Yinka Shonibare lends support to new creative awards set up in response to Brexit


Turner Prize-winning artist Yinka Shonibare, MBE RA, has lent his support to the recently created Emerge Awards, a UK-wide, open competition that champions emerging talent and diversity in the creative industries.

Guy Armitage, the CEO of Zealous, a London-based digital submissions platform for the creative community, set up the awards in response to the changing nature of Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Their ultimate aim is to promote and safeguard the interests of the talent engaged in all of the creative industries, and then for the organisation behind them to serve as an advocacy group, supporting national bodies such as the Creative Industries Federation.

Shonibare, 55, will judge the art award, along with Kathleen Soriano, chair of the Liverpool Biennial, Mark Cass is Founder and CEO of leading art supplies retailer, Cass Art and Chairman of the Cass Sculpture Foundation, and Cherie Federico, the Director/Editor in Chief of the art magazine Aesthetica.

Says Armitage: ‘We are incredibly privileged to welcome Yinka to our panel of judges for the Emerge Awards. His stunning works, which have graced London’s fourth plinth and been nominated for the Turner prize; have challenged our understanding of our identities and culture at a key moment in time. Yinka is an inspiration, and to have him cast his eye on the next generation of talent is an incredible honour.’

The awards are in 12 categories – Architecture, Art, Craft, Writing, Design, Digital Art, Fashion, Film, Gaming, Music, Performance, Photography – with each carrying a £1,000 cash prize.