Bolton Open Part 1

Two years ago I managed to get one of my prints in the biennial Bolton Open. (It was my busker print which I use as my avatar.) At the PV I knew one or two people there and the names of a handful of the artists who had work on the walls. This year it was a little different.

Last Thursday evening, the exhibition was opened and the prizes presented by the Mayor of Bolton.


Two years ago, the first prize was awarded to an artist I didn’t know called George Pott. [See comment below.] This time it was won by the chap who I sit next to at Julia’s fortnightly Life Drawing group on a Wednesday evening called George Pott.


All Yesterdays – George Pott (oil on canvas)

The second prize went to Margaret Jackson, who I know from various neo:artists exhibitions. The third prize winner, Judith Dent, I don’t know (I don’t think).


The Tree House, Halliwell – Margaret Jackson (wax emulsion)


The Umbrella Ride – Judith Dent (acrylic on canvas)

This seemed to be the trend as I went round. I now recognised the style of many of the artists as I went along, and the names of others. I took a lot of photographs particularly of work by people I knew, so I’m going to have to split this review into several parts. I’m going to try and show them in the number order of the catalogue.

I’ve just realised that I didn’t take a shot of Phil Davies’ Doffcocker Art Class. When I saw it originally there was a large crowd in front of it and I missed taking it when I went round again after the masses had dispersed. It wasn’t Phil’s usual style but an interesting study of the other artists at the Life Drawing group that meets weekly upstairs at the Doffcocker pub. Perhaps he thought it might be more acceptable than one of his nude studies.

Nearby was a painting called Escaping Criticism. I was standing admiring it when a voice said ‘Hello, John.’ The work was by Brian Herald who I have met recently through a mutual friend. Brian explained it was an interpretation of a little know older work which also had someone trying to climb out of a trompe l’oeil frame. presumably trying to escape criticism.


Escaping Criticism – Brian Herald (acrylic on canvas)

Brian particularly liked a painting near his. We had one of the eternal debates about the use of photographs when painting, as the work was obvious based on a photograph yet equally obviously had a lot of the artist in it too. Brian particularly appreciated the bright light being on the golden section.


Far East Fast Food – Dan Thewlis (oil on canvas)

I’ve previously mentioned my fondness for the charcoal drawings of Sharon Forest and I was pleased to see that she had one of them in the exhibition.


Sharon Forest discusses Night Terrors (charcoal on canvas)

And that is just some of what is on one wall of the exhibition! More to come!


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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4 Responses to Bolton Open Part 1

  1. seascapesaus says:

    Your opening statements bring a smile to the dial John. Perhaps choosing a favourite is a corny response, but I am most struck by Judith Dent’s Umbrella Ride – figures flying in the sky. Will we see your entry too?

  2. Brian Herald says:

    Judith works with my wife and happened to mention that she had only just started painting. In fact this is her first ever painting!

  3. My apologies to Sharon Forest who has pointed out that she in fact won first prize two years ago with a superb photograph (my opinion) of an elderly lady’s hands with her wedding ring. George Pott came second (I think!). Sorry for the error.

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