Art prizes

Contemporary British Painting Prize 2016 - Finalist

The War Room - John Brennan, 2015, oil on canvas, 90 x 130 x 4 cm

I'm excited to discover that I'm one of fifteen finalists in the Contemporary British Painting Prize 2016 with The War Room.

I'm in good company, the quality of the other artists, the selectors and the judges for this prize is impressive. Congratulations to everyone and many thanks of course to the panellists.

“Painters! I know you feel the pride, romance and difficulty of that self-description. The great painting – elusive, impossible record of human touch – remains the dream and summit of the visual arts today just as it has always done. Extravagant? Maybe, but I mean it.”

Christopher Le Brun, President, Royal Academy

“Although only in its first year, the Contemporary British Painting prize has drawn 631 entries of outstanding quality from both emerging and well-known artists and has set a benchmark for the nation.”

Anna McNay, Art writer, London

There are two finalists exhibitions:

  • The Riverside Gallery, Richmond Museum, London 10 September – 22 October 2016
  • Huddersfield Art Gallery 5 November – 28 January 2017

The finalists:

Louis Appleby | David Auborn | Aglaé Bassens | Karl Bielik | Katrina Blannin | John Brennan | Lindsey Bull | Nick Carrick | Dan Coombs | Gordon Dalton | Marielle Hehir | Cathy Lomax | Kate Lyddon | Mandy Payne | Paul Smith

View the catalogue

Read more about the prize...

Jackson's Open Art Prize 2016 - Shortlisted

Invocation  - John Brennan, 2016, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

Invocation - John Brennan, 2016, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

Excited to discover that my painting, Invocation, has been shortlisted for the Jackson's Open Art Prize 2016. Many thanks to the selectors, now to the judging! More about the prize from the organisers:

The Jackson’s Open Art Prize had a huge response with 3100 artists submitting their drawings, paintings and prints.  After much deliberation the Jackson’s panel selected 410 for a long-list of really excellent work that was announced 15th April.  As the next step of the selection process our panel of six expert judges have now chosen their favourites from that list creating a short-list of 54 artworks that are shown below. Congratulations to all the artists whose work was selected for the short-list! They have been emailed with the good news.

The judges are: painter and gallery director Carlos de Lins, artist and head printmaking tutor Hillary Daltry, painter and tutor Hugo Grenville, artist and freelance journalist James Hobbs, artist and winner of the BBC Big Painting Challenge Paul Bell, and artist and curator Sarah Sparkes.  You can read more about the judges in their earlier interviews on the Jackson’s blog.

Finalist - Bankley Open Call 2015

Experiments in Movement: Part 1 - John Brennan, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

This is Reality - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 80 x 80 x 4 cm

Following on from its scoop of the ArtGemini Prize recently and selection as a finalist in Arte Laguna Prize earlier this year, 'Experiments in Movement: Part 1' has now been selected as a finalist in Bankley Open Call 2015.

Many thanks to the selection panel. I last showed at Bankley Open in 2013 with 'This is Reality'.

Private view and awards ceremony

9th October 2015, time TBC. See website for details: Bankley Studios, Manchester.

Exhibition continues 17th & 18th and 24th & 25th October 2015 12 - 4pm

1st Prize - ArtGemini Prize 2015

Experiments in Movement: Part 1 - John Brennan, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

Excited to discover I've been awarded 1st prize in ArtGemini Prize 2015 (painting & sculpture) with 'Experiments in Movement: Part 1'. The painting was previously selected as a finalist in Arte Laguna Prize 2015.

Appreciation and thanks to the selection panel, organisers and to founder, Jimmy Lek.

The show continues at the Menier Gallery, London till Saturday 26th September 2015.

Arte Laguna Prize 2015

Experiments in Movement: Part 1 - John Brennan, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 4 cm

I'm a finalist in the 2015 Arte Laguna Prize with 'Experiments in Movement: Part 1'.

Private view

21st March, the Italian Cultural Association MoCA - Arte Laguna Studio, Venice

Exhibition 22nd March - 5th April 2015

Competition website

 Arte Laguna 


Claudio Bertorelli, franck Gautherot, Chuz Martinet, Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Domenico Quaranta, Philippe van Cauteren, Jonathan Watkins, Simone Frangi, Roberto Zancan

The National Open Art Competition 2013

The Message - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 70 x 50 x 4 cm

'The Message' has been selected for my sixth open show of 2013, in The National Open Art Competition . This is the painting's third success, having previously been shortlisted in Neo Art Prize 2013 and selected for inclusion in Bare Hill Publishing's book, 'The State of Art'

Competition website

The National Open Art Competition

Exhibition venues

The Royal College of Art - Oct 25th to Nov 7th 2013

The Minerva Theatre, Chichester - Nov 14th - Nov 30th 2013


Brian Sewell: His artistic conservatism and his acerbic views of The Turner Prize and much Contemporary Art have made Brian both feared and revered.

Dr Barbara Rae CBE RA RE: Dr Barbara Rae trained at Edinburgh's College of Art moving to Glasgow to lecture at Charles Rennie Macintosh's illustrious School of Art until working full time as an acclaimed artist and printmaker.

Michael Hoppen: Michael Hoppen sits on the Tate Gallery Modern Photography committee; The Coesia/GD4 Art Committee in Bologna,Italy; The John Kobal Foundation Committee and the Advisory Committee for the Renaissance Photography Award.

David Middleton: From the board of our headline sponsor, TOWRY The Wealth Adviser, he joins the judging panel not as a member of the art world but as a judge representing the opinions of any art loving member of the public.

James Green: James is Assistant Director at Stephen Friedman Gallery and is a trustee of The Chichester Art Trust.

Ludlow Open 2013

Munich - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 x 4 cm

'Munich' has been selected for my fifth open exhibition of 2013, Ludlow Open

Ludlow Open is a contemporary art exhibition held in the centre of Ludlow for 17 summer days each year.  Open submissions are received from local, regional, national and international artists, selected by an expert panel of artists and arts professionals. 

Private view

Thursday 25th July and Friday 26th July, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Exhibition website


Christopher le Brun

Painter, Printmaker, sculptor and current President of The Royal Academy of Art.

David Cleaton-Roberts

Director, Alan Cristea Gallery, London

Nathaniel Pitt

Artist, Director, Division of Labour

Anne de Charmant

Director, Meadow Arts


Worcester Open 2013

Myth I: This is the Place - John Brennan, 2012, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 x 4 cm

Myth III: Protect and Survive - John Brennan, 2011, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 x 4 cm

Myth VII: Nostalgia - John Brennan, 2011, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 x 4 cm

Three paintings from my series 'My Mythology' have been selected for exhibition in Worcester Open 2013

Exhibition website


Juneau Projects


Anne De Charmant

Director at Meadow Arts 

Wendy Law

Director at Turning Point West Midlands

Nada Prlja


Gavin Wade

Artist, Curator and Director at Eastside Projects Birmingham





Neo Art Prize 2013

The Message - John Brennan, 2013, oil on canvas, 70 x 50 x 4 cm

'The Message' has been selected for exhibition in Neo Art Prize 2013. 

Prize website

Neo: Art Prize 2013


Laurie Peake is Programme Director for the Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art, the largest international contemporary art festival in the UK and one of its most innovative public art commissioning bodies.

Paul Stolper is Director of leading contemporary galleries Paul Stolper Gallery, London and Stolper + Friends in Oslo, he has worked directly with contemporary artists for over a decade. Paul opened his first permanent space, Gallery A22 in the late 90’s followed by the pop-up Cab Gallery. He collaborates with artists such as Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas and Gavin Turk as well as supporting emerging British and International artists.

Mike Chavez-Dawson is an artist curator based at Rogue Artists Studios, Manchester. His artwork fluctuates between art curation and performance art. Chavez-Dawson was the visual arts editor and FLUX SPACE curator for FLUX Magazine for over a decade.

Iain Andrews is a Manchester based painter who has exhibited nationally and internationally since graduating in 2000. After graduating from the University College of Wales (Aberystwyth) with a BA in Fine Art in 1996 and an MA in Painting in 1998, Andrews received a PG Dip in Art Psychotherapy from Sheffield University in 2000. He is represented by London-based gallery Man&Eve


Creekside Open 2013

Untitled - John Brennan, 2012, oil on canvas, 70 x 90 x 4 cm

'Untitled' (2012) has been selected by Ceri Hand for exhibition in Creekside Open 2013.

Exhibition website


Initially trained as an artist, Ceri Hand draws on twenty years in the art world, having previously acted as Director of Metal (Liverpool), Director of Exhibitions, FACT (Liverpool, where she was a contributing curator to Liverpool Biennial in 2004 and 2006), Deputy Director of Grizedale Arts, Cumbria and Director of Make, London. Exhibitions curated during the Liverpool period included artists Yang Fudong, Jill Magid, Vito Acconci, Chen Chieh-jen, Walid Raad/The Atlas Group, Christian Jankowski, Matthew Buckingham, and The Black Audio Film Collective. She established Liverpool’s first contemporary commercial art gallery - The Ceri Hand Gallery - in 2008.