News

The Paul Mellon Centre and Art UK are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Write on Art competition

  • 19 October 2020

This year’s Write on Art competition was an incredible success despite the challenging circumstances Covid-19 has presented the world.

Due to the lockdown and the uncertainty around classroom teaching, the deadline for the prize was extended from 31 March to 31 July. The extension had an immediate effect on the prize and we received a total of 402 essays from across the United Kingdom, a 152% increase in submissions from the previous year. The essays themselves were also of the highest quality, making shortlisting, an already challenging task, even more difficult. The judges, Hettie Judah, Simon Groom, Karen Gregory, and Sir Simon Schama, noted how the essays were remarkable, well-written, and insightful. After more than an hour of deliberation, the judges finally selected this year’s winners.

The first and second prize essays in each category will be published daily here and on Art UK’s website from 20–23 October 2020.

Years 10/11

First Place: Florence Wolter, Woman at a Window by Edgar Degas

Second Place: Izzy Ajani, Standing Figure with African Masks by Claudette Johnson

Runners Up: Iris Watson, Yellow Islands by Jackson Pollock; Eleanor Harvey, She’s A Leyland Lady, 1956 by Walter Lambert; Sasha Minnis, Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Artemisia Gentileschi

Years 12/13

First Place: Ruby Langan-Hughes, The Broken Mirror by Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Second Place: Imogen Hodgkins, Cottage and Figure I by Jack Simcock

Runners Up: Ore Gazit, Jerusalem, Looking to Mount Scopus by David Bomberg; Alicia Doran, International Klein Blue by Yves Klein; Dasha Shapovalova, Interior Scene with Clive Bell and Duncan Grant Drinking Wine by Vanessa Bell

We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone on the shortlist, as well as everyone who submitted an essay for their hard work and enthusiasm, which was evident across all of the submitted essays.  

Full shortlist

Years 10/11

Florence Wolter, Woman at a Window by Edgar Degas

Izzy Ajani, Standing Figure with African Masks by Claudette Johnson

Iris Watson, Yellow Islands by Jackson Pollock

Eleanor Harvey, She’s A Leyland Lady, 1956 by Walter Lambert

Sasha Minnis, Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Artemisia Gentileschi

Lucy Fan, Between the Two My Heart is Balanced by Lubaina Himid

Dorothy Hudston, Beyond Man’s Footsteps by Briton Riviere

Sofia Guerra, An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump by Joseph Wright of Derby

Amy Lawson, Circe by Edgar Bertram MacKennal

Mary Woods, Ophelia by John Everett Millais

Year 12/13

Ruby Langan-Hughes, The Broken Mirror by Jean-Baptist Greuze

Imogen Hodgkins, Cottage and Figure I by Jack Simcock

Ore Gazit, Jerusalem, Looking to Mount Scopus by David Bomberg

Alicia Doran, International Klein Blue by Yves Klein

Dasha Shapovalova, Interior Scene with Clive Bell and Duncan Grant Drinking Wine by Vanessa Bell

Amelia Beddington, Two Birds by Ronald Pope

Tara Williams, St. Bride by John Duncan

Theodora Thomas, The Year List by David Whittaker

Annie Park, Head of E.O.W. II by Frank Auerbach

Mia Beechey, No Woman No Cry by Chris Ofili