In November 2011, Christina Mackie won the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums – Commission to Collect with Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery. The prestigious £60,000 prize is one of highest value contemporary art awards in the country, and is awarded to a UK museum to commission an artist of their choice to create a new work for their permanent collection.
Since winning the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums in 2011, Christina Mackie has been creating the third installation in her major body of work, entitled The Judges III, which will explore some of the questions and references in the two earlier Judges works whilst reflecting the specifics of the Nottingham region. The Judges III, inspired by Mackie’s research of Nottingham as well as her recent visit to Arnhem Land in Australia, will take the form of a carefully choreographed sequence of objects, sketches, photographs and materials, which unfold along handmade trestle tables as a visible train of thought. Subtle references to landscape are made with paintings, clay and with rocks and mineral specimens. The commission will be on display for the first time at Nottingham Castle Museum from 9 March until 28 April.
The Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums – Commission to Collect has a major impact on both the winning museum and their chosen artist, who may be showing widely nationally and internationally but whose work is not represented in collections in this country. For the winning museum, the award allows the acquisition of an ambitious work of contemporary art of national importance. For the winning artist, the award is a stepping stone to greater visibility and access to national and international audiences; previous recipients include Kateřina Šedá, 2012 Turner Prize nominee Luke Fowler, and emerging artist to watch Oliver Laric.
Christina Mackie, artist winner of the 2011 award, said: “Having a serious commission and budget has allowed me to realise a work that previously would have been impossible. The Contemporary Art Society has enabled me to improve my work and to reach a new level of creativity and artistic output.”
Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, said: “With so much debate at the moment around cuts to arts funding and the threat to museums that these cuts pose, it is more important than ever to ensure the longevity of public collections of art. Our Annual Award for Museums, generously supported by the Sfumato Foundation, enables the winning museum to expand and enrich their contemporary collections and to work closely with an artist to develop and acquire an outstanding new work. This year, the artist winner of the 2010 Annual Award for Museums, Luke Fowler, was nominated for the Turner Prize – and so the £60,000 award is a real chance for the winning museum to acquire a work that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to commission. We are excited to see the proposals for 2013.”
The Contemporary Art Society is a national charity that encourages an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art in the UK. With the help of our members and supporters we raise funds to purchase works by new artists which we give to museums and public galleries where they are enjoyed by a national audience; we broker significant and rare works of art by important artists of the twentieth century for public collections through our networks of patrons and private collectors; we establish relationships to commission artworks and promote contemporary art in public spaces; and we devise programmes of displays, artist talks and educational events. Since 1910 we have donated over 8,000 works to museums and public galleries – from Bacon, Freud, Hepworth and Moore in their day through to the influential artists of our own times – championing new talent, supporting curators, and encouraging philanthropy and collecting in the UK.
The Contemporary Art Society is currently calling for submissions to its Annual Award for Museums – Commission to Collect 2013. The deadline for submissions is Friday 21 June 2013 at 5pm – for full details on applying please see www.contemporaryartsociety.org. The winning museum and artist will be announced at a reception in London in November 2013, in the presence of artists, curators, museum and gallery directors and other art world VIP guests, as well as celebrity supporters of the Contemporary Art Society.