“THE HUG” has been declared the winning artwork in this year’s Leamington Open Exhibition.
The ceramic sculpture by Laura Adkins was singled out from over 400 other pieces for a prize of £1,000, handed over by Warwick District Council’s chairman, Coun Sidney Syson.
Laura said: “I saw a photograph online of Ukrainian men hugging at a funeral for one of their comrades during the Russia-Ukraine war. The two men held each other tightly in shared grief. It was moving and a great example of the power of a hug.”
The gallery received a record amount of submissions from artists who uploaded their artworks online. The pieces were reviewed and narrowed down to those who were invited to bring their work to the gallery to be examined by the independent panel of judges Kialy Tihngang, Michael A. Michael and Rebecca Earle.
The judging panel awarded some ‘highly commended’ pieces and these, along with all of the chosen entries, are now on display in the temporary gallery at the Leamington Art Gallery and Museum.
Visitors to the gallery can also vote for their favourite artwork, which will receive the coveted People’s Choice Award of £500 and will be announced towards the end of the exhibition, in December.
Last seen in 2022, the Open has been a regular popular feature of Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum’s programme since the 1930s.
Open 2024 is an eclectic mix of artistic forms including sculpture, photography, installation pieces, computer generated imagery and textiles.