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John Moores winner reveals new Walker solo exhibition

John Moores Painting Prize winner Kathryn Maple is staging a solo show of her work at the Walker Art Gallery.

Under a Hot Sun, which opens today, is the London-based artist’s first solo exhibition, and features work created since she was awarded the prestigious painting prize 18 months ago.

And it also coincides with the call for entries for the 2023 John Moores Painting Prize.

Maple, who studied printmaking at Brighton University and then went on to the Royal Drawing School, won the 2020 John Moores – announced in 2021 because of the pandemic lockdown – with her painting The Common. The first prize consists of £25,000 and the chance to exhibit at the William Brown Street gallery.

This new show focuses on nature and the environment, with the 33-year-old explaining: “I hope to provide a connection that is made through the surface of the paintings which resonates and echoes a sense of place.”

Maple has created the work over the past 12 months at the same time as a separate project to complete one drawing a day, the results of which are being published in a new book A Year of Drawing.

She uses drawings, photographs and her memory to create the paintings’ outdoor scenes in her indoor studio, with colour – and her response to it – increasingly informing her work.

The exhibition is in an adjoining gallery to the permanent display of John Moores Prize winners, and Maple says comparing the work to her painting The Common: “It’s interesting to see how my work has changed during the last two years. While there’s a softness in both which holds people within the image, in these (the newer works) there’s more detail.”

Under a Hot Sun is at the Walker Art Gallery from February 11 to April 30.

Meanwhile entries open for this year’s John Moores on Monday and artists have until March 24 to submit work.

Top: Kathryn Maple with her painting With Open Arms (2022)


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