Blackpool-based artist and founding director of Abingdon Studios Garth Gratrix has been announced as the recipient of the Clore Visual Arts Fellowship 2022.

The fellowship is a bespoke professional development opportunity that works to develop leaders from across a wide range of cultural disciplines and sectors. Gratrix is one of 25 Fellows from the UK and Ireland and four International Fellows who will embark on the Clore Fellowship programme this autumn in its eighteenth year.

Known for creating work that deals with queerness and, or queering, Gratrix also explores how working with materials, language and space can remain ‘slippery’, experimental, and curious. Their queer lived experience on the coast manifests through solo, collaborative, and congregative exhibitions that are transdisciplinary, generative, and fluid in their ‘formally frolicking nature’.

Garth Gratrix, Shy Girl, Wink Wink, Cheeky Felicia, 2022

Gratrix is a selected artist as part of PIVOT developed by Castlefield Gallery and The Bluecoat. He has exhibited internationally as an artist and curated larger-scale group shows supporting emergent and mid-career artists across the UK. Recently Gratrix was Lead Artist for Assembly Blackpool: The Coast is Queer, a-n’s first ever digital Assembly, was a keynote speaker at Stormy Weather, Derek Jarman, Manchester Art Gallery and is curator of the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award 2022 a collaboration with UKNA and Saatchi Gallery.

Sharing his enthusiasm at being awarded the Clore Fellowship, Gratrix comments: “It’s absolutely fabulous. I can’t wait to get stuck in and explore my pace, priorities and peripheral power as a queer artist living and working in the North West. It has come at a pivotal moment for me and it is wonderful to receive recognition for my contributions as an artist to the sector. I’ve supported many artists and now I’m supporting myself for a period of time. I’m feeling grateful and humbled at having my mini resistance by the sea acknowledged in a national conversation. Crack open the Babycham!”

Garth Gratrix, No boundaries, 2021. Image copyright of Garth Gratrix (right pocket)

The 2022 Fellowship cohort includes artists, curators, producers, directors and educators, many of whom work across disciplines and co-create with communities and underrepresented groups.

The fellows are Stephanie Bain, Victoria Beesley, Jo Bradshaw, Topher Campbell, Elizabeth Chan, Richard Chappell, Magnus Copps, Nyasha Daley, Jessica Edwards, Ithalia Forel, Garth Gratrix, Miranda Johnson, Julie Kelleher, Lekan Lawal, Amy Letman, Robert Lewis, Catherine Mugonyi, Zoe Ní Riordáin, Rachel Noël, Anthony Olanipekun, Malaki Patterson, Beth Shouler, David Sheppeard, Samantha Stimpson, Kim Wide. The International Fellows are Raghda Allouche, Nick Chan, Deepti Navaratna and Anurupa Roy.

Moira Sinclair, Chair of Clore Leadership and Chief Executive, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: “Talking to leaders from across the cultural sector, I have been struck by just how much there is a need right now for space to breathe, to connect and reflect, to invest in the development of people and organisations. The Clore Fellowship provides just such an opportunity and I can’t wait to see how this year’s Fellows, bringing their diversity of experience, of discipline and of place, are able to engage with and enrich the process for their benefit and for the wider sector.”

For more information on the 2022 Clore Fellowship visit

Top image: Garth Gratrix, Shy Girl, Grundy Art Gallery 2020