The ACS Studio Prize returned for another year to offer one student or recent graduate a £4,500 Prize to help secure studio space in a UK city of their choice. Five finalists were chosen from the international open competition which once again attracted hundreds of submissions.
Each year, the ACS Studio Prize is judged by a panel of world-renowned artists. This year’s Prize was judged by artists Paul Huxley RA and Bob and Roberta Smith RA, alongside ACS Managing Director Harriet Bridgeman CBE. During an in-depth day of judging, the panel deliberated over a shortlist of 27 artists from the UK and Europe, before unanimously awarding the Prize to Dorcas Casey.
Spanning sculpture, costumes, banners and community projects, Casey’s work explores the representational, detailed and often disconcerting nature of dreams, stories and memory.
Judges Bob and Roberta Smith and Paul Huxley said of Casey’s practice:
“The winner of the ACS Studio Prize gets a wonderful opportunity [to give] 100% of their time to their work. A room of one’s own, a place for intense work as well as the opposite, the all too important time for reverie.” – Paul Huxley
Paul Huxley, ACS’ Lady Bridgeman and Bob & Roberta Smith at the ACS offices © ACS
“I like Dorcas’ work because what I look for in art is something that has metamorphosed, that has changed. Whether it’s painting or sculpting, I like to see things – the components they are made from – that do something extra when put together you do not expect them to do, so that two and two don’t make four, they make five.” – Paul Huxley
‘Iguana’ by Dorcas Casey. 110 x 75 x 60cm. Jesmonite iron powder and furniture. Photo: Jasper Casey
“The ACS Studio Prize is a generous prize which will help a young artist to lay down the roots of a professional career. Dorcas’ practice is to do with ideas about the planet and evolution. Dorcas makes work where art and science cross over. They are a kind of image that everyone might be shocked by, but crucially intrigued by. A very original voice.” – Bob and Roberta Smith.
‘Cockerel’ by Dorcas Casey. 60 x 30 x 30cm. Mixed Media. Photo: Jasper Casey
Four finalists were also chosen from 27 shortlisted artists: Habib Hajallie of Loughborough University, Helena García Hermida of Sichuan University, Joe Bucklow of City & Guilds of London Art School and Niahm Birch of Bath Spa University.
ACS Studio Prize 2021 Finalists, clockwise: Helena García Hermida, Niahm Birch, Joe Bucklow, Habib Hajallie.
For more information about the ACS Studio Prize, visit the Prizes & Bursaries page.