Artist Laura wild about top awards success

Laura Quinn Harris
Laura Quinn Harris

An acclaimed Wigan artist has racked up a string of successes including being shortlisted for a prestigious wildlife painting award.

Laura Quinn-Harris is in the running for the Wildlife Artist of the Year award after her work With a Little Help from my Friends was picked by organisers the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

With A Little Help From My Friends, by Laura Quinn Harris

With A Little Help From My Friends, by Laura Quinn Harris

Laura will compete against more than 100 other works for the £10,000 top prize and has been included in the exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London for the second time.

The award is one of a number of notable achievements Laura has recently achieved, with one of her works being included in the show for the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery and another picked for the international Birds in Art competition in the USA.

Laura, from Swinley, said: “I had a painting selected for the Wildlife Artist of the Year show last year for the first time and it was a great exhibition featuring some fantastic contemporary wildlife art.

“I’m really pleased to be involved with it again, especially since half of all the proceeds go directly to funding wildlife conservation.”

I’m really pleased to be involved with the show again, especially since half of all the proceeds go directly to funding wildlife conservation.

Laura Quinn-Harris

Laura’s oil painting of primates will join a host of other works in the London gallery between June 28 and July 2 showcasing the diversity of animal life on the planet.

A total of 163 pieces have been picked for the 10th anniversary of the award using media including ceramic, watercolour and bronze.

“This year’s shortlist brings the wild to life,” says judge, and award-winning artist Gary Hodges. From the silence of a shark casting its shadowy form on the ocean bed to the scuttling of armadillos, the peacefulness of hippos wallowing in the early morning sun and the symphony of bird song at dusk, selecting the overall winner from this amazing collection will be extremely hard.”

The wildlife art competition is just one of a number of high-profile contests Laura is entering this year, and she says getting her painting Jessica selected for the BP-sponsored prize at the prestigious London portrait gallery in particular is a dream come true.

She said: “I’m not one of the three artists shortlisted for a prize but it is huge honour to be selected for the exhibition.

“It is the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world and this year 53 paintings were chosen from 2,580 entries from 87 countries.

“This is an exhibition that I have been visiting at the National Portrait Gallery ever since I was a teenager. I have always loved seeing the show and been completely in awe of the talent on display.

“Back then I never even dreamed that one day my work would be included in it, so I am over the moon. The show is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year, so to think that my work will be viewed by that many people is just incredible.”

Laura will also be involved in Birds in Art in September, a competition which has now been running more than 40 years and this time around is based in Wisconsin.

Her work has also been picked for the prestigious Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Prize exhibition, which ends this week, and features in a show about women in art at Burgh House & Hampstead Museum in London.