Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Shortlist announced for biennial £25,000 Genesis Prize to recognise outstanding mentors of artistic talent
Winner announced on 17 January 2014
The Genesis Foundation today announces the shortlist for the biennial Genesis Prize, recognising and supporting a professional working in the arts that excels as a mentor to young artistic talent. The £25,000 award reflects the beliefs of the Genesis Foundation’s Founder and Chairman John Studzinski and aims to kick-start a debate about the importance of mentors in the arts.
The winner will be selected by a 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 Genesis Foundation, the UK based charity established by John Studzinski in 2001, initiated the prize in 2012 as part of the celebrations to mark the charity’s first ten years of nurturing and developing emerging talent in the UK, working with their established partner organisations. Contenders in 2014 are drawn from the worlds of visual arts, theatre, architecture and opera.
The inaugural Genesis Prize 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.
Nominations for the 2014 Genesis Prize were solicited from more than 50 leading figures in the arts and media world. The six shortlisted candidates will present to the judges on how they would spend the £25,000 on furthering their work as a mentor of artistic talent before the winner is selected and announced on 17 January 2014.
The contenders for the prize are:
Anna Colin. Co-founder and co-director of Open School East, a new non-fee paying study programme which supports 12 associate artists through studio provision, tuition from local & international practitioners, writers and curators, and the development of projects. The associates work in visual arts, dance, textile design and creative writing. The Prize would be used to provide the associates with much-needed production support and facilities, as well as to increase mentoring and collaboration opportunities with key practitioners from the field of visual arts and beyond.
Adam Khan. Director of Adam Khan Architects. As an architect, critic and teacher, Adam’s mentoring work addresses “the crisis of education and social diversity in Architecture.” Adam would use the prize money to establish the ‘Peckham School of Urbanism’ where a network of leading design practices would offer sustained support to young talented designers from less privileged backgrounds allowing them to work and learn in highly respected studios and so offer an alternative to the industry practice of unpaid internships which are usually taken up by young people from wealthy backgrounds.
Kerry Michael. Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Theatre Royal Stratford East. Kerry, who himself was heavily mentored at the start of his career, works one-to-one with young artists developing their career as actors, writers, musicians, directors and producers in the British Film Industry. The Theatre Royal Stratford East, rooted in the East End, also known as ‘A People’s Theatre’ is dedicated to bringing theatre to as wide a group of people as possible in its community. Kerry has made numerous connections to other organisations both in the UK and internationally to provide mentoring schemes for Stratford residents. Kerry commissions work from local writers, works with local actors and other creative people offering them support and a space to develop. Kerry would use the prize to develop young talent from diverse and vibrant communities and would also evaluate his mentoring style and try to build on good practice.
Sally Tallant. Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Liverpool Biennial. Sally’s mission is to rival Berlin and London as the home of contemporary artists from around the world. She works tirelessly to attract young artists to come and live and work in Liverpool and to use the Liverpool Biennial as a showcase for young artistic talent from around the world, thereby helping to make Liverpool a centre of contemporary art. The Genesis Prize would fund three fellowships for artists to live and create work in Liverpool. The artists will have an opportunity to present their work in the Biennial programme in 2016.
Polly Staple. Director, Chisenhale Gallery. Polly supports the production and presentation of new forms of artistic activity and has a reputation for producing new commissions with artists at a formative point in their career. Since Polly’s arrival at the Chisenhale Gallery in 2008, the Gallery has presented ambitious solo exhibitions by a number of young artists. The prize would allow Polly to develop her mentoring work with young artists.
Frederic Wake-Walker. Artistic Director, Mahogany Opera, The Opera Group and Mica Moca – project Berlin. Works regularly with children’s opera company Jubilee Opera. As well as running his own companies, Frederic is in demand as a freelance director and will make his Glyndebourne Opera debut next year. Throughout his professional life he has focused on mentoring and opening up opportunities for young directors, singers, designers and composers through the productions he manages to finance and through the type of work to which he dedicates himself. The Genesis Prize would fund the creation of a new Assistant Director post as well as continuing to fund resources for a young resident composer, an on-going collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
John Studzinski, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, says: “I am really delighted with the list of finalists for the Genesis Prize 2014. They represent a wonderfully diverse range of art forms while all showing excellence and creativity at the highest level. Each of the finalists encapsulates what the Genesis Prize represents, mentoring of artistic talent that rewards everyone involved and enhances the lives of hundreds of people. I know that the Genesis Prize 2014 will stimulate debate about the crucial role played by mentors in all areas of creative life.”
All press enquiries to Simon Millward at Albion Media, 020 3077 4940
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