Awards for Artists – A joyous affirmation of our belief in artists
On 8 November, our Chief Executive, Moira Sinclair welcomed artists, composers, friends and colleagues from across the arts to our offices in London to announce and celebrate the recipient of Awards for Artists 2023. This blog summarises her opening words to the 200 guests who came together to mark this special event.
Tonight we’re announcing the 10 recipients of Awards for Artists 2023 – 5 visual artists and 5 composers will each receive £60,000 that they can use however they see fit to support their life and artistic practice.
This is the first time we’ve been able to come together in person to celebrate the awards since before the pandemic – the last time was in 2019 for the 25th Anniversary of the Awards.
I hope, in the midst of such global complexity and trauma which I think we are all experiencing and which can feel overwhelming, we might give you cause for a little joy this evening, to be reminded about the value of being in the present, to validate the achievements of our Awards recipients and to stand together in ‘real life’ to affirm our belief in artists and the work they make.
Expanding opportunities for all to be part of creating, making, and enjoying art – throughout their lives and particularly within education – is core to the vision and longstanding work of PHF and the awards are one key expression of this.
These awards are about our commitment to the importance of artists as individuals, to the work they do and their voice and role in society. We know we can’t hope to achieve our ambition for many more to be involved if artists aren’t central and supported. We recognise that it is not an easy choice to be an artist and we know it has been a particularly difficult few years.
So, if anything, the Awards feel like a more important moment in the calendar now than ever before.
The £60,000 each award to 5 artists and 5 composers has no requirements or ‘strings’. It can be used to think, to take time, to follow an instinct, to provide security. And this speaks to a bigger principle about how challenging it can be to find time and space to develop practice. It can be a very real barrier to who has the chance to be an artist and who doesn’t. And we hope our Awards play a small part in reminding people of that fact.
The fantastic work our artists, our composers are creating, the energy, the questions they ask, the invitation they make – is something we should all be very proud of.
And I think people appreciate the intention and we in turn are hugely grateful to those who participate in the process.
This event is the culmination of an amazing, collective effort. Our nominators put so much thoughtfulness and care into their recommendations. Artists bring their creativity and authentic voices to bear in their submissions. Our judges do the most outstanding job of making sense of the complexity and coming to a decision. And it’s all steered with quiet focus by the team here, especially our colleagues Tara LaComber, Tarik Ross-Cameron and Lauren Rosenblatt- thank you all.
We are looking forward to 30 years of Awards for Artists in 2024 – 30 years of putting artists first, of raising up them and their work and we will want to major that sense of purpose and joy as we look to the future.
Join us in celebrating this recipients of Awards for Artists 2023 – this year’s recipients reflect the vitality and diversity of art making throughout the UK today.
Recipients of Awards for Artists 2023