SPACE Artist Awards

Applications closed


Please note: The deadline to apply for the Artist Awards has now passed, late applications won't be accepted.

SPACE will award 18 x £5,000 to talented visual artists who are under-represented in the art world and those suffering from extreme financial hardship, to help progress their practice at this very challenging time. 

Awards and Support 
£5,000 Awards
 12 artists will each receive £5,000 to support the next stage of their practice.  

Studio Awards 3 artists will each receive £5,000 plus a 12 month rent free studio in Hackney, Colchester or Ilford. Indicate on your application if you wish to be considered for the studio award. 

Programme Associate Award 3 artists will each receive £5,000 and as part of the award will also be invited to advise on programmes at SPACE. Please indicate on your application how you feel you can contribute. 

All awardees will receive mentoring support, including a group mentoring session with John Akomfrah to start the programme. Support will also be available from the Artist Development team in the form of individual 1-2-1s.

What we are looking for 
The aim of the award is to give you as artists an opportunity to invest in yourself and your future.

We want to reward potential and promise.

We want to motivate and encourage.

We want to hear how you will use these resources wisely and where you hope the award will take you in your practice.

Who can apply? 
This award is for artists in the first 10 years of practising, post-higher education. The awards are aimed at opening up access to the world of art, specifically for individuals whose ethnicity, disability or socio-economic background may have affected their career advancement. We encourage applicants from artists of all minority and ethnic backgrounds and/or who are enduring financial difficulty, including individuals in receipt of government benefits. 

Only artists who live or work in boroughs where we have studios can apply (Camden, Colchester, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Newham, Redbridge, Southwark, Tower Hamlets). Indicate which borough you are based in on your application. 

Do I need to be a current SPACE tenant? 
No. These Awards are open to artists based in the boroughs surrounding our studio buildings who are within the first 10 years of their professional practice. 
NB: the awards that come with a studio are not applicable to existing SPACE tenants.

How to apply
It is free to apply for this award. Please send the following to Karen at
Please contact us if you have any access needs regarding your application. 

- Your name and contact details.

- Indicate which borough you are based in. 

- State which award/s you wish to be considered for.

- A statement explaining how you qualify for and would benefit from the award (max  200 words).

- A short biography telling us about your practice (max 200 words).

- CV

- A link to images/your practice or a pdf.

Application deadline
Tuesday 1 December 2020

Selection Panel
Selection will take place in early December 2020 and applicants will be notified by mid December.

Dr Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE; Trustee, SPACE (Chair: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)
Deborah Smith, Director of Arts Council Collection
Karen Davies, Head of Artist Development at SPACE 

To help you with your application we have anticipated some of the questions you may have about these new awards. Please do contact Karen at if you have any other queries.

Why are you only supporting artists in the first 10 years of their practice? 
SPACE recognises that young and emerging artists from our communities have been disproportionately impacted by the current situation through loss of opportunities such as exhibiting (eg. final degree shows) and loss of income both within the arts and other industries that they rely on to support their practice (eg. those working in hospitality). The awards will support talented visual artists who are under-represented in the art world and those suffering from extreme financial hardship.

How will SPACE Artist Development Team support awardees? 
The awardees will be supported with 1-2-1s with mentors in order to develop practice and take your career to the next stage. If you are interested in artist development programmes at SPACE, click here

Why can I only apply if I am based in a specific borough? 
SPACE manages studio buildings in boroughs with some of the highest social and economic deprivation in the country. These awards are part of our commitment to supporting people who live and work in these boroughs. 

I am a studio tenant, can I apply for the studio award? 
The studio award is to encourage new tenants who would otherwise not have the opportunity to have a studio. Studio tenants are eligible to apply for the £5,000 Award and the Programme Associate Award. 

What does the Programme Associate Award mean?
These artists will be invited to contribute in any form to the new programme of events and activities for our SPACE Ilford creative hub.

Where can I find out more about artist support at SPACE? 
Take a look at the Artist Development on offer here.

SPACE Artist Awards are funded through our Arts Council Culture Recovery Grant.