If you live in London, you’re bound to have heard the terrible nocturnal keening of the urban fox, now as much part of the city’s soundscape as the police siren or the busker’s bum notes. Foxes are increasingly visible, too – just the other week, I saw a fox trotting across the street outside the New Statesman offices, in the middle of the day, apparently unperturbed by the guilty smokers huddled together on the pavement.
Urban Fox III (above), the winning work in this year’s Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, awarded to practitioners of representational painting, depicts a pair of foxes in a street near the south London home of the artist Rachel Levitas, a former denizen of this magazine. Accepting her prize of £15,000 last night, Levitas said: “These beautiful and bold opportunists represents the rise of forces previously suppressed; the return of the wild to London’s streets, creativity emerging and adapting in a collapsing economy, and perhaps too something darker, fear of the future.”
Lauren Archer’s The Chase, which also shows a fox, this time in a rural setting, won the Young Artist’s Prize of £2,500.
An exhibition of the 67 paintings considered for the Prize runs at Painters’ Hall, 9 Little Trinity Lane, London EC4 until 26 November, and at the W H Patterson Gallery, 19 Albermale Street, London W1 from 29 November until 3 December.