Banbury Museum’s prestigious biennial art competition, The Ironstone Art Prize, opened on 23 January with the panel of judges selecting their winner, Murriel Gerrish for her painting ‘Winter Willow’.
There was, however, another prize up for grabs, The People’s Prize. This is awarded to the artist whose artwork received the most votes from visitors to the exhibition.
After all the votes were counted the winner of the 2016 Ironstone People’s Prize was Belinda Moore for her painting ‘Chromatophore Bug.’ In the last two years, since moving back from Cornwall to Oxfordshire, and after a brief painting assignment in the studios of Damien Hirst, Belinda has been involved in various artistic projects. She has exhibited in two group exhibitions in London, with ‘The Culthouse’ in Hoxton, and with ‘Exhibit Here’ at The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower. As well as selling her intricately painted decorative boxes at various Oxfordshire music festivals during the summer months, such as Cropredy/Fairport Convention, Bodfest, Chacombebury Festival, Banbury Museum shop, and Leamington ‘Art in the Park’, she has also designed textiles for fashion.
Looking forward, Belinda has further London exhibitions, at The Menier Gallery in March, and 2 events with The Culthouse in Hoxton and Hackney in April. She is also involved in the ‘Sacred Art Show’ at Aberglasney Gardens, Wales in April/May, which is a touring exhibition going on to Malta and Croatia.
As well as the honour of having her painting win the public vote, Belinda Moore also received a prize of £100, sponsored by The Artery art shop on Parson’s Street. Barry Whitehouse, Owner/manager of The Artery, said: “It is an honour to sponsor the People’s Prize. To see how many people appreciate art in its many forms in the area is a joy and is what I have spent my career in art retail and education hoping to help achieve. The People’s Prize is a very prestigious award as it shows what the public – the buyers and lovers of art – enjoy looking at; and so being chosen as the favourite by the general populous is quite an accolade for any artist.”
Over 400 votes were cast with each voter only allowed to vote for one artwork. There was a wide range of artistic taste with 80% of the paintings and sculptures etc. being somebody’s favourite.
The exhibition continues until 12 March allowing people to come and see the People’s Prize winner for themselves. Entry is free.