Friday, 17 January 2014
Polly Staple, director of Chisenhale Gallery is awarded biennial £25,000 Genesis Prize recognising an outstanding mentor of artistic talent
Polly Staple, director of London’s Chisenhale Gallery is today announced the winner of the 2014 Genesis Prize, worth £25,000, that recognises an outstanding mentor of artistic talent.
The Genesis Prize reflects the beliefs of the Genesis Foundation’s Founder and Chairman John Studzinski on the crucial role mentoring plays in developing artistic talent and aims to generate debate about mentoring.
Polly was awarded the Genesis prize by judges 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.”
John Studzinski commented:
“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.”
Polly Staple commented:
“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.”
Nominations for the 2014 Genesis Prize were solicited from more than 50 leading figures in the arts and media world. The six shortlisted candidates were Anna Colin (co-founder and co-director of Open School East), Adam Khan (Director of Adam Khan Architects), Kerry Michael (Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Stratford East), Sally Tallant (Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Liverpool Biennial), Polly Staple (Director, Chisenhale Gallery) and Frederic Wake-Walker (Artistic Director, Mahogany Opera and The Opera Group). Last night, they presented to the panel of judges on how they would spend the £25,000 on furthering their work as mentors.
The judges commented that they were impressed by the presentations which demonstrated not only how widespread mentoring is in the arts but how many alternative funding models have been created to nurture and support young artistic talent. Presentations from finalists included a free art school in the East End, a mentoring scheme for potential architecture trainees from ethnic minorities and plans to make Liverpool a centre for young artists to rival London or Berlin.
The inaugural Genesis Prize in 2012 was awarded to Hamish Dunbar, Artistic Director of Café Oto, to set up an Associate Artists Programme and to build a new temporary project space for artists to create and develop new work.
The Genesis Prize is awarded every two years.
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The Genesis Foundation is a UK-based charity established in 2001 by John Studzinski. It nurtures and develops artistic excellence in collaboration with leading organisations working in the fields of music, theatre and the visual arts by funding specially created programmes that support young directors, playwrights and choral singers. The Foundation’s established partners are: the Royal Court, The Sixteen, Welsh National Opera and the Young Vic. In addition, the Genesis Foundation supports graduate and post-graduate training programmes at LAMDA and the Royal College of Art. Its focus is on mentoring and development.
For more information, please visit www.genesisfoundation.org.uk