Marmite Prize Constitution

The Marmite Prize for Painting is a not-for-profit organization. Entry is open to all. We will accept entry by post or e-mail.

The selection process is anonymous, with no artist cvs or biographies admitted. Our concern is to be as fair as possible to every entrant. For this reason we have a two-tier selection and judging procedure: firstly there is a selection panel made up of the Marmite curators and nominees from the galleries involved, who select a longlist for the catalogue and shortlist for the show. Then the panel of distinguished judges, who are established painters, choose a winner at the London venue.

We aim to promote artist communities and networks, locally and nationally, connecting artists through the touring exhibition and related activities. We are in favour of DIY approaches, artist cooperatives, collaborative artist-led exhibitions and initiatives, and generally artists supporting each other to set our own collective agenda for Art. We aim to support longlisted artists and artist groups in the localities of the Prize exhibitions, through mentoring, helping to form connections and partnership working.

The Prize is best entered into in the spirit of participation, of a questioning of art prizes, and for the thrill of the exhibition. A cash prize would be inappropriate to its concerns: the focus is on the unplaceable value of the artwork, beyond ideas of ownership; as integral and necessary for life and thought. The Marmite refers to the Old English term for a cooking pot, alluding to the mixing of diverse practices encouraged, and also to the prize itself – a specially made interpretation of a ‘marmite’ which is donated by an artist; this is a symbol of exchange, a recognition that any ‘prize’ is unequal and no value may legitimately be put on an artwork; it also stands for the alchemy of the process of making - whether divine inspiration or rigourous working process; sweaty excitement or long, cool labour? A witch’s cauldron, a vat of nourishment, a scientist’s test tube?

Each year the prize is dedicated to an artist we admire, with this dedication informing the way in which the pictures are hung.