Beverley Art Gallery and 'The Critical Fish' launch new competition for young people with East Riding Theatre

Thu 30th April 2020
Tcf Young Persons Writing And Art Prize Page 1 1

Beverley Art Gallery is working with ‘The Critical Fish’ and East Riding Theatre in a competition for young people.

Two paintings from the Art Gallery collection are the subject of the competition : ‘In The Studio’ by Fred Elwell, showing his fiancée Mary as an artist in her studio, painted in 1913, and the other is a joyful composition, ‘Single Seed Head across Yorkshire Wolds’   by John Sprakes, from the current show 'Journey into Abstraction', which is now accessible online at:

Entrants should choose one of the paintings as a starting point for their own piece of original writing, responding to the painting as a whole or to a particular part of it. The writing can be descriptive, issue based (a report or essay), or a creative response such as a poem, short play or story. Entrants could write about people, places, gender, colour, texture or composition.

There is also the opportunity for entrants to create an original art work in response to Mary Aherne’s poem ‘Heirloom’.

There are three age groups: in each age group, there will be a prize of £50 for the best piece of writing and for the best art work. There will also be a prize of £100 for the overall winner. The judges will be looking for imaginative and resourceful responses to the chosen starting point. The competition includes opportunities for mentoring. Entrants can contact ‘The Critical Fish’ to discuss the progress of their work. They will be teamed up with an artist, writer or curator.

Jill Howitt of ‘The Critical Fish’ said: “This is an opportunity for you to explore your own ideas and personal style. There is no wrong or right way to respond – have the courage of your convictions, create something you want to make, experiment, take risks and above all enjoy the process!”

Helena Cox, curator of Beverley Art Gallery, said: “I am delighted to be working with The Critical Fish and East Riding Theatre in bringing young people a prompt to be creative! I am especially happy to see two paintings from Beverley Art Gallery used as the creative prompts; one of them is our 'star item'..

“I can’t wait to read the writing that will be submitted, and I would like to most cordially invite all young creatives to give it a go!”

The closing date for entries is 15 May at 22.00.

The judges will ‘meet’ and select two winners in each age category, to be announced by the beginning of June. The winners will have their work showcased on ‘The Critical Fish’ website as well as on Art@Ert (a new site featuring art on the East Riding Theatre website). A selection of work by ‘runners up’ will also be showcased. In the future, there will be an exhibition of the prize winning work and runners up at The East Riding Theatre, on the ‘Lord Robert’s Wall’ – once they are open again.

For full details, visit:

‘The Critical Fish’ is a new non-profit making magazine focusing on art and visual culture in the region.

Just Beverley