Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery has revealed the five artists shortlisted for the 2016 edition of the biennial John Moores Painting Prize.

The five artists are: Talar Aghbashian, Gabriella Boyd, Benjamin Jamie, Selma Parlour and Michael Simpson.

One winner will be awarded a first prize of £25,000, with the other shortlisted prizewinners each receiving £2,500.

Beirut-born artist Talar Aghbashian creates her work by projecting photo print-outs onto heavily built up or sanded down canvases, constructed in layers. Based in London, Aghbashian’s shortlisted work, Untitled, depicts the roughly modelled arm of a statue of an assassinated politician.

Glasgow-born Gabriella Boyd has been shortlisted for her work Birthyard. In her wider practice, the Peckham-based artist focuses on the merging of private and public spaces, often featuring fleeting interactions and moments of failed intimacy in everyday life.

Dissolver, by Nottingham-born artist Benjamin Jamie, is a work that seeks to reveal the unusual in the mundane. Its inspiration comes from a variety of sources, including studio detritus, fly-tipping and fast food.

Selma Parlour’s paintings are rendered through soft films of transparent oil. Based in London, the Johannesburg-born artist’s work One, The Side-ness of In-Out plays with elements of abstract and figurative painting.

The final shortlisted artist is Dorset-born Michael Simpson, who lives and works in Wiltshire. His work Squint (19) depicts an aperture in a medieval church that allowed lepers and other ‘undesirables’ a chance to view the sermons taking place while remaining separate from other members of the public.

The shortlist was chosen by a jury including the author and freelance curator Richard Davey, plus artists Gillian Carnegie, Ansel Krut, Phoebe Unwin and Ding Yi.

Davey said: “Beyond their obvious material connection as paintings, this year’s shortlisted works may appear to have little in common: one is a geometric abstraction, three are figurative, and one hovers in a poetic space between figuration and abstraction.

“On closer inspection, however, we see that the paintings share a common ability to reveal fresh perspectives and new points of view, through the medium of paint.”

During the exhibition visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite painting to win the Visitors’ Choice Award. The winning artist will receive £2,016 in prize money.

First established in 1957, previous winners of the open submission prize include David Hockney, Mary Martin, Peter Doig, Keith Coventry and Sarah Pickstone. The winner of the 2014 edition was Rose Wylie for her painting PV Windows and Floorboards.

The John Moores Painting Prize exhibition, featuring the long list of 54 artists, runs from 9 July to 27 November 2016 during Liverpool Biennial 2016. The overall winner will be announced on 7 July 2016. 

1. Talar Aghbashian, Untitled, 2015
2. Gabriella Boyd, Birthyard, 2015
3. Benjamin Jamie, Dissolver, 2015
4. Selma Parlour, One, The Side-ness of In-Out, 2015
5. Michael Simpson, Squint (19), 2015

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