Jacqui Hallum has won this year’s John Moores Painting Prize with her giant ink work on sheets titled King and Queen of Wands.
The 40-year-old from Totnes appeared astonished to win the £25,000 first prize which saw her triumph over 2,700 entries for this year’s 60th anniversary competition.
It is Hallum’s first time being shown in the prestigious painting prize competition after a number of unsuccessful attempts over two decades.
She said it had made up for the disappointment of England being knocked out of the World Cup and laughed: “I’m going to celebrate by going down to the Albert Dock and buying a handbag!”
Along with the £25,000 prize money, and marking the John Moores’ 60th anniversary, she will also receive a three-month fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University and a solo display at the Walker Art Gallery in 2019.
Hallum (pictured above with John Moores patron Sir Peter Blake) beat fellow shortlisted artists Joseph O’Rourke, Billy Crosby, Shanty Panchal and Tom Howse.
King and Queen of Wands
The works were judged by a panel of jurors including the artists Monster Chetwynd, Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, Bruce McLean and Liu Xiaodong, and curator Jenni Lomax.
Lomax said: “Amidst the passionate and heated selection process, Jacqui Hallum's painting emerged as the clear winner. There is something about the provisional and nomadic nature of the work that makes it feel very current.
“At the same time, an initial sense of lightness belies historical and personal references that collapse within its folds.”
Over its history the John Moores Painting Prize has exhibited more than 2,200 artists and given out more than £600,000 in prize money.
The exhibition of 60 shortlisted works is on show at the Walker Art Gallery until November 18.