The biennial competition saw over 550 entries, with the Gallery choosing the best 105 pieces from across the region and beyond to display at the Gallery ahead of its exhibition launch.

All chosen pieces are now on display as part of The Harley Open 2019 and will run alongside

‘A Painted Conversation’, an exhibition by The Harley Open 2017 winner, Jéréme Crow.

This year’s Harley Prize is shared between two pieces, ‘250 Years of Circus’ by Susan Dodd and ‘Islanded Tent’ by Joanna Whittle. Each will share the £1,000 prize, donated by The Harley Foundation.

Derbyshire based artist, Susan said: “I’m so surprised and honoured to be chosen for this prize at such a wonderful gallery. Having two works selected for the exhibition was amazing enough, but to be joint winner of The Harley Prize is incredible. I love The Harley Gallery and try to visit all the exhibitions, the Peter Blake being a highlight for me. The variety and excellence of the shows is a constant surprise and pleasure. I cannot thank the judges enough for the prize – I am gobsmacked.”

Describing her work, she said: “I’ve always loved excess in art, but my work is about creating order out of chaos. Everything I produce tells a story, but it’s up to the viewer to decide what that story is.” Susan worked in theatre and museums after studying art in the 70s. She then went on to become an antique dealer which encouraged and facilitated her collecting and hoarding.

Zambia born painter, Joanna is thrilled to share the Harley Prize, saying: “It’s been fantastic to have been chosen for this prestigious exhibition and to have ‘Islanded Tent’ selected for a prize amongst other great work has been really amazing. As a painter who makes very small and quiet landscapes, it is great to have this work recognised in this selection.”

250 Years of Circus, 2018, assembled collage of found and made objects, approx 54cm x 44cm

Now based in Sheffield, Joanna has shown nationally and internationally in both solo and group exhibitions and has undertaken a number of public commissions. In 2018 she was selected for the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.

Other Artists who received prizes were-

Geoff Hewitt- The Judges Prize
Tracey Keeping-The School of Artisan Food Prize
Mark Elsmore- Wellbeck Farm Shop Prize
Henrietta Corbett – Storycatchers Prize

Vicky Platt – Wellbeck Abbey Brewery Prize

Director of The Harley Gallery and Trustee of The Harley Foundation, Lisa Gee said:

“It’s been great to see so many artists putting work forward. We knew it was going to be a tall order selecting the successful pieces from the wide variety of works to choose from. These ranged from abstract paintings, portraits and landscapes to photography, textiles and creative design and the end result is a strong exhibition celebrating the artistic talent of the region and further afield.”

Each of the winning artists will be presented with their awards at a public prize-giving reception to be held at The Harley Gallery, Saturday 2 March from 12noon – 2pm. The People’s Prize remains open and will be announced at the prize-giving event.

Visitors to The Harley Open will have the opportunity to nominate their favourite piece from the exhibition. The People’s Prize, sponsored by Child First Welbeck, will be awarded to the piece with the greatest number of votes.

For more information visit:

The Prizes-

The Harley Prize: £1000 sponsored by The Harley Foundation

Judges’ Prize: £500 sponsored by The Welbeck Estates Company

The School of Artisan Food Prize: A day course of the winner’s choice

Storycatchers Prize: £250

Welbeck Farm Shop Prize: £50 worth of vouchers

Welbeck Abbey Brewery Prize: Work printed on limited edition beer label – sold exclusively in the Welbeck Farm Shop

People’s Prize: £250 sponsored by Child First Welbeck

The Harley Gallery

The Harley Gallery is where old and new come together. Celebrating its 25-year anniversary in 2019, the award-winning gallery shows contemporary exhibitions by leading visual artists. The Portland Collection gallery exhibits art from Welbeck’s historic collection, with new displays due spring/summer 2019*. Additional attractions include events, a café, shop and children’s activity area.* The Portland Collection gallery is currently closed in preparation.

Welbeck is a historic country estate which works to develop inspiring spaces in which to create and innovate. It is home to a community of artisan producers, craftspeople and businesses. Visit the Courtyard at Welbeck for great food, great art and great shopping – all within Welbeck’s beautiful rural setting. The Courtyard is open daily 10am – 5pm (4pm Sundays). Free entry. Free parking.