Genesis Prize

The Genesis Prize

The Genesis Prize, launched by the Genesis Foundation in 2012, recognises an outstanding mentor of young artistic talent whose work has affected real change in the practice and careers of arts professionals or graduates.

The £25,000 award was founded as part of the celebrations to mark the Genesis Foundation’s first ten years of nurturing and developing emerging artistic talent in the UK. The Genesis Prize is unique in being the first and only such prize to recognise individuals who give others the confidence and inspiration to achieve artistic excellence in their chosen arts field and will assist the prize winners to further their work.

The Genesis Prize is awarded every two years following a nomination process, with the winner chosen by a distinguished panel of judges. The next winner of the Genesis Prize will be announced in early 2014.

2014 Genesis Prize recipient

The 2014 Genesis Prize has been awarded to Polly Staple, director of London’s Chisenhale Gallery.

Polly was selected over five other shortlisted candidates from the worlds of visual arts, theatre, architecture and opera by a distinguished panel of judges including David Bailey (photographer), Hamish Dunbar (Café Oto), Hadrian Garrard (Create), David Lan (Young Vic), Julia Peyton-Jones (Serpentine Gallery), Dame Janet Suzman (actress and director) and John Studzinski (Genesis Foundation).

The judges praised Polly for “creating a programme that presents new artists on an international stage at the highest possible level. Polly runs one of the most important arts organisations in the country whose track record of launching young artists is outstanding. Polly has made a real impact on the artistic life of the country and in particular the East End where the Chisenhale Gallery is based.”

Polly Staple said:

“Winning the Genesis Prize is fantastic recognition for the work done by all of us at the Chisenhale Gallery. This award will have a real impact on the Chisenhale by enabling us to expand the scope and quality of our work. We’ll use the prize money to commission four emerging UK based artists, allowing us to work with them in developing their ideas from conception through to the public showing of the finished work.”

John Studzinski, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation said:

“Polly has created an arts business in the East End that has gathered international attention for the artists she’s presented. Mentoring is central to everything Polly and the Chisenhale does and she’s built a structure that gives young artists an experience that complements what’s offered by formal art educational. Polly is nothing short of inspirational and I look forward to her joining the Genesis Foundation’s network and supporting her in continuing to cultivate artistic life in the East End.”

2012 Genesis Prize recipient

The inaugural prize was awarded to Hamish Dunbar, Artistic Director of Café Oto, who set up an Associate Artists Programme and built a new temporary project space for artists to create and develop their work. To find out more click here.