Alan Dunn has been unveiled as the winner of the inaugural Liverpool Sculpture Prize. His work, Ascension, takes a component from a famous public artwork in Liverpool and repurposes it to talk about loneliness within society.

Glasgow-born artist Alan Dunn has been based in the Liverpool City Region since 1995, the year he co-created the RAY + JULIE sculpture with Brigitte Jurack. The sculpture, consisting of two chairs, was originally commissioned by the Furniture Resource Centre. The original RAY + JULIE artwork existed for 27 years.

Nobody ever knew who RAY + JULIE were, but in this new work they are separated, RAY at the plinth and JULIE left behind on London Road. It will be the first time in 27 years they will have been separated and will remind us of the solice and support that faith brings to the lonely and the forgotten.

Ascension sees RAY installed at the Plinth on Liverpool Parish Church for twelve months.

Alan Dunn says,

“After we created RAY + JULIE, only intended to last for six months until the road was redeveloped, they were adopted by the people of Liverpool in such a beautiful manner. Over their 27 years, they became the subject of poems, short stories, photographs, a play at the Everyman Theatre, a spoken word installation in St Georges Hall and were once described by The Guardian as one of Britain’s Top Ten Secret Sculptures. In creating this new work for Liverpool Parish Church, using RAY, we are also creating another work, JULIE (on her own) on London Road.”

Alan’s work was chosen by a panel of judges from the artworld and Liverpool’s business and civic communities from submissions from artists across the UK.

Liverpool Sculpture Prize, created and managed by Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool Parish Church, is open to any sculptor working and living in the UK.

The work will be displayed at Liverpool Parish Church, on the plinth overlooking Chapel Street.

The judging panel included; Rector of Liverpool Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing MBE from Liverpool Parish Church, The Venerable Pete Spiers, Archdeacon of Knowsley and Sefton in the Diocese of Liverpool, Lesley Woodbridge Public art Officer at Liverpool City Council, artist Faith Bebbington, Curator at DuoVision James lawler, Art critic and writer from the Double Negative Laura Robertson, Saleem Fazal from Taylor Wessing, Curator at Bluecoat Adam Smythe, Julie Johnson, Chair of Liverpool’s BID Company’s Culture & Commerce BID and Business Operations Partner at Morecrofts.

Julie Johnson, of Liverpool BID Company says,

“This was a very competitive field with some incredible talented and visionary artists submitting their work for the prize. The work we have chosen is, we believe, one that is fitting for the first recipient of the Liverpool Sculpture Prize as it tells a rich story and is part of the fabric of the city’s folklore”.

Rector of Liverpool Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing MBE is from Liverpool Parish Church,

“Our ambition with the Liverpool Sculpture Prize has been that it creates curiosity and excitement in public and contemporary art, and I believe this work will do just that. We know that the opportunities for exhibition for artists, particularly sculptors, are increasingly few and far between, especially in the public realm, and this prize is designed to provide real support and ambition to promote artists who need it”.