This year the Arts Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary by shortlisting 25 artists for their prestigious awards. Five will be selected to receive the £10,000 fellowship with the runners up each receiving £1,000. The winners will be announced at a special party to celebrate the Foundation, its Fellows and supporters in February.
Since its establishment in 1992, the foundation has supported artists from the fields of Performing and Visual Arts, Crafts, Literature, New Media, Film and Design. The list of the shortlisted 25 artists is a wonderful celebration of art, and artists’ individual stories from a great variety of fields.
Scrolling through this list brings up new names and discoveries for any audience, made up as it is of artists, honoured by nomination by their fellow artists. From a theatre actress to a photographer, or an experimental musician, or a literary translator… The artists have been nominated by the Foundation’s current fellows, and the 2018 judging panel have shortlisted the artists from these. The final selection will focus on the turning points of these artists’ careers. As well as acknowledging the successes on their journey so far, it emphasizes the potential change the award could help to make in their artistic practice, possibly overcoming some challenges they might be having. It is in a way the award of and for the future.
Jochen Holz, who is amongst the shortlisted 25 artists praised the aim and ambition behind the award and said that the support is there when artist really needs it. Holz has been exploring a particular form of glass blowing for about 20 years. He says that his technique is rarely used creatively and stresses the potential which will come through more experimenting, creating a body of work which would show some entirely new sides to what he does.
Another shortlisted artist, Maeve Brennan, who creates moving image and installations, investigates through her work the political and historical resonance of materials and places. Brennan said “The support the Foundation provides is completely unique, with the fellowship which allows experimental research without the pressure of producing a specific outcome. As an artist who finds value in slowness, it is rare to find support of this kind.” She plans to go to Lebanon, where she lived from 2013 to 2016, for research towards a new body of work.
The selection process, where the current fellows nominate the longlist of artists, supports the creation of an artists’ community. Maisie Broadhead mentions that she felt very special being nominated by Lin Cheung, whose work she has admired for a very long time and who it turns out she nervously interviewed for her BA dissertation back in 2001. Broadhead has a craft-making background, but also often uses photography. In her works photography and three dimensional objects, such as ornate framing, glass, metalwork or jewels, meet. Broadhead is in the early stages of researching for a new show in October at the Manchester Art Gallery, and will focus on doing work in response to their collection.
The awards are given with the significant support of The David Collins Foundation with two £10,000 fellowships and eight shortlisted artists who will each receive £1,000. Iain Watson, CEO and Founder of David Collins Studio said “The shortlist highlights the innovation of new and emerging creatives across a broad spectrum of art forms. We look forward to a very special awards evening to mark this significant year for The Foundation, and the valuable contribution they offer through their fellowship program.”