The shortlist for the Freelands Award, which supports a regional art institution in the UK to present a solo exhibition by a mid-career female artist, was announced this morning. The total value of the award is £100,000, of which £25,000 is paid directly to the artist selected by the winning organisation. The prize has previously supported exhibitions by Jacqueline Donachie (The Fruitmarket Gallery, 2016), Lis Rhodes (Nottingham Contemporary, 2017) and Veronica Ryan (2018, Spike Island).
This year's nominees are:
First Site, Colchester
Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire
John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
The winning organisation and selected artist will be announced in Autumn 2019.
The shortlist was complemented by the publication of the Freelands Foundation Research Report, which investigates the representation of female artists in cultural organisations across Britain.
Carried out by Dr Kate McMillan from the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King's College, London, this year's report highlighted the disproportionately high percentage of senior staff at art and design institutions compared to graduates from those schools; found that the high end of the secondary market continues to be dominated by male artists; and pointed out the continuing disparity between men and women on the rosters of London's major commercial galleries. More positively, it identified a significant increase in the number of solo exhibitions at noncommercial galleries in the capital. The full findings can be found at www.freelandsfoundation.co.uk.