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Chapter and Imogen Stidworthy shortlisted for Freelands Award 2023

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Freelands Award 2023: five organisations and artists shortlisted for £110,000 prize 

Freelands Foundation today announces the five visual arts organisations and women artists under consideration for the eighth Freelands Award. Founded in 2016, the annual prize enables a UK arts organisation to present an exhibition, including significant new work, by a mid-career woman artist who may not yet have received the acclaim or public recognition that her work deserves. 

The organisations and artists shortlisted for the Freelands Award 2023 are:  

Camden Art Centre and Ain Bailey
Chapter and Imogen Stidworthy
Goldsmiths CCA and Christina Mackie
QUAD and Becky Beasley
Whitechapel Gallery and Joy Gregory 

Five organisations and artists from across the UK are in contention for the prize of £110,000, awarded to an exhibition which will take place in the next three years. The award includes an allocated £30,000 fee for the winning artist. The four runner-up organisations will also each receive £10,000 towards their programmes. 

The winner of the Freelands Award 2023 will be announced on 29 November 2023 following selection by a jury including Elisabeth Murdoch (Founder and Chair, Freelands Foundation), writer Olivia Laing, curator Elinor Morgan (Artistic Director, MIMA) and artist Ingrid Pollard (winner of the Freelands Award 2020). 

Chapter will present in 2025 a new body of immersive, multi-channel video and sound work by Imogen Stidworthy (b. 1963, London, UK). Exploring the concept of crisis, Stidworthy will draw on dialogue with patients and therapists, as well as field and embodied research, to explore radical therapies and mental health today.    

Imogen Stidworthy said: “Being shortlisted for the Freelands Award is an exciting gesture of support, which comes at an especially valuable moment for me, as I begin developing a new direction in my practice. Making a major solo exhibition is a rare opportunity, which is always a sea change. It’s a galvanising process that pushes my practice on all levels.”  

Hannah Firth, Co-Director and Artistic Director of Chapter, said: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for the Freelands Award 2023 and for the opportunity to work with Imogen Stidworthy. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to collaborate with artists who articulate how we might view the world through different lenses, opening up the possibility for a more equitable society.”  

About Imogen Stidworthy


Image: Portrait Imogen Stidworthy by photographer Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Imogen Stidworthy (b. 1963, London) lives in Liverpool, and works with video, sound, and sculptural installations. Over the last thirty years, her practice has interrogated the ways language and voice shape identities. Her work involves dialogue and setting up collaborative situations with people who do not share a language, or for whom verbal language is in some fundamental sense in question, due to a powerful experience, for example, the neurological condition of aphasia, or a cultural practice such as shamanism, or ventriloquism.  

Stidworthy sees her installations and films as encounters between languages, including that of the viewer. They may be spaces of confusion or even friction, but also of attuning to a wider scope of voicing, listening and the realities they produce.  She has exhibited in major international exhibitions including Documenta 12 (Kassel, 2007), Sao Paolo Bienal (2014), Netwerk Aalst (2019), Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (2007), Imperial War Museum, London (2015), Arnolfini, Bristol (2010) and Matt’s Gallery, London (2003, 2011). Imogen Stidworthy is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and Galerie AKINCI, Amsterdam.  

Header Image: Imogen Stidworthy, The Whisper Heard, 2003, solo exhibition, Matt’s Gallery, London. Parabolic focusing loudspeaker with the voice of Tony O’Donnell and synchronised video of his hands projected onto a satellite dish. Installation view. Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London.

The main entrance of Chapter in the distance, with some plants in the foreground.

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