’s Quilt is made from woven cardboard and foam, and is reminiscent of a padded cell door. He has described his approach as ‘weaving together differing perceptions of material and representation into a rich mush’.

The final nominee is Nottingham-born Joseph O’Rourke. His work, GIANTS, was painted after returning from living in Budapest for six months. It references the scale of the city’s landscape, statues and monuments.

Previous winners of the prize include: Michael Simpson (2016), Rose Wylie (2014), Sarah Pickstone (2012), Keith Coventry (2010),  Peter Doig (1993), and David Hockney(1967). Sir Peter Blake, winner of the junior prize in 1961, is Patron of the prize.

The John Moores Painting Prize 2018 exhibition runs 14 July – 18 November 2018 at the Walker Art Gallery

1. Jacqui Hallum, King and Queen of Wands, 2017
2. Tom Howse, The Thunderous Silence of Your Presence, 2017
3. Shanti Panchal, The Divide, Beyond Reasoning, 2017
4. Billy Crosby, Quilt, 2017
5. Joseph O’Rourke, GIANTS, 2017

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