The South Bank Sky Arts Awards which focus on the arts in their entirety honouring the very best of British culture and achievement has announced the results of the 2016 competition. Simultaneously celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the awards, which took place yesterday, June 5th 2016. The Street Artist Banksy missed out on the visual art award for his Dismaland theme park in Weston-super-Mare. That prize went instead to painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye for her Verses After Dark exhibition at the Serpentine in London.
Hosted by Melvyn Bragg, the ceremony continues to shine a light on a wide range of outstanding achievers from across the arts world. This year’s nominees ranged from electronica band Years & Years to an embroidery of the Magna Carta to mark its 800th anniversary. Banksy celebrates 25 years of street art with a nomination for Dismaland while the TV adaptation of Wolf Hall consolidates the success of Hilary Mantel’s previous South Bank Sky Arts Awards win for Bring Up The Bodies. Meanwhile new dance productions including Northern Ballet’s 1984 are celebrated alongside the Almeida’s politically charged contemporary production of Aeschylus’ Oresteia in the most varied awards ceremony in the world.
Artist Cornelia Parker received her second nomination, this time for her exhibition Magna Carta at the British Library, up against Banksy’s Dismaland and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Serpentine Gallery exhibition Verses After Dusk.
Melvyn Bragg said: “The South Bank Sky Arts Awards freeze-frame on a unique moment in British cultural history. It’s when thirty nominees in ten categories across the Arts, from Opera to Pop Music, from Comedy to Theatre, meet to celebrate the best work being done by artists in this country across a wide range of ages and backgrounds. There are world-class performances, the awards of Scholarships to new artists on top of the Awards to the winners judged by an independent panel, all resulting in a 90 minute programme which gives us a rich picture of where we are now in an area of achievement in which at the moment Britain can claim to be in a dominating position. This is the 20th of these annual Awards and a ripple through the records shows an extraordinary tapestry of talent ever-changing but always the same in its high quality.”
The awards originated in 1997 in association with The South Bank Show and Melvyn Bragg has served as editor and host of the awards since their inception. The South Bank Sky Arts Awards have been at the very forefront of the arts in the last two decades, celebrating the best of culture. Twenty years ago, the inaugural awards rewarded the likes of classic sitcom Father Ted, which won the Comedy award, while critically acclaimed performances from David Suchet and Diana Rigg in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? secured a win in the Theatre award. Meanwhile, Matthew Bourne stormed the dance world with his retelling of Swan Lake, scooping the award for Dance.