Winners Through the Years

Yukako Tanaka

2022 | Emerging Prize Winner

Yukako Tanaka’s multidisciplinary work focuses on the notion of “existing” and “absence.” Her research fuses art, science and philosophy, reflecting on the accelerated transition of human condition in a new era, which can be defined as posthuman / transhuman, where human realities are a hybrid generation of physical and virtual experiences. The winning work is titled Recalling The Future.

Baff Akoto

2022 | Main Prize Winner

Baff Akoto’s Leave The Edges is an immersive dreamscape that explores the complex ancestries of African diasporic cultural expression. Rather than relying on formal narrative, the work took the artist through Europe and the Caribbean to consider historical legacies and societal politics through the language of movement, which gently draws connections across ancestries, borders and cultures.

Arthur Kleinjan

2021 | Main Prize Winner

In Above Us Only Sky, a narrator leads us into a magical-realist history that is bereft of fabrication that begins with an investigation into a plane crash in communist Czechoslovakia, where one woman has survived. He has exhibited internationally in Vienna, Vancouver and Berlin. He has participated in exhibitions such as the Biennale of Busan and in the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Julia Kasumu

2021 | Emerging Prize Winner

Kasumu questions the production of identity as it relates to her own personal affiliations with the complex ways in which the past and present remain in constant dialogue. Kasumu has exhibited work at the V&A, London; Getty Images Gallery, London; and Contemporary Arts Center. She is the recipient of BlackStar’s Audience Award for Best Short Documentary 2021.

Rhea Storr

2020 | Main Prize Winner

Storr’s work is concerned with the ability to speak about black and mixed-race identities. Carnival has provided ground to consider cultural representation. Her work has screened at Open City Documentary Film Festival, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; London Short Film Festival and Whitechapel Gallery, London. She featured in The Guardian and Somerset House’s podcast.

Chris Yuan

2020 | Emerging Prize Winner

Counterfictions weaves together information from scientific facts and quotes from former US president, Donald Trump. In 2020 Yuan took part in an OCAT Institute Research-based Project. Yuan has shown work at London’s Somerset House; London Zoo; London Design Biennale and Venice Architecture Biennale. He was awarded a Film London FLAMIN Fellowship in 2021.

Jenn Nkiru

2019 | Main Prize Winner

Rebirth Is Necessary is the summation of Nkiru’s loaded feelings and questions about black people, the black experience and the idea of black universality. The film also won Best Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival and introduced Black Panther at its London premiere. Her music video for Beyoncé won a Grammy for Best Music Video. She was shortlisted for a Jarman Award in 2020.

Maryam Tafakory

2019 | Emerging Prize Winner

Tafakory explores the contradictory images of women and their portrayal through religion. I Have Sinned A Rapturous Sin is set against religious clerics instructing women to suppress their sexual desires. She was nominated for Tiger Award and Found Footage Award at 47th IFFR, Best Short Award at 67th MIFF. She won Best Short Film at Documenta Madrid. Her work has exhibited at Videonale.

David Birkin

2018 | Main Prize Winner

Birkin’s work reflects on the way war is depicted. At its core is a concern for censorship and the edges of visibility, often focusing on omissions and redactions. Profiles addresses the relationship between spectacle and loss, specifically, the representation of civilian casualties from the Iraq War. Birkin has exhibited work at Saatchi Gallery, London and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Electra Lyhne-Gold

2018 | Emerging Prize Winner

Inspired by painting and the visual power of cinema, Electra Lyhne-Gold stages herself in surreal, fictional narratives, inhabiting invented personas or characters. After winning she began working on a series of performances and photographs captured on a recent visit to Italy. The photography was shown at The ING Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.

Adam Basanta

2017 | Main Prize Winner

Everyday electronic objects assume new roles in the installations of Adam Basanta, taking on sculptural forms. In Curtain (white) the ubiquitous white earbud headphones become a three metre-long array, generating white noise patterns. Basanta was a longliste for the Sobey Art Award, Canada. He was the winner of the Prix Pierre Ayot 2019. He has exhibited work in the National Art Centre, Tokyo.

Maryam Tafakory

2017 | Emerging Prize Winner

Tafakory is interested in womanhood and rites of passage, drawing on the notion of the personal as political. In Absent Wound, the physical strength of wrestling is contrasted with the protagonist facing her menstrual cycle. She has exhibited internationally including, Melbourne MIFF; ICA London; Barbican Cinema London; Whitechapel Gallery and Anthology Film Archives.

Rachel Ara

2016 | Main Prize Winner

This Much I’m Worth is a self-evaluating artwork that continually displays its own sale value. The work sources its value from the internet. It seeks to question the values we place on objects and people. Ara has exhibited work at The Barbican, Whitechapel Gallery and the V&A where she undertook a residency. She won the inaugural CoLAB commission for Sculpture: Women Make Sculpture, 2019.

David Hochgatterer

2016 | Emerging Prize Winner

The Austrian audio installation artist created TIME TO X which transforms the fourth dimension, time, into a geometrical expanse. A short audio file is sliced into short fragments, mapped on a horizontal array of 96 loudspeakers and played back simultaneously so every acoustic element of the sound is continuously audible. Hochgatterer studied Art and Design at Linz and previously worked at the Linz Opera House.

John Keane

2015| Main Prize Winner

Keane’s paintings draw on images from the great Stalinist terror of the 1930s. They are sourced from mug shots of arrested victims at a time when no-one was safe from accusation of sabotage, betrayal or political deviation. Keane has exhibited work at The Imperial War Museum, London; Royal Summer Exhibition, London; Manchester Art Gallery and Flowers Gallery, New York.

Suzanne Mooney

2015 | Emerging Prize Winner

For 10 years, Mooney has observed and experimented with landscape, from the scenery of her home country, Ireland, to less familiar terrains. Come away, O’… is part of a larger body of work which explores the importance of the act of viewing Tokyo from above. Mooney’s work has featured on BBC Radio 3 and she has received funding from the Arts Council Ireland.

Sybille Neumeyer

2014 | Main Prize Winner

Aiming to investigate the relationship between humans and nature, Song for the Last Queen refers to the endangerment of bees.  As a species that plays a vital role in maintaining the earth’s ecosystem, Neumeyer addresses the phenomena found in science, culture and the natural world. Her 2019 projects were supported by Wellcome Trust as part of Contagious Cities, Berlin.

Harriet Lewars

2014 | Emerging Prize Winner

Lewar’s work explores the possibilities of cross-disciplinary art objects, drawing on examples from the 21st Century. The piece acknowledges the visual appeal of musical instruments and abstract geometric sculptural practice. Lewar’s work spans across sculpture, installation and illustration. She is a commissioned artist for the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.

Damien O’Mara

2013 | Main Prize Winner

The photographic series investigates masculinity through traditional work roles. The works portray an individual crossing a threshold. O’Mara was shortlisted for the International Emerging Artist Award, Show At The Fair Award 2016, Dubai. His permanent collection is in Gold Coast City Art Gallery. Works have featured in The Sunday Mail, Art Guide Australia and BBC News Online.

Poppy Whatmore

2013 | Emerging Prize Winner

Whatmore portrays the flaws and failures of the human condition and personal relationships in her work. The Family Meal is a consolidation of disfigured and reconfigured objects composed in a skeletal and structured kitchen/living room space. Whatmore was commended in 2015 by Royal British Sculptors. She has exhibited at the London Art Fair and has had work chosen by Saatchi Gallery.

Kyunghee Park

2013 | People’s Choice Winner

Heavily influenced by childhood, the work focuses on certain customs that have been handed down since ancient times. Park’s practice is particularly focused upon that which is invisible and the use of transformed and abandoned objects, concentrating on deconstructing value systems, personal histories and culture, commenting on narrative structures.