BC Radio 4, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), and the Crafts Council have announced the 12 makers in the running for the inaugural £10,000 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize. From huge handwoven willow structures, darned high street hoodies and bespoke bicycles, to unfired clay installations, futuristic glass figures, and jewellery made with 18th-century pins found in the mud of the river Thames, the finalists explore issues ranging from our consumer culture, to the decline of UK manufacturing, and geo-politics.
The 12 finalists are: Laura Ellen Bacon, Alison Britton, Neil Brownsword, Lin Cheung, Phoebe Cummings, Caren Hartley, Peter Marigold, Celia Pym, Romilly Saumarez Smith, Andrea Walsh, Emma Woffenden and Laura Youngson Coll. The finalists were selected over the course of eight selection panels by 29 expert judges.
Laura Youngson Coll is currently supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation through Jerwood Makers Open 2017 (28 June-27 August, Jerwood Space, London and touring nationally). Phoebe Cummings was part of Jerwood Encounters: Formed Thoughts, 2012, curated by Claire Twomey. Both initiatives are part of Jerwood Visual Arts, our national programme supporting visual arts practice. Also among the shortlist are three artists that we supported through Jerwood Contemporary Makers, the award that preceded Jerwood Makers Open. These are: Laura Ellen Bacon, Lin Cheung and Emma Woffenden.
The Woman’s Hour Craft Prize was launched in order to celebrate the most innovative and exciting craft makers in the UK, and coincides with the 70th anniversary of Woman’s Hour. The 12 finalists were selected from almost 1,500 applications, and their works will feature in a Woman’s Hour Craft Prize exhibition at the V&A from Thursday 7 September 2017 to Monday 5 February 2018, followed by a UK-wide tour. The winner will be selected by Rosy Greenlees (Executive Director, Crafts Council), Tristram Hunt (Director of the V&A), and Martha Kearney (BBC journalist and broadcaster), and announced in a live broadcasted ceremony from the V&A on Wednesday 8 November 2017.