Artist Alli has her eyes on a top prize

IN THE PICTURE ... Alli Sharma and, inset, her painting Ingrid 2 (A Kind of Loving).
IN THE PICTURE ... Alli Sharma and, inset, her painting Ingrid 2 (A Kind of Loving).

A SOUTH Shields artist is in the running for one of the UK’s biggest prizes for painting.

Alli Sharma is one of 50 contenders on a shortlist for this year’s John Moores Painting Prize.

Her picture Ingrid 2 (A Kind Of Loving), was selected from more than 2,500 entries and will go on display at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery from Saturday, July 5.

The competition’s first place comes with prize money of £25,000.

Alli, of Horsley Hill, South Shields, says her work is very much associated with her memories of South Shields and her attachment to the town.

The 47-year-old added that she is delighted to make the shortlist, saying: “It’s a fantastic feeling. It’s a really great prize for painting, so I’m very pleased.

“It’s a very prestigious prize too, so it feels like a big honour to be part of it.

“I know some of the other artists up for the prize, and I really like their work, so it’s great to have my painting alongside theirs.

“This competition also offers a lot of exposure. This particular painting has already been displayed at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle, but I’ll be going to Liverpool to see it there.

“There are lots of celebrations going on, so it should be a big event.”

Sandra Penketh, Liverpool’s director of art galleries, said: “This year’s John Moores Painting Prize has attracted some very accomplished artists, whose work we are thrilled to have on display at the Walker.

“The judges have selected a show which highlights some of the very best of contemporary painting and gives a strong sense of current trends and themes alive today in the studios and art schools up and down the country.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki