Central Art Gallery, Tameside 

Central Art Gallery announces the opening of The Marmite Prize for Painting 2010. The prize is the only nomadic, biennial, open submission painting competition in Britain.  Works for the 2010 touring show were selected by Marcus Cope, Steve Dutton, Marie Holland, Keran James, Michael Keenan, Sadie Kerr and Stephanie Moran.
The prize winners will be selected at the final show of the tour by the judges, Marcus Harvey, Dan Hays, Mali Morris RA and Dai Roberts. Each year the Prize is dedicated to an artist admired by the curators, Marcus Cope and Stephanie Moran, which influences the hang. This year their hero is Ida Applebroog.
The winner will receive specially commissioned marmite artwork 'Hammerhead', made and very kindly donated by artist Bill Woodrow RA.
This year the open call attracted nearly 600 entries from painters in the UK and abroad.
Artists Selected for the Exhibition are:
Jeremy Akerman, Georgina Amos, Iain Andrews, Matthew John  Atkinson, Karl Bielik, Max Cahn, Amir Chasson, Julie Cockburn, Melanie Comber, Hugh Davies, Louisa Durose, Karl England, David Fletcher, Alice Forward, Patrick Galway, Steph Goodger, David Hancock, Siân Hislop, Tina Jenkins, Kate Knight, Hannah Knox, Matthew Krishanu, Kate Lyddon, Nadine Mahoney, Amy Moffat, Sophie Oates, Tom Ormond, Bernadette O’Toole, Yvonne Parr, Jemimah Patterson, Michael Pybus, Kes Richardson, James Quin, Daniela Sarigu, Paul Savage, Robin Seir, Benjamin Senior, David Small, Soheila Sokhanvari, William Stein, Ryuta Suzuki, David Sweet, Mia Taylor, Mimei Thompson, Ben Walker, Sean Williams, Sarah Kate Wilson, Doreen Wittenbols
The Marmite Prize for Painting is more of an attitude, a detournement, than an art prize. It is a non-profit project organised and run by Cope and Moran, both painters.
Started up in 2006 out of an irritation with art prizes, it retains that ambivalence towards the idea of The Prize. The project is designed as a fantasy prize, and changes each time. This year shortlisted works were collected from studios around the country. Marmite III is also touring across the country from Central Art Gallery, Tameside, to Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry and finishing at The Nunnery, London. The concern is to maintain fairness, with a shortlisting committee comprising of curators from each gallery of the tour, and no cv’s or bios considered. The invited judges are artists with a particular interest in painting, who played no part in the selection of work for exhibition.
The Marmite Prize for Painting is best entered into in the spirit of a questioning of art prizes, and for the thrill of the exhibition. A cash prize would be inappropriate to its concerns: the focus is on the unplaceable value of the artwork, beyond ideas of ownership; as integral and necessary for life and thought. The marmite is the prize – an earthenware pot hand-made by an artist, representing a token, an exchange, a recognition that any ‘prize’ is unequal and no value may legitimately be put on an artwork; it also stands for the alchemy of the process of making - whether divine inspiration or rigourous working process; sweaty excitement or long, cool labour?

A witch’s cauldron, a vat of nourishment, a scientist’s test tube? Or a symbol of resistance, of the solidarity of the people, as in the Genevan Marmite Festival - a celebration of the power of soup-filled marmites in a territory under threat of invasion, in memory of the night the marmite saved the day. (Fête de l’Escalade or the Marmite Festival: An annual celebration in Geneva in memory of the night attack by the Savoyards in 1602, when a housewife dispatched a Savoyard soldier by tipping her marmite of hot vegetable soup over his head. Genevan confiseurs annually make the Marmite de l’Escalade, small chocolate pots filled with marzipan vegetables. The custom is to smash the chocolate pot, while shouting: “Thus perish the enemies of the Republic [of Geneva].”)
There is a full colour catalogue published by Susak Press to accompany the exhibition, to be available through the website and at the exhibition venues.
The Marmite Prize for Painting is in no way associated with the food product ‘Marmite’.
Central Art Gallery, Tameside
Old Street
E info @ marmite

Credits: Louisa Durose, Hummer, 2010, oil on canvas,, 115x165cm

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