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14 June 2007 PR 07/78

Self-portrait sculpture announced as runner-up in national competition

Loughborough University Fine Art student Wendy Mayer has been named as runner-up in the first-ever Grieve+Samaritans Art Prize 2007.

The competition, which is supported by Christie’s, has been developed to raise the profile of emotional health within the art world and raise funds for Samaritans. Artists were invited to submit works related to one of the following Samaritans’ themes – communication and openness; feelings and emotions; depression and recovery from depression; loneliness, distress or despair.

“My work – a sculpture titled ‘Self Portrait as a Rag Doll in a Corner’ – represents psychological withdrawal,” explains Wendy. “It was inspired by the work of French philosopher and poet Gaston Bachelard and a case study about a woman who wanted to be a doll.”

Wendy’s piece was one of just fifteen, selected from over 500 entries, to be shortlisted for the award. All finalists were invited to a reception at the House of Commons on 13 June to exhibit their work. The winning artist received £2,000, while two runners-up each received £1,000. All the shortlisted work was then auctioned off, with the proceeds split equally between the artist and Samaritans.

Wendy (42) was a maths teacher for eleven years, before embarking on a new career as a sculptor. She attended the Art Foundation course at Coleg Menai, Bangor, before continuing her studies at Loughborough. She is now in the second year of her Fine Art degree at the University’s School of Art and Design.

Of her award, she says "I was thrilled just to be shortlisted and to be at the House of Commons! To win one of the prizes is absolutely amazing."

Wendy hopes to study for a Masters degree when she completes her undergraduate course and would ultimately like to be a practising artist.

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Notes for editors:

  1. A photo of Wendy’s sculpture is available on request from Hannah Baldwin, Loughborough University Public Relations Office, T: 01509 222239, E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

  2. The panel of shortlisting judges was chaired by Ed Vaizey MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, and included experts from the art world including Anthony McNerney, Associate Director of Contemporary Art at Christie’s and Camilla D’Arcy-Irvine of the Jerwood Foundation.

  3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2006 National Student Survey, the University gained a top five place, with nine out of

    Loughborough’s 23 departments topping their subject tables. Loughborough was also placed 6th in the 2007 Times Good University Guide and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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