Turner Contemporary, Margate
Turner Contemporary is one of six arts organisations selected for consideration for the inaugural £100,000 Freelands Award.
The Award aims to raise the profile of mid-career women artists and support the work of visual arts organisations outside London. It was launched in March this year by the Freelands Foundation, founded by Elisabeth Murdoch in 2015. The winner of the Award will be announced in autumn 2016.
As well as Turner Contemporary, the other organisations selected are Arnolfini (Bristol), Baltic (Gateshead), The Fruitmarket Gallery (Edinburgh), Ikon (Birmingham) and The Whitworth (Manchester)
The annual Freelands Award will enable a regional arts organisation to present an exhibition, including significant new work, 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 selection panel for the Freelands Award is: Elisabeth Murdoch (Chair), Phyllida Barlow (Artist), Martin Clark (Director, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway), Teresa Gleadowe (Curator) and Jenni Lomax (Director, Camden Arts Centre, London).
Elisabeth Murdoch, founder of Freelands Foundation said:
“The Freelands Award has been conceived as a means of supporting regional arts organisations, as well as arts audiences and mid-career female artists. This reflects the wider approach of the Foundation to fund partnerships between artists, galleries, curators and education programmes. This will encourage these institutions and individuals to work together on an ongoing basis, creating ecosystems that live on in communities way beyond any initial activity.“
The Award is being launched in response to a report, commissioned by the Foundation in 2015, which found that although female art and design graduates outnumber men, women are not adequately represented at, and beyond, a mid-career point. For example, the report found that of the artists selected to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale only 33% were women. An audit of solo shows featured in the exhibition programme of 134 commercial galleries in London in 2012-13 found that only 31% of the represented artists were women and in 43 non-commercial galleries outside London in 2014-15, only 40% of the shows were by female artists. For organisations in receipt of more than £1m Arts Council England/DCMS funding, the figure drops to 25%.