Louisa Waterford Prize EXHIBITION 2024
OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Submissions are now open for the second Louisa Waterford Prize Exhibition.
This is a multi-disciplinary art prize to celebrate the history and legacy of Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford, who was an artist and philanthropist, described by many as a woman ahead of her time.
The exhibition takes place at Louisa's beloved home and final resting place at Ford and Etal Estates in Northumberland.
The prize was inaugurated in 2022 by The Tin Shed at Lady Waterford Hall, the schoolhouse she built at Ford Village, where she spent 20 years creating some of the most important artworks of her life. The life-size watercolour murals depicting biblical scenes are now visited by thousands every year.
Part of Louisa's philanthropic work included encouraging artists, designers and makers to use their skills to make a living. She employed many of them, from architects to stonemasons and ceramicists in her vision for the transformation of Ford Village.
Prior to her arrival following her husband's death, it was described as a "squalid and miserable place in a stunning landscape", but her eye for beauty and detail led her to create what became known as "a perfect paradise".
The Louisa Waterford Prize aims to celebrate the strengths of artists, makers and designers today.
The 2024 Prize - A Perfect Paradise, takes its theme from a remark made by one of the early visitors to Ford Village in 1886 as detailed by author H M Neville in Under a Border Tower.
Of course it's not just about the village, but its location on a hill overlooking the landscape of Glendale with the Cheviots on the horizon. We're looking for a multi-disciplinary response to this, a personal take on this perfect paradise.
Our 2024 event takes place at venues across Ford and Etal, including Etal and Crookham Village halls.
There will also be a special evening talk at Lady Waterford Hall as part of the event by leading historian and writer Caroline Inges-Chambers, the author of "For You have not Falsely Praised", based on letters between Louisa and her long-time friend, artist and author John Ruskin.
Caroline is also part our panel of eminent judges, which includes Helen Hastings, artist/curator and marketing manager of Hastings First Gallery in Coldstream; Harriet Joicey, Chair of the Lady Waterford Hall Trust along with Lesley McNish, journalist and Creative Director of The Tin Shed.
John Ruskin went on to set up The Guild of St George, a charity that still supports the arts and artists today. Last year we were very lucky to be given support by the Guild with a donation to our prize and also joining our judging panel. We are pleased to report that we have their ongoing support for our 2024 event, continuing the bond between Ruskin and Louisa.
The 2024 winner will receive a Prize worth over £500. It includes a small cash sum; the opportunity to show the winning piece in the mixed Summer Exhibition at Hastings First Gallery in Coldstream which runs from May 15 till the end of July. (This is the Gallery's first summer event and features a number of invited professional Borderlands' artists and makers); an opportunity to exhibit the winning work at Lady Waterford Hall; an invitation to join The Tin Shed's growing online community of artists with a free curated studio for a year, as well as an online exhibition of work at The Tin Shed's Gallery. The winner will also have an opportunity to join one of The Tin Shed's pop-up live events to show and/or sell their work and be featured on The Tin Shed website and across our social media sites.
Around 40 artists will be shortlisted for the exhibition. The closing date is Friday, 1 March.
The three-day exhibition will be curated across at least two venues on or part of Ford and Etal Parish.
The venues will form an informal art trail, to include other art attractions, art demos and workshops and talks, at venues including Lady Waterford Hall and artists' studios on the estates.
Ford and Etal has many historic art and craft sites of interest which will be highlighted for visitors.
Please click HERE to find out more about the Louisa Waterford Prize Exhibition and how to submit.
ABOUT LOUISA, MARCHIONESS OF WATERFORD
Born Louisa Stuart, she became Marchioness of Waterford after her marrying Henry Beresford, Lord Waterford. She moved from his family seat in Ireland to Ford Castle in Northumberland following his death in the mid-1800's.
She was already an accomplished amateur artist who was well-known in London's elite artistic circles. She'd been tutored by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and was good friends with art critic and author John Ruskin for about 40 years until her death.
Louisa is also known for her philanthropic work. She and her husband built hundreds of new houses and a school for the estate workers in Ireland, as well as setting up sustainable craft industries to provide employment.
Although still grieving when she arrived at Ford village, in Northumberland, she set about improving the lives of the estate's tenants by re-designing and improving the houses and building a new school. That building is now Lady Waterford Hall.
Louisa spent the last 37 years of her life at Ford and transformed the village, showcasing the very best of Victorian arts, crafts and architecture.
Today the well-preserved buildings stand as her legacy as do the life-size murals she painted for the walls of the village school.
She spent over 20 years creating the Biblical scenes called "Lives of Good Children" using the villagers as her models.These huge artworks reflected a revival of monumental painting and fresco in Britain at the time.
Though Louisa and her work isn't as well known as her male counterparts, the murals remain unparalleled by any other woman artist of Louisa Waterford’s generation across Europe.
Ford and Etal Estates were bought by the Joicey family in early 1900's. They still own and run the estates.
The inaugural Prize exhibition in 2022 featured 24 finalists and was staged at Lady Waterford Hall, surrounded by her famous murals.
In 2024 the Hall will be open to visitors during the three-day event so they can see her work which also includes many recently donated pieces from previously private collections.
Saturday May 4 - Monday May 6
10.30am - 4pm
The 2024 event will take place across three days early Spring Bank Holiday, with work being exhibited at Etal and Crookham Village halls.
There'll also be various art and craft workshops and demonstrations, with additional exhibitions by local artists and makers.
Submissions for the Louisa Waterford Prize Exhibition are now open. Closing date for applications is Friday March 1. Find our more about the event and how to submit work here.
Louisa Waterford Winner 2022
Furniture maker Rob Elliot was the first-ever winner of the Louisa Waterford Prize. His stunning Flow Desk and Chair installation, was unanimously selected for the 2022 Prize by the judging panel which included Dr Peter Burnam from The Guild of St George, Kate Mason Director of The Big Draw and Lady Harriet Joicey.
Rob, from Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, takes his inspiration from the flowing grain and forms of the local elm. He only uses trees that have died naturally, preserving their beauty through his hand-crafted furniture, giving them a new beginning, where they will go on to be admired and appreciated for many more years without loss to the environment where they came from.
Last year's storms, which destroyed so many trees in the area, makes his work all the more poignant.
Rob has been around timber his whole life. As a boy he spent hours making things from wood in the carpenter’s shop of his father’s sawmill.
Rob was awarded the prize worth £500, which included £350 cash, supported by The Guild of St George, Ford and Etal Estates and The Tin Shed.
See more of Rob's work at www.robelliotfurniture.com
2022 Winner - Rob Elliot (Furniture Designer/Maker)
Louisa Waterford Prize finalists 2022
Here's a glimpse at the 2022 finalists.
The theme was New Beginnings - A Dialogue with Nature, after was a difficult two years for many.
The work was exhibited in a special three-day exhibition at Lady Waterford Hall at Ford Village in Northumberland.
We'd just like to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful artists, makers and designers and to the judges Dr Peter Burman from The Guild of St George, Harriet Joicey, chair of the Lady Waterford Hall Trust; Kate Mason, CEO of The Big Draw and Vicky Lacey Smith former curator of Lady Waterford Hall. We woulld also like to say a special thank you to Ford and Etal Estates and The Guild of St George who sponsored the Prize.
Call for submissions for 2024 event is now open. Please click here to find out how to submit.
See our 2022 finalists below who responded to the theme New Beginnings - A Dialogue with Nature
Flow Desk & Chair - Hand-Carved Scottish Elm His inspiration comes from his love for these trees - to extend their "life" in a different way.
Lascaux Horse Glass Vase. Inspiration for both pieces came from Palaeolithic cave paintings found at Lascaux in France - possibly the first form of communication leading to a spoken language and the beginning of art as a form.
Lascaux Saber-Tooth Glass Vase
New Beginnings - The Causeway (monoprint) Inspiration comes from the ebb and flow of the tide, influenced by the moon, nature's beauty and its abilities to restore and begin again.
Open the Curtains (watercolour on black paper) Sam celebrates the feeling of breaking through the darkness, when the view of a new day, is a new beginning and makes everything feel so much better.
The Blue Egg (acrylic on black paper) This simple, single egg, with treasure-like quality highlights how nature continues to evolve around us no matter what.
Autumn Devine (acrylic on canvas) Country morning walks during lockdown sparked emotions of hope and freedom, captured in this abstract landscape.
Ocean of Possibilities (charcoal on watercolour paper) Reflects the energised and strong feeling when sea swimming - embraced by many to cope with anxiety and celebrate life during the pandemic.
Permanence and Fragility - A Conversation with Nature (mixed media monoprint/etching) Inspiration came from the devastation caused by Storm Arwen. The paradox of permanence and of fighting with nature.
Fourth Movement - The Rook's Lament (fused glass and reclaimed wood) This and Rhythm Tree are companion pieces representing glass artist, Karen's "Dialogue with Nature". This curved glass "ghost" tree is movements 1 and 2. The rook is lamenting the loss of this fallen tree and the clear glass sculpture is its ghost.
Fourth Movement - Rhythm Tree (movements 3 & 4) Curved fused glass panel with walnut. Inspired by her love of music, particularly playing the piano, glass artist Karen celebrates the spiritual creation of a piano, which is also the new beginning of the tree used to make it.
Sunrise Over Ingram Valley - Oil on Pastel Inspired by the sunrise, which Sarah says is a reminder to us all, that every day is a new beginning when we start all over again.
Sunflowers in a Dark Garden (acrylic) The bright sunflowers "shining" in her dark garden gave Alison hope at a time she was struggling to find any enthusiasm during the pandemic. Seeing nature's beauty and resilience, helped her fine her creativity and inspiration again.
Pink Flowers in the Middle (acrylic on canvas) Alison's brightly coloured floral piece gave her great comfort in being able to record the beauty of nature and new beginnings at a time during the pandemic, which at first crushed her spirit and caused her to struggle to find any enthusiasm for creativity.
The Secret of Spring (Acrylic on Board) Exploring boundaries both real and imagined, this reflects the artist's love of the natural world, of growth and transformation, along with a pre-occupation with the ephemeral quality of life as she explores being part of a kaleidoscopic universe.
Renewal - When Spring Comes I will send you Tulips (from Amsterdam) Margaret, a milliner, was inspired to create this hand-painted and hand-dyed silk headpiece by the nature of Nature itself. How no matter the ebb and flow of life, nature rejuvenates itself every Spring. For Margaret, tulips signify Spring.
Rebirth - Snowdrops in the Forest (watercolour) Inspiration - the fragility of the snowdrop symbolises renewal and strength. New, perfect regrowth against all the odds. It heralds a new beginning, a new year.
Discovery (watercolour) Hidden low amongst the spring blossom is the gift of new life. A perfectly formed nest, housing blackbird eggs. A secret, safe haven, momentarily captured.
Yin Yang Table Hand-carved Scottish Elm
Awakening (acrylics) Deryck spotted this clump of snowdrops, beneath a wind-felled tree, lit up by a ray of sunshine on a cold dark day. "These wonders of nature, herald the coming of spring and filled me with hope".
Forest Edge (oil painting on wood) Shankar, was inspired by how nature seems to be responding to any restrictions humans may impose on it. Here the solid fence seems feeble to the encroaching forest.
Dunstanburgh Castle (oil on canvas) Inspired by the imposing castle ruins, Shankar, then considered the massive rock formation it was built on and how that had remained unchanged for millions of years, and would continue to, as the castle crumbles away.
A Patchwork of Memories (stoneware, slab-built, textured vase) Inspiration for ceramicist Anne comes from her garden and the rural view from it This vase captures her love of that, made with her favourite stamps and tools, capturing many memories. Made in her new studio, built during lockdown, it symbolises a new start for life and her business.
With Every Ending is a New Beginning (acrylic on board) Inspiration to paint this simple, but beautiful seeded dandelion came during the pandemic. It was a reminder how natures continues no matter what and as one thing ends, new things begin.
The Rigg (water-based oils) Albert was inspired to begin painting again after many years, following this post-lockdown trip to Castle Rigg in Cumbria. In that moment he felt reconnected to nature and his surroundings and wondered about the history of the site, and all that had gone before.
Autumn Trees (water-based oils) This was another of Albert's post lockdown outings, this time to Aviemore in Scotland, which led him to pick up his paint brushes again. He'd stopped due to arthritis, but seeing the sunlight on this copse, started a whole new beginning and outlook on life for him.
Ostara Tiara Jewellery designer Sarah took her inspiration from beautiful purple crocuses and snowdrops appearing through the frosted earth. She recreated this image using real gemstones and twisted golden wire for her organic, sculptural tiara, named after the goddess of Spring, whose name also means Easter.
On the Nest - acrylics on canvas This view of a Northumberland lake after lockdowns were lifted, inspired Natasha to think about new beginnings and how important nature is. This was her dialogue with it that special day.
Build Yourself a Garden (embroidery and ink on patchwork fabric) Created during lockdown as an escape from her negative surroundings. It reflects a yearning to be with nature again and the strange mental space she was in, when looked out to a world she couldn't, in that moment, be in.
Sugar Sands (watercolour, charcoal, pastel and ink) This Northumberland seascape captures the start of a cold but sunlit day in March, heralding the start of Spring and a new year ahead.
Upstream at the River Till (watercolour with charcoal, pencil and acrylic) Lotty was inspired to paint this part of the salmons' difficult annual journey home to spawn, which for her, always signifies the start of something new and the power of nature.
Folly, Fascination and Fruition Head-piece created with peacock feather and hand-dyed silk. A post-lockdown trip to a forest to plan a photoshoot for her millinery business led to finding a dead peacock. After getting permission from the landowner, Alison was able to use the bird's feathers for this sculptural piece, capturing their ever-lasting, natural beauty.
Botanica Lumens - Impressed Porcelain Lamps.
Bouquet - Impressed Stoneware Plaque Maggie, a ceramicist, takes much of her inspiration from her garden and the rural landscape around her home. During the recent lockdowns, her garden and where she lives became more precious to her than ever and these ceramic pieces celebrate that.