The recipients of the Isolationists Art Prize have been announced, with Jo Parker awarded the current student prize and Pilar Costa awarded the newcomer award.

The prize was launched in response to the lockdown, with artists asked to respond to the theme ‘Life in Lockdown’. Applicants were asked to consider questions including: What has become the new normal, and have there been any moments of unexpected calm, joy or discovery during this time?

The winners were announced at the launch of Unlocked, Bolton School of the Arts’s Creative Show, by Sam Johnson, Head of Bolton School of the Arts.

They were selected by a panel of judges that included: Julie Lomax, CEO a-n The Artists Information Company; Emily Motto, previous micro resident artist Bolton School of the Arts and Bluecoat resident artist 2020; and Dr David Gledhill, co-director Rogue studios, artist and writer.

Commenting on Jo Parker’s work On Crackers, Motto said: “I loved the fragility of it, the soft focus, and delicacy of every element in the composition.” Gledhill added: “It evokes the confinement, frustration, and longing of lock down with both humour and hope for a brighter future.”

Explaining Pilar Costa won the newcomer award, Motto said: “The marks filling the ominous shadows had a very sensitive touch about it and movement to follow, it was really beautiful to look at.” Gledhill said: “The work documents a routine act of consideration for others that has become a symbol of global community resistance to the pandemic.”

Each recipient will receive an award of Fred Aldous gift vouchers worth £100.

For more information on ‘Unlocked’, Bolton School of the Arts virtual show, visit:

1. Jo Parker, On Crackers
2. Pilar Costa, Untitled