The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists were announced this evening (Nov 14), and at £50,000 over three years given to each winner, with no strings attached, it is one of the most significant prizes going. Artist, writer, theorist and ArtReview contributor Stewart Home; early pioneer of British feminist art Margaret Harrison; Cally Spooner, fresh from her Performa 13 commission; and multimedia Glasgow-based artist Torsten Lauschmann were among those rewarded.
Ian White an artist, educator and curator who had an extensive interest in film and performance, was also posthumously given the prize. White died earlier this month after a long illness. The money will be handed to his family.
The visual arts recipients were selected to apply for the awards through an anonymous peer nomination process and chosen by two panels of judges, chaired by the foundation's chair Jane Hamlyn. Receiving similarly generous prizes were three composers, Emily Hall, Bryn Harrison and Chris Watson.
Home – whose visual art practice revolves around video and computers – spoke of desperately needing new equipment. 'The computer I use I bought in 2007, when I was being paid to do a residency at Strathclyde University, and I haven't had my own digital video camera for several years, instead I've relied on borrowing film equipment from other people. I bought my last film camera in 2004 and used it frequently until it broke three years ago. I'm really looking forward to getting another one! However, even more important is the time the award will buy me.'
Spooner described her win as 'life enlarging', adding 'I am going to use the award to be ambitious, at a time when I feel my practice needs to evolve.' Lauschmann said it was an amazing feeling 'to know, for the first time since leaving art school 15 years ago, that there will be enough money to keep the studio and to get on with my work for the next three years.' He added, 'I feel very, very lucky.'