Mark Wallinger, Elisabeth Murdoch and the Fruitmarket Gallery director Fiona Bradley
The Freelands Foundation have announced their shortlist for this year’s £100,000 Freelands Award. The Freelands Award aims to raise the profile of mid-career female artists and support the work of visual arts organisations outside London. It was launched in March 2016 by the Freelands Foundation, founded by Elisabeth Murdoch in 2015.
Following last year’s inaugural Award, won by The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and artist Jacqueline Donachie, the £100,000 Award will enable another regional arts organisation to present an ambitious exhibition by a mid-career female artist. The aim is to support an artist who has not yet achieved the acclaim and public recognition that her work deserves.
The Freelands Foundation recognises that there are many outstanding regional organisations in the UK that support the work and practice of valuable contemporary artists today. Following a rigorous selection process by a team of experienced advisors, the Foundation will work with this year’s six chosen institutions to better understand the exhibitions they wish to present.
The Award’s priorities are to support projects that will enable artists to ful ll their creative aspirations to produce exceptional work, and in turn support regional arts organisations that will effectively exhibit this work and bring it to public attention.
The selection panel for the 2017 Award winner is: Elisabeth Murdoch (Chair), Martin Clark (Director, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway), Teresa Gleadowe (Curator), Jenni Lomax (Director, Camden Arts Centre) and Cornelia Parker (Artist).
The total value of the Award is £100,000, of which £25,000 is to be paid directly to the artist chosen by the organisation. The Award is about pushing boundaries, and achieving projects which an organisation would not be able to bring to fruition without this funding opportunity. The organisation’s engagement with the selected artist will support her to create ambitious new work and to receive increasing professional recognition.
Alongside the Award the Foundation has carried out a second year of research into the representation of female artists across both commercial and public art sectors. The full report can be viewed online here: freelandsfoundation.co.uk/research