M&C Saatchi Group and Saatchi Gallery name Australian winner of the Art for Change Prize

M&C Saatchi Group - Clare Jaque Vasquez - Winner

The Art for Change Prize invited emerging artists from around the world to creatively respond to the theme of ‘Equality’

M&C Saatchi Group and Saatchi Gallery have announced the six regional winners of their annual international art initiative, including one Australian.

The Art for Change Prize invited emerging artists from around the world to creatively respond to the theme of ‘Equality’ for the chance to win a grand prize of £10,000. 

Art for Change Prize reignites access to art and culture amongst younger and underrepresented audiences and in doing so aims to inspire a new, more diverse generation of creatives.

The regional winners have been carefully selected from over 2,500 entries in 130 countries by some of the best business and creative minds from M&C Saatchi Group globally and a special selection of eminent guest judges.

Clare Jaque Vasquez from Queensland, Australia won for her piece, The Hunter & Gatherer. Vasquez is an emerging Indigenous artist from Gomeroi/Kamilaroi nation. Her works capture stories and weaving practices in a raised textural form leveraging natural art tools to apply texture.

The Hunter & Gatherer by Clare Jaque Vasquez

Other winners include Samuel Nnorom from Africa, Rachel Zhang winning for the Americas region, Sharon Cheung as winner for the Asia region, Europe winner Jaroslaw Lisicki and the UK winner Felix Chesher.

Each winner in this non-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 7th December 2022) 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 8th December 2022 until 6th January 2023.

The competition was launched as part of a shared mission by M&C Saatchi Group and Saatchi Gallery in making art, culture, and creativity accessible to everyone. The aim is to highlight and stimulate dialogue around visual arts as an active medium for positive global and social change and give exposure to emerging artists worldwide.  

Richard Thompson, M&C Saatchi UK group chairman, said: “At M&C Saatchi Group we have chosen to be a leader and invest into the culture sector through several initiatives, such as becoming Principal Patron of the Saatchi Gallery, and establishing the Art for Change Prize.

“Through this platform we want to give a voice to underrepresented groups by shining a light on what they do, inspire their peers, break down barriers to entry within the creative career industry, and encourage people across the globe to choose art and creativity as a career choice.”

Emma Robbins, national executive creative director at M&C Saatchi Australia, and Art for Change grand juror said: “It was a privilege to judge for the inaugural Art for Change Prize and to be chaired by Sinta Tantra. The finalists were an incredible mix of storytelling, mediums, and techniques that captivated the panel and created some really healthy debate.

“The Australian winner, emerging Aboriginal artist Clare Jaque Vasque from Gomeroi/Kamilaroi nation, used weaving practices in a stunning raised textural form, which Clare created using natural brushes, branches, and sticks to connect the work with Country.

“Her piece looked at equality through the lens of the shifting roles between modern societies and First Nations communities. And her important story will now be told at Saatchi Gallery in London along with those of the other awesome global finalists.”

Paul Foster, director Saatchi Gallery, said: “Saatchi Gallery worked closely with M&C Saatchi to develop the framework for the Art for Change Prize, and we are delighted with the high volume of submissions and the vast array of creative individuals this initiative has reached worldwide.

“We congratulate the incredible selection of regional winners, and we cannot wait to see the response to the exhibition of their works this December.”

The overall winner of the Art for Change Prize will be announced on the 7th December 2022.

Top image: Clare Jaque Vasquez

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