Artist Barbara Walker is among those to be recognised in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list. The Birmingham-based artist, whose current exhibition ‘Vanishing Point’ continues at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings until 6 January 2019, has been awarded an MBE for services to British Art.

‘Vanishing Point’ addresses the underrepresentation of black figures in Western history. The show features a group of works on paper made with graphite and embossing techniques that focus on black figures from a collection of Old Master paintings.

In 2017, Walker’s work featured as part of the Diaspora Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, where the artist presented a series of large-scale drawings of first world war Commonwealth servicemen and women titled Transcended.

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Artist Sonia Boyce has been awarded an OBE for services to art, having previously received an MBE in 2007. Boyce, who came to prominence in the 1980s as one of the leading artists of the British Black Arts Movement, was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery in 2018. She was also lead researcher on the three-year AHRC-funded project Black Artists and Modernism, which explored how artists of African and Asian descent in Britain feature in the story of twentieth century art.

Other visual artists awarded honours this year are Alison Wilding who receives an OBE, and Tacita Dean, Yinka Shonibare and Gillian Wearing who all receive CBEs for services to art. Royal Academician Bryan Kneale receives an MBE for services to British art, as does portrait painter David Griffiths.

Wearing’s 14-18 NOW commission, a statue of the Suffragist Millicent Fawcett, was unveiled in Parliament Square, London, in April 2018. Alison Wilding’s 2018 exhibition ‘Right Here and Out There’ at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, was selected by artist and a-n writer Judith Alder as one of her top shows of the year, while Tacita Dean’s exhibition ‘Woman with a Red Hat’ at Fruitmarket in Edinburgh was picked out by a-n’s Richard Taylor.

Among those working in the visual arts to receive honours are Caroline Collier, director of partnerships and programmes at Tate, and Andrew Nairne, the director of Kettle’s Yard gallery at the University of Cambridge, who both receive OBEs. Ann Dumas, a curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Andrea Nixon, the former executive director of Tate Liverpool, and former John Hansard Gallery director Stephen Foster all receive MBEs.

1. Barbara Walker, pictured at the Diaspora Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2017. Photo: Alberto Collode; Courtesy: the artist
2. Sonia Boyce, Eastside Projects, Birmingham. Photo: George Torode; Courtesy: the artist and Eastside Projects

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