The winner of the annual Turnboner Prize was announced today amidst the customary excitement and controversy. Never afraid to choose the unconventional or the shocking, the Prize has garnered a reputation for promoting gratuitous innovation over and above technical skill or artistic merit. This year is likely to prove no exception. Despite the dampening effects of, and practical difficulties imposed by, CONTRIK-69, the virtual panel comprised of leading artists and art-experts has deliberated for more than three weeks - each securely locked-down to prevent collusion or undue influence being brought to bear. The theme of this year's competition is Culinary Bio-ethical Diversity and, as expected, it has attracted a diverse set of entries.
Announcing the competition winner, panel chair Mrs Amanda J Threadbone praised all those who had entered adding that the panel's job had been made far from easy by the fact that shielding had prevented most of them from actually seeing the entries "in the flesh". "Many had to go on instinct, reputation and a written description of the work concerned". Some entries had, she conceded, suffered disproportionately as a result. "Professor Thrupiece stuffs a marrow", had been especially problematic since the judges had, individually, imagined 'quite different scenarios for the work: some more palatable than others". Here, she revealed, Ms Sizemore's expertise had been particularly invaluable, "she having witnessed the act in the flesh on more than one occasion".
A long-list of 12 was reduced to a short-list of 5 on the basis of the simple single-transferable vote [or rigged] system. The chosen 5 were then whittled down to 3 before the winner and runner-up were chosen. The winner "Cornucopia" by 32-year old Eleanorah Whisky-McNightly [Royal Dorset Academy of Art Visiting Fellow] was the "far from unanimous choice of the panel" but the one agreed upon in the end by all, it having been declared by the Chair that no-one was leaving the Zoom meeting until they had agreed with her selection.
Ms Whisky-McNightly was said to be "delighted but not altogether surprised" by her godmother's choice of her portrait.
The judges [agreed?] confidential notes:
Prize Winner: Cornucopia by Elspeth Whisky-McNightly
"This work effortlessly captures the freshness, innocence and commitment to ethical bio-diversity which was the hallmark of Professor Thrupiece in everything he sought to do and achieve. The tasteful arrangement of the exotic and the everyday enshrines, in a thoroughly modern yet wholly traditional spirit, the teeming richness and sheer abundance of the Professor's vision. This is strikingly achieved in a portrayal which rewards repeated examination and which hints at homage without ever descending to hagiography. It is the art that conceals art: technical accomplishment at the service of the divine"
Proxime Accessit: Pan Spermia or The Fruitful Professor by Tamsin Hardly-Pointy
Like many of this year's entrants, Tamsin Hardly-Pointy seems to have immediately conjoined Culinary Bio-ethical Diversity with the missing presumed disappeared Professor Brian Thrupiece. Though in this easy if lazy connection there always lurks the danger of conformist to the point of becoming a trope, Tamsin Hardly-Pointy avoided the predictable and the jejune through a subversive sense of her subjects corporeality. The work is commended by the jury for its bravery and wit. It's playful narrative cheeky irreverence and provocative gaze encapsulates in a single image the quirky and sometimes puckish spirit of the irrepressibly active and quick-minded Professor. His quick-silver intellectual process was rendered concrete through the fine detail which, combined with a representation of his all-too corporeal presence, captures the essence of a man who never denied his physical needs yet elevated his baser inclinations to a higher plane of spiritual and ethical understanding. This the artist clearly understood and almost succeeded in conveying.
The selected canvasses will be on display in ante-room to the Assembly Chamber of the Melplash Masonic Hall until 5th August when it will make way for the Melplash Ladies White Elephant Social. All slots are bookable [as the pimp said to the anally-retentive punter].