The Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021


Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021 Recipients Announced

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Anna Berry, Cecilia Charlton, Jahday Ford, Vicky Higginson and Francisca Onumah & Helena Russell have been awarded the five commissions for Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021.

The Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021 awardees are announced as Anna Berry, Cecilia Charlton, Jahday Ford, Vicky Higginson and Francisca Onumah and Helena Russell. These outstanding earlycareer artists and makers will create five new commissions for display at Jerwood Space in London before going on a national tour throughout 2022-2023, travelling from Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Cornwall to Aberdeen Art Gallery in the North East of Scotland. 

The artists were selected from over 500 applications by an independent panel comprising: Yinka Ilori, artist and designer; Junko Mori, artist maker in metal; Dame Magdalene Odundo, potter; Christine Rew, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Manager; and Harriet Cooper, Head of Visual Arts at Jerwood Arts.

The award, now in its eighth edition, recognises and promotes the significance of making practice and process within contemporary visual arts. It gives exceptional artists and makers the opportunity to develop their creative ideas independently, enabling them to experiment, learn and take risks at a pivotal moment in their careers. In recognition of the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, for this edition the awardees receive an increased award of £10,000 each plus curatorial and production support from the Jerwood Arts team to enable the making of new work over an extended twelve-month period. 

Showcasing a broad range of material disciplines, including glass, textiles, digital modelling, silversmithing and sculptural installation, the five 2021 commissions provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting new work being produced by UK-based artists and makers.

• Anna Berry’s practice stretches across a variety of mediums, including immersive, site-specific and kinetic installations. She is based in Milton Keynes. With the award she will be experimenting with materials and techniques she has not yet explored to develop a new sculptural installation focused on organic, minimal, repetitive craft-based processes.

• Cecilia Charlton is a London-based American artist who has worked across a number of disciplines before arriving at her current focus – textiles and embroidery. For Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open she is creating a triptych of human-sized embroideries which will reference the three Fates from Greek mythology and contemplate our current global situation using the metaphor of thread for life/time.

• Jahday Ford’s work combines traditional material application with technologically advanced production, such as digital modelling and mould making. Jahday is currently based in Manchester. His commission will extend his current digital-glass investigations using computerised sculpting and mould shaping to create a collection of illuminated glass vessels that feature interactive lighting phenomena using LED sensors.

• Based in Edinburgh, Vicky Higginson’s practice combines hot glass and cold-working, with glass forms handblown and worked into using cutting, carving and engraving techniques to create vessels and sculptural forms. Her new work will look at the meeting point of folklore and fairy tales with science fiction through crafted objects with an imagined purpose. Constructed from mirrored and neon-lit glass, carved and decorated with personal motifs, and assembled with vernacular materials, these are 'folk-futurist' devices to heal the mind.

• Working in collaboration, Francisca Onumah and Helena Russell are silversmiths based in Yorkshire Artspace, famous for its silversmithing tradition and rich industrial heritage. For Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open they are developing a new collaborative installation of tableware pieces made using traditional silversmithing tools that they have restored. Their research includes documenting stories of ‘Little Mesters’ and capturing the living histories of a once-thriving silverware industry in Sheffield, to inform their practice today. 

Harriet Cooper, Head of Visual Arts at Jerwood Arts says:

“I am hugely excited to announce the five 2021 awardees and look forward to working with them on their thought-provoking commissions over the coming year. Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open creates a vital space for artists and makers to experiment, learn and take risks with their work and throughout the selection process it was clear that all of these artists hold this spirit at the heart of their practice. The awardees commitment to exploring the possibility of materials and the bounds of imagination remind us of the importance of making and skill within the visual arts.” 

Dame Magdalene Odundo adds:

“Congratulations to the recipients of the Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021. The task for us judges of selecting five recipients from 500 applications was not an easy one, the standard of the applications was astonishingly high. I look forward to seeing the works that emerge from each studio in the forthcoming touring exhibition.” 

Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open 2021 is a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Art Fund in partnership with Aberdeen Art Gallery. The prestigious biennial artist development, commissioning and national touring award champions artists and makers across the UK at a pivotal point in their practice, encouraging critical debate, visibility and dialogue around contemporary craft and applied arts within UK public collections. It is committed to strengthening the profile and importance of making, craft and applied arts presented within a visual arts context. The exhibition will tour to Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Cornwall in summer 2022 before travelling to Aberdeen Art Gallery in the North East of Scotland in autumn 2022.

Previous recipients of the award have included: ceramic artist Adam Buick whose work has been acquired by prestigious collections including the British Museum, Crafts Council and Chatsworth House; artist Jasleen Kaur whose recent commissions include Wellcome Collection, England’s Creative Coast, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, and Glasgow Women’s Library; artist and sculptor Zachary Eastwood-Bloom who was 2019 Digital Artist in Residence with Scottish Ballet, Glasgow; ceramic artist Tana West who won the Feldspar award at the Whitegold International Ceramic Prize 2019; and collaborative artists Forest + Found who have exhibited at New Art Centre, Roche Court, and Make | Hauser & Wirth Somerset alongside receiving scholarships in painting and woodturning from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.


Rebecca van Rooijen


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