In this year’s Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, the Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize of £1,500 was awarded to Janet Kenyon for Gridlock (Manhattan) – an intricate and captivating portrayal of the New York vista.
Born and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire, Janet studied for two years at Bolton College of Art and Design. In 1977 she moved away from Bolton to study at Leeds Polytechnic and later gained B.A. Honours in Graphic Design. It was here she began to experiment in watercolour and has since continued to push the boundaries of this medium.
Gridlock (Manhattan) is unique in the way it captures both natural and artificial light, offering an unexpected perspective and sense of space. Janet’s inspiration for this piece came during a recent trip to New York, whilst viewing the city from The One World Trade Centre: ‘I was taken by the sheer expanse of buildings all concentrated into a relatively small area. The way the light and shade played on the structures, all fighting for space, organised, yet chaotic, caught in a gridlock with the only option left but to climb ever more vertical.’ Janet Kenyon
For the first time, this year Smith & Williamson staff and partners selected the winner of the Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize. The judging process was led by Charles Winter who is a partner of Smith & Williamson Investment Management. Charles was struck by the strong graphic elements within Janet’s painting and said that ‘without being overly detailed’, the piece ‘gave the viewer an overwhelming feeling of endless humanity crushed into a small space. The layering of buildings in a grid format chimes well with the difficulty of moving around a modern day metropolis.’