Announcing the Shortlist for the Annual Award for Museums 2011

4 October 2011 By

The Contemporary Art Society Announces the Shortlist for the Annual Award for Museums 2011. The winning museum will receive £60,000 to commission an artist to make a new work for their public collection, generously supported by the Sfumato Foundation.

The Shortlist for 2011:

National Museum Wales (Cardiff) with Artes Mundi – Proposal with artist Andrea Büttner

Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery – Proposal with artist Christina Mackie

Shipley Art Gallery – Proposal with artist Matthew Darbyshire

Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool – Proposal with artist Wael Shawky

University of Warwick Art Collection – Proposal with artist Katie Paterson


For the third year of the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Award – commission to collect, we are delighted to announce that the proposals listed above have been shortlisted.

2011 Selectors
:- Adam Chodzko (Artist), Maurice Davies (Head of Policy, Museums Association), Rosy Greenlees (Director, Crafts Council), Michael Stanley (Director, Modern Art Oxford)

The winner will be announced on 14 November 2011. Previous winners include the Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery for their proposal with Luke Fowler and Museums Sheffield, the Graves Art Gallery with Katerina Seda.

This Award is the largest donation made specifically to a museum to enable them to work closely with their selected artist to directly commission a new work for a public collection.

This is another initiative that meets the Contemporary Art Society’s mission to develop public collections of contemporary art across the UK. The charity has gifted over 8,000 works over a period of 100 years, supporting artists when they were young and little known and ensured that some of the most important works are represented in collections across the UK.

The shortlist for the Annual Award:

National Museum Wales (Cardiff) is proposing to work in partnership with Artes Mundi to commission artist Andrea Büttner.

Büttner’s practise is grounded in printmaking, with a significant body of wood-cuts at its core, but extends across a wide range of media including photography, film, sound, installation and sculpture. Craft holds an important place in her practise, whether through the use of materials and processes such as unfired clay, textiles, pressed flowers and bookbinding or in the depiction of craft objects. This relationship to traditional often unfashionable materials and processes make the encyclopaedic collections at the National Museum Wales particularly fascinating for Büttner. Over the past 10 years National Museum Wales has worked with Artes Mundi to significantly develop their collection of international contemporary art – this commission would generate an exciting new dimension to the partnership and be an opportunity for skill sharing between the two organisations.

Andrea Büttner was born in Stuttgart in 1972. In 2010 she was awarded a PhD at the Royal College of Art London. In the same year Büttner was awarded the Max Mara Prize for Women. This led to a residency in Italy followed by her solo exhibition The Poverty of Riches at Whitechapel in April 2011. Büttner is represented by Hollybush Gardens, London.

Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery is proposing to commission artist Christina Mackie.

Christina Mackie’s sculptural installations combine diverse natural, man-made and crafted materials to create a complex web of associations. Over the years she has developed a sophisticated materials-based language to give physical form to her personal thought processes. Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery has an eclectic mix of collections and experiences which they feel will provide a rich context for Mackie’s work. Housed within a 17th century ducal mansion on a hill above a network of caves and the remains of a medieval castle, it is part art museum, part heritage site and pleasure grounds. Mackie’s practice touches on painting, watercolour, drawing, ceramics, textiles, photography, film – the curators at Nottingham see opportunities to make connections between Mackie’s work and so many aspects of their collections.

Christina Mackie (b. 1956) lives and works in London. In 2005 she won Becks Futures, and in 2010 was the winner of the Paul Hamlyn Prize for Artists. She has exhibited at Tate, Henry Moore Institute, Modern Art Oxford, Baltic and De La Warr Pavilion. She is currently working towards a solo exhibition at the Chisenhale. Mackie is represented by Herald Street, London.

Shipley Art Gallery is proposing to commission artist Matthew Darybshire.

Matthew Darbyshire’s work brings to our attention the design of everyday environments. Their essence is presented through installations constructed from the familiar design language of contemporary culture, from Arne Jacobson’s Egg Chair to a pair of Ugg Boots. The result initially is one of deja vu, swiftly interjected by a cacophony created by the saturation of excess and pervasive design. The Shipley Art Gallery’s craft and design collection began in 1977 and today it is one of the most significant collections in the UK. Conversations between Darbyshire and the Shipley have highlighted his enthusiasm for engaging with both a public building and an established collection featuring design objects.

Matthew Darbyshire (b.1977) lives and works in London. He studied at Slade School of Art and Royal Academy. He has since exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. In 2012 he will be the Stanley Picker Fellow. He is currently working towards a solo exhibition at Tramway, Glasgow in 2012. Darbyshire is represented by Herald Street, London.

Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool is proposing to commission Egyptian artist Wael Shawky.

Wael Shawky is concerned with the complex relationship between politics and religion, fundamentalism and capitalism, religious ritual and the role of the media. He examines transitional events in the medieval ancient and modern history of the Arab world. Cabaret Crusades, is a recent body of work that explores the crusades of 1096-1099 from the perspective of Arab historians. This work is emblematic of Shawky’s interest in working with museums and their collections and it is this that has ignited the proposal. The diversity of the Walker’s holdings of predominantly European fine and decorative arts, spanning the middle ages to the present day, will form the starting point for Shawky’s proposed commission. The commission will be a partnership between Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival (LAAF), Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) and the Liverpool Biennial.

Wael Shawky (born in 1971), lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. Last year he launched MASS Alexandria, the city’s first independent studio and study programme for young artists. Shawky is acclaimed for his work as an artist and filmmaker. He has exhibited internationally, including at the Venice and Istanbul Biennales. In February 2011 he won the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award. A forthcoming exhibition at KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin is part of his prize.

University of Warwick Art Collection is proposing to commission artist Katie Paterson.

Katie Paterson’s artistic practice is cross-medium, multi-disciplinary and conceptually driven, with an emphasis on nature, ecology, geology and cosmology. She uses leading science and technology to create a contemporary approach to the sublime. Recent artworks include Earth–Moon–Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon), 2007 which involved the transmission of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to the moon and back; Vatnajökull (the sound of), 2007-8 – a live phone line to an Icelandic glacier; and All the Dead Stars, 2009; a large map documenting the locations of the 27,000 dead stars known to humanity. It is Paterson’s interest in the stars that finds resonance with the University of Warwick, and in particular with the work of the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University.

Katie Paterson was born in Glasgow in 1981 and educated at Edinburgh College of Art from 2000-2004 and at the Slade School of Art from 2005-7. She has exhibited work in Tate Triennale (2009),Modern Art Oxford (2008), the Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2009), BALTIC, Gateshead (2010) and Whitstable Biennale (2010). Paterson is represented by Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh.

For more information on shortlisted museums and galleries:

National Museum Wales (Cardiff)

Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Shipley Art Gallery

Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

University of Warwick Art Collection

For further information click here to download the press release as a pdf

For any further information on the Contemporary Art Society and the Annual Award for Museums contact the Contemporary Art Society on +44 (0)20 7831 1243 or email