The Annual Award for Museums 2013 Judging Panel

2013 judges Elizabeth Neilson (Director, Zabludowicz Collection), Kirsty Ogg (Curator, Whitechapel Gallery) and Charlotte Higgins (Chief Arts Writer, The Guardian) discuss applications at the Contemporary Art Society, July 2013. Photo: Joe Plommer
2013 judges Elizabeth Neilson (Director, Zabludowicz Collection), Kirsty Ogg (Curator, Whitechapel Gallery) and Charlotte Higgins (Chief Arts Writer, The Guardian) discuss applications at the Contemporary Art Society, July 2013. Photo: Joe Plommer




Since graduating from Goldsmiths College in the late 1990s, Brian Griffiths has been making sculpture and installations of overblown theatricality and pathos. His work has been exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. He has had solo shows at Camden Arts Centre, Arnolfini, A Foundation, Vilma Gold, Galeria Luisa Strina and internationally has shown work at numerous museums including Tate Britain, The Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, The Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, CAPC museum in Bordeaux, Mostra D’Arte Contemporanea in Milan and Belém Museum of Modern Art, Brazil. He was recently shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth commission and was included in British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet. A monograph on the artist, Brian Griffiths: Crummy Love, was published by Koenig In 2011. He is presently Senior Tutor at the Royal Academy Schools, London.

Charlotte Higgins is the chief arts writer at The Guardian. She contributes to The Guardian’s news, features, op-ed, literary and arts sections, and writes the Charlotte Higgins on Culture blog. Charlotte began her career in journalism on Vogue magazine in 1995 and moved to The Guardian in 1997. She joined the arts desk in 1999, and the following year became classical music editor. In 2004 Charlotte moved to The Guardian’s newsroom to become arts correspondent, reporting from the UK as well as overseas, including Venezuela, China and the Palestinian Territories. Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Charlotte has a degree in classics from Oxford. She is the author of Latin Love Lessons, and It’s All Greek to Me (both published by Short Books) and her third, Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, was published in 2013 by Jonathan Cape. She won the 2010 Classical Association prize. Charlotte is a keen amateur violinist and chamber musician.

Since joining the Zabludowicz Collection in January 2006, Elizabeth has overseen the strategy, acquisitions and the direction of the Collection. She is also responsible for the exhibition programme and residencies in all locations. She completed an MA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2005 and a BA in Art History and Women’s Studies from The University of East London in 2003. Founded in 1994 by Poju and Anita Zabludowicz, the Zabludowicz Collection is a dynamic and growing collection spanning four decades of art, from the 1970s to today, and exhibits in venues in the UK, USA and Finland. The Collection actively creates new opportunities for audiences to engage with emerging art, and supports arts organisations and artists around the world. Its activities are shaped by an ethos of philanthropy and a commitment to engaging with local contexts and communities.

Since May 2009, Kirsty Ogg has been Curator at Whitechapel Gallery, London, where her projects have included Claire Barclay’s Bloomberg Commission, a survey of Gerard Byrne’s work, Karl Blossfeldt’s photography and The London Open. Between 1998 – 2008 she was the Director of The Showroom, London. During her time at The Showroom, Kirsty worked with artists including Jim Lambie, Claire Barclay, Eva Rothschild, Subodh Gupta, Richard Hughes and Daria Martin on the development and presentation of their first solo shows in London. After graduating from the Sculpture Department at Edinburgh College of Art in 1990, Kirsty was a member of the organizing committee at Transmission, 1993 – 1996. She then went on to work at Norwich Gallery at Norwich School of Art & Design. Kirsty is currently a lecturer on the MA Curating Course at Goldsmiths.

What the judges say:

Charlotte Higgins: “What impressed me about the entries submitted for the award was the depth of ambition: the desire by artists and galleries to raise their game, be daring and unexpected even when times are tough in the public realm. Entries came from institutions from Orkney to Eastbourne – there’s a real sense that the British art scene is maturing way beyond the urban centres. In the end there were four stand-out projects that we felt really sparked into life and made us want to see more. I can’t wait for the next stage in the process.”

Elizabeth Neilson: “The judging process was incredibly challenging with such a number of high quality applications but we were unanimous in our selection and happy to see such a breadth of responses to the call for applications. What amazed and impressed me was that the shortlist comprises institutions from around the UK and artists working in diverse media and at different points in their careers. It was a challenge to select four proposals when every one of the applications should be seen through to completion. This cannot be understood in terms of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ but rather a process to select the right proposal for this award. I expect the next stage of selection to be even harder.”

Kirsty Ogg: “I was extremely impressed by the quality of applicants for this year’s Annual Award. There were a high number of well thought through and exciting projects that would make interesting additions to existing collections. I am looking forward to seeing the shortlisted proposals.”


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