JIS News

Jamaican textile artist, Bryan Duncan is among 11 winners chosen from 170 entries for the 2005 Commonwealth Art and Craft Awards.
The awards are organised by the Commonwealth Foundation. The other winners are painter, Kabelo Modise (Botswana); sculptors Nutan Bala and Dhananjay Kumar, and printmaker/installation artist Dimple Shah (India); painter, Mary Ogembo (Kenya); installation artist, Marnie Slater (New Zealand); printmaker, Fatima Saeed (Pakistan); painter/printmaker, Sheku Mansaray (Sierra Leone); textile artist, Lee-Anne Hampson (United Kingdom); and painter, Stary Mwaba (Zambia).
All 11 winners will have an opportunity to participate in cultural exchanges within the Commonwealth. They will spend time in a different Commonwealth country on attachment to an art institution or to an artist of their choice. They will work with the artists and communities to develop and share their skills and culture, while learning about the culture of their host country.
The aim of the programme is to promote cultural dialogue and understanding among Commonwealth artists, while they develop their technical and personal skills.
The winners were selected by two panels of judges made up of artists and art experts based on slides and photographs of their artwork. The judges were very keen on skill, originality and potential. The contestants were also assessed on their organisational and motivational skills, which are required for them to manage their attachment programmes.
Robert Loder, Chair of Triangle Art Trust, who was one of the judges, said that the Commonwealth Art and Craft Awards were an important initiative, not just for the individual artist but also for the wider community of artists around the Commonwealth.
“The awards give many artists opportunities, not otherwise available, to expand their horizons and share their skills with other artists from the Commonwealth. The exchange of practice and ideas between artists of different cultural backgrounds creates a stimulus and interest in art making amongst a wide audience in countries to which the award winners travel and work. Long may this imaginative programme continue,” he added.
Director of the Foundation, Dr. Mark Collins said the standard of entries this year was very high.
“I am confident that these awards are helping to launch the careers of some very promising artists and craftspeople. A key element of the Commonwealth’s approach to world affairs is to build understanding and friendship among nations with very different cultures. These awards achieve some remarkable cultural exchanges that exemplify the spirit of the Commonwealth,” he said.

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