AN artist has found herself in the frame after her work was shorlisted for an “Oscar of the painting world”.

University of Bolton fine art lecturer Rebecca Sitar’s piece “Under The Tree” is in the running for the John Moores Painting Prize 2014.

Her painting will be now be exhibited at the renowned Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool between July 5 and November 30.

The John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's best known and longest running painting competition.
The award is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust and National Museums Liverpool.

Rebecca said: “I am absolutely delighted to be a part of the competition, it is an honour to be nominated for such a prestigious prize and for my painting to be part of an exhibition of this calibre is a great achievement.”

Her painting was chosen from more than 2,500 entries to make it to the final 52 for the competition exhibition.

From those paintings one winner will win a £25,000 first prize and four runners-up will get £2,500. Judges include Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes at the Royal Academy and artists Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Zeng Fanzhi, Chantal Joffe and Tom Benson.

Rebecca’s painting is an oil on panel from a recent series of her paintings, that substitutes a figure for a single object of contemplation, previously seen as a leitmotif in her paintings.

A photograph by Stephane Passet (1914) of an eastern sadhu (a holy man), covered in cremated ash near the river Ganges in India was the original source of inspiration for the painting.

She said: “I used a two tone application to create a single unified space in the piece, where sky, tree and man are depicted as one.

“It was created in such a way to reflect a sense of interconnectedness bet-ween the central figure and his surrounding environment, synonymous with the sadhu’s spiritual belief system.”

Sandra Penketh, director of art galleries at National Museums Liverpool said: “This year's John Moores Painting Prize has attracted some very accomplished artists whose work we are thrilled to have on display at the Walker.

“The judges have selected a show which highlights some of the very best of contemporary painting and gives a strong sense of current trends and themes alive today in the studios and art schools up and down the country.”