Last night Sam Bailey was presented with the HIX Award by Tracey Emin at HIX ART gallery in Shoreditch, London. In addition to the £10,000 first prize, Bailey, who triumphed over 17 other shortlisted artists, was also awarded a solo show at HIX ART in 2018, as well as the opportunity to design a limited-edition silk scarf for luxury bespoke clothing brand Turnbull & Asser, one of the award’s sponsors.
Restaurateur and author Mark Hix founded the HIX Award five years ago. The prize was created to support emerging artists that are currently studying or have graduated in the last 2 years from UK art colleges.
This year saw over 700 applications for the prize from young artists seeking a platform to showcase their work and to support their first steps in their professional careers.
This year’s judges include artists Gavin Turk and Charming Baker, Editor-in-Chief of GQ, Dylan Jones, jewellery designer Stephen Webster and curator James Birch.
Bailey is a London-based artist who recently graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins. His winning painting, Smoker 3 (2017), is part of a series depicting images of activists and protesters based on archival photographs from the 1980s. Painted with thin layers of watercolour onto newsprint paper the work evokes a sense of memory and the passing of time, whilst also referencing the act of protest in the pre-digital age. The newsprint also acts as a signifier of the handmade and make-do approach of the 20th century, which many of the activists depicted on its surface deployed during their occupations.