Art Prizes

Despite being such an unusual year the festival received outstanding submissions for this year’s prizes. A shorlist of 119 works were selected from over 470 entries which were submitted by artists from around the world and at very different stages in their careers.

The judging panel were extremely impressed by the range of work, command of materials and the techniques used. Their difficulty in choosing an overall winner was reflected by their decision to select a further shortlist of seventeen from which four were selected as highly commended. These artists are listed below. For the Sworders Art Prize a shortlist of eight were selected and two highly commended.

The festival would like to congratulate this year's winners and all the participating artists who have made the art prizes a success despite such challenging times. We look forward to announcing details of next year's prizes in due course - be sure to sign-up for our mailing list for more information.

Sir John Hurt Art Prize - 2020

SOCIALSirJohnHurtArtPrizeWinner2020WIth unanimous agreement by the judges, the winner is Eleanor Wood for her work Realignment 2 which will go on to be exhibited at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. It can be seen here with Susan Gunn who was one of this year's judging panel.

The Sworders Art Prize - 2020

SocialSwordersArtPrizeWinner20202The prize has been awarded to Grace Alexander for her painting Self Image. An exhibition of her work will be held at The Gallery in Holt. Self Image is pictured here with judges Susan Gunn and Adrian Hill.

Selected Shortlist Artists Highly Commended *
Guy Allen  
Christine Allman
Diana Ashdown
David Cass *
Dallas Collins *
Adrian Eckersley *
Sue Fraser
Nick Gear
Rosie Greenhalgh
Wendy Kimberley
Lucas Leon Rojas
Peter Norton
Chrissie Richards
Carl Rowe
Andi Sapey
Rachel Shaw Ashton *
Eleanor Wood - Winner

Young Artists Selected Shortlist  Highly Commended *
Felix Allen
Grace Alexander - Winner
Ross Brooks
Joe Delaney
Veronica Mclain de Vera
Sally Roberts *
Emilia Symis *
Jacob Taylor


Due to extreme weather conditions the regretful decision has had to be made not to go ahead with the exhbitions as planned this weekend.

Judges - 2020

Sir John Hurt Art Prize

Nichola Johnson - Art & Architectural Historian
Nichola trained as an archaeologist and then an art/architectural historian. Until 2010, she was Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. She has been a trustee of the National Trust and of Dulwich Picture Gallery and chaired the boards of Clore Leadership, the Ruskin Foundation and the University Museums Group. She is currently chair of the East Anglian Art Fund and on the boards of various other heritage and cultural organisations.
David Case - Curator & Publisher
After working in industry for several years, David was one of the founder directors of Christies Contemporary Art (now CCS Galleries). Moving to Marlborough Fine Art as a director in the early 90s as head of their graphics department, he published etchings and lithographs by artists such as Paula Rego, Frank Auerbach and Victor Pasmore. After stepping down he has worked as a private dealer and is the curator of the exhibition programme at the Corn Hall in Diss.

Susan Gunn - Award-Winning Artist
A Norwich University of the Arts alumni, Susan received international recognition when she won the Sovereign European Art Prize. Gunn has previously judged the Bishops Art Prize at Norwich Cathedral and the Sovereign European Art Prize. She is a founder member of Contemporary British Painting and has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally in a number of solo and group exhibitions. Her work is held in public and private collections around the world.

Sworders Art Prize

Susan Gunn - Award-Winning Artist
Adrian Hill - The Gallery Holt