The two Richard Harrington Challenge Cup competitions staged for Watford Live! 2013 came to a festive finale with the winners of both being presented with their trophies and prizes by Watford’s MP himself at a reception at Watford Museum on Thursday night.
Both competitions attracted a high number of entries and Mr Harrington expressed genuine admiration and interest in both.
As one of the four judges for the “fantastic” Literature competition, organised jointly by Watford Writers and WAAF, he had enjoyed reading all 34 “blogs” and observed that the winning entry, Until Next Year, by Rob Summers did stand out as both good and moving.
As for the artwork on show all around the guests in the foyer of the museum, his reaction was spontaneous:
“My young assistant (Jenny Reed) called it ‘well good’! I would go further and say, it is ‘well, well good’ as good as any professional display.”
The most exciting part, however, is the participation and response to real challenge, stressed the donor of the Art and Literature trophies, a pair of Art Deco vases.
The challenging title for the art competition was Paint a Poem and the winner, Sarah Munro, commented later that it was the challenge of the title that had persuaded her to enter her first competition and put her work on show.
Sarah’s triptych painting of two parrots, Why Caged Birds Sing, was, she said, written around slavery and the freedom inherent in song; for the caged bird a sense that out there, beyond the bars, is freedom.
The Art competition attracted 37 entries and the winners were chosen by visitors voting for their favourites.
Museum manager Sarah Priestly in thanking Watford Area Arts Forum and all the artists taking part, was lavish in her praise and observed that this year’s competition had attracted a lot of public interest and the presentation night felt like a real celebration.
Photos by Richard Wilson