Dawn Jones Art Prize Winners Announced – 01/11/13

Four budding artists from Walsall were announced as joint winners at this year’s Dawn Jones Art Prize after judges were so impressed by the entries.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is proud to support the Dawn Jones Art Prize, which invites people with experience of mental health issues to create artwork.

Guest judges Stuart Hill, Vice Chair for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, and Maureen Lewis of Walsall Black Sisters were overwhelmed by the quality of the entries. Stuart said: “We had such a fantastic response this year that we decided to give four prizes. It’s wonderful seeing so many people getting involved and exploring the subject of mental health through art.”

Now in its eighth year, the competition was set up by Maureen Jones in memory of her daughter, Dawn Jones, who tragically committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 25. Entries are invited from anyone with close experience of mental ill-health, whether you are a service user, carer, relative of service user or staff working in mental health.

The four winners were Val Hartill for her ‘Windmill’ painting, Rita Barnes for ‘Beneath the Blue’, Michael Haddon for ‘Flush of Pink’ and Deborah Lyons for ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’.

Deborah Lyons with PaintingDeborah Lyons – ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’

One of the winners, Deborah Lyons, from Pelsall, near Walsall, is a carer for a daughter who has bipolar disorder. Deborah has a clear talent for art, yet only started painting around four years ago when she attended a local art class.

Deborah said: “Discovering art has helped me to relax and focus on something other than being a carer. Sometimes, you can be so involved in caring that you exclude everything else in your life. Art allows me to escape for a few hours and maintain my own identity. My painting is meant to symbolise that there is light at the end of the tunnel for people. I am delighted to be one of the winners. I hope people enjoy my painting as much as I do.”

Dawn Jones’s mother, Maureen, added “It has been very rewarding to hear so many people say things like they had given up art when they were ill, but that the Dawn Jones Art prize had inspired them to start getting involved in artwork again.”

The Dawn Jones Art Prize runs every year. For more information, email Maureen Jones at bmjones420@btinternet.com.

Deborah Lyons - 1st prize - Light at the End of the Tunnel Michael Haddon - 4th prize - Flush of Pink
Deborah Lyons – 1st prize – Light at the End of the Tunnel Michael Haddon – 4th prize – Flush of Pink
Rita Barnes - 2nd prize - Beneath the Blue Val Hartill - 3rd Prize - Windmill
Rita Barnes – 2nd prize – Beneath the Blue Val Hartill – 3rd Prize – Windmill
Winners with Paintings
The four winners with their paintings
Left – Right: Valerie Hartill; Michael Haddon; Deborah Lyons; Rita Barnes