(London, UK, 24 October 2023) – Ahead of Cop28, when the world will be focused on one of the most urgent issues of our time, M&C Saatchi Group and Saatchi Gallery announce the six regional winners of their annual international art initiative, Art for Change Prize, which invited emerging artists from around the world to creatively respond to the theme of ‘Regeneration’ for the chance to win a grand prize of £10,000.
This year’s climate-focused prize celebrates the power of global creativity to transform the conversation around the climate emergency. The six winning artworks open a conversation to examine this topic from different global perspectives, look to create new stories of a liveable future and empower individuals and entities to act. It’s a call to action for meaningful change, recognising that there is no art on a dead planet.
The total number of entries increased by 20% from last year, totaling 3,000, from artists based in 130 countries, with over 56% of them developing nations from within Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Climate-related disasters are considerably increasing inequalities and injustices that already exist in the world. Meanwhile cuts to arts education funding, coupled with pre-existing structural barriers, such as unpaid internships and low wages, have meant that opportunities for students and under-represented groups to interact with contemporary art have been significantly reduced. The prize was launched as part of a shared mission by M&C Saatchi Group & Saatchi Gallery to break down barriers to entry into the creative industry and enable people across the globe to choose art and creativity as a career choice.
A winner from each M&C Saatchi key global region (UK, Europe, Americas, Asia, Australia, and Middle East & Africa) has been carefully selected by some of the best business and creative minds from M&C Saatchi Group globally and a special selection of eminent guest judges*.
- Americas Winner – IngridWeyland from Buenos Aires, Argentina for her work Topographies of Fragility XXXV and Topographies of Fragility XXXVI
- Asia Winner – Haining Wang from Beijing, China for her work Molt
- Australia Winner – Jen Valender from Melbourne, Australia for her work Sediment and Artist as Animal
- Europe Winner – AlinaZamanova from Kyiv, Ukraine for her work Our Children are Fighting too
- Middle East & Africa Winner – Chibuike Ifedilichukwu from Anambra, Nigeria for his work Equality State
- UK Winner – Natasha Botelho Cook from London, England for her work The Garden of Dried Roses
Each winner in this not-for-profit initiative will receive a cash prize. The total prize fund of £20,000 will be split between the six regional winners, five to receive £2,000 each and one overall winner, due to be announced at the exhibition launch on the 29th November 2023, to receive £10,000. Additionally, all artists’ winning works will be exhibited in a dedicated exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, an iconic platform for contemporary art, from 30th November 2023 until 7th January 2024.
The overall winner will be selected by a Grand Jury lead by Chair of Judges, Justine Simons, London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture & Creative Industries and Founder and Chair of the World Cities Cultural Forum, alongside Saatchi Gallery Director, Paul Foster, and one M&C Saatchi Group judge from each region. The winner will be announced on 29th November 2023.*
Richard Thompson, M&C Saatchi Group UK Chairman, comments: “Now in our second year, we’ve been delighted to see the Art for Change Prize grow even bigger with 20% more entries from every corner of the globe. As a global creative solutions company, we believe we have an obligation to help identify the next generation of artists to help tackle the increasing barriers to entry into the creative industry. Given the urgency and importance, Regeneration is a critical theme to explore to drive positive and social change across the world and is something M&C Saatchi are firmly committed to.”
Paul Foster, Saatchi Gallery Director, adds: “The diversity and quality of works created by the regional winners of the Art For Change Prize this year take the breath away. These winning works remind us that contemporary artists have something important to express about how we live that is relevant to all of us. Someday soon, a work will emerge about the climate crisis that will have the same impact in the 21st century as Guernica did about war in the 20th century.”
Sophie Morgan, TV Presenter, Writer & Disability Advocate, and UK Judge, comments: “It has been an absolute honour to be a judge for the Art for Change Prize, the caliber of entrees were truly amazing, and it was wonderful to see so many talented artists from all over the UK using their visual storytelling to tackle one of the most important issues of our time.“