A London-based artist who creates large-scale sculptural forms composed of steel, chicken wire and paper pulp has won the 2019-20 Mark Tanner Sculpture Award (MTSA).

Olivia Bax was selected from a shortlist of eight artists by a panel comprising Simon Wallis OBE, director, The Hepworth Wakefield; Rebecca Scott, artist and Mark Tanner Trust; Emma Kelly, Standpoint Gallery; and Anna Reading, winner of the 2018-19 award.

The award was presented by Standpoint director Michael Taylor at the opening of Reading’s exhibition, ‘The Pothole’, at the artist-run gallery and studios in London.

Bax’s prize is £8,000 towards the production of new work over the coming year and a solo exhibition at Standpoint in 2020.

Her work will also tour as part of the new MTSA National Touring Programme which currently includes the venues Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre (Bury, Greater Manchester), Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens (Cornwall) and Cross Lane Projects (Kendal, Cumbria).

Bax, who is interested in ‘the process and physicality of construction’, is a graduate from Byam Shaw School of Art, London (BA Fine Art, 2007-2010) and Slade School of Fine Art, London (MFA Sculpture, 2014-2016).

Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Roost’, Lily Brooke Gallery, London (2018); ‘at large’, VO Curations, 93 Baker Street, London (2018) and ‘Zest’, Fold Gallery, London (2016/17).

The other shortlisted artists for the 2019-20 award were: Josephine Baker, Jolanta Basova, Marie Aimée Fattouche, Byzantia Harlow, Harley Kuyck-Cohen, Jocelyn McGregor and Lindsey Mendick. They were selected from 240 applicants.

Aimed at emerging UK artists working in sculpture, MTSA seeks to ‘reward outstanding and innovative practice, with a particular interest in work that demonstrates a commitment to process, or sensitivity to material’.

Established in 2001, the award is named after the British sculptor Mark Tanner who died in 1998 after a long illness. Tanner trained at St Martin’s College of Art and had been associated with Standpoint since its inception.

1. Olivia Bax, Monkey Cups, 2018, Steel, chicken wire, newspaper, glue, paint, plaster, 240 x 212 x 146cm, Three Works, Scarborough. Photo: Chris Shaw
2. Olivia Bax, Hot Spot2018, Steel, chicken wire, newspaper, glue, plaint, plaster, handles, hooks, 150 x 201 x 22 cm

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