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The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award

The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award (MTSA) is the most significant award for emerging artists working in the field of sculpture in the UK: offering £8,000 in financial support towards the making of new work, plus a solo show at Standpoint Gallery.

The MTSA seeks to reward outstanding and innovative practice, with a particular interest in work that demonstrates a commitment to process, or sensitivity to material.

The recipient is selected from an open call by a panel, guest selectors have included Richard Wilson RA, Conrad Shawcross RA, Lisa Le Feuvre, Richard Deacon CBE RA, Phyllida Barlow CBE RA, Rachel Whiteread CBE, Cornelia Parker OBE RA, Tim Marlow, Alison Wilding RA, Cathie Pilkington RA and Clare Lilley.

For enquiries please email: mtsa(at)

Dean Kenning

Mark Tanner Sculpture Award Winner 2020-21

We are delighted to announce that Dean Kenning (b.1972 Hounslow, UK) has won the 2020-21 Mark Tanner Sculpture Award. Kenning wins £8,000 towards the production of new work over the coming year, a solo exhibition at Standpoint in 2021 followed by a National Touring Programme.

Kenning was selected from 220 applicants from across the UK by a panel comprising: Anne Hardy, artist; Sam Thorne, Director, Nottingham Contemporary; Rebecca Scott, artist and Mark Tanner Trust; and Olivia Bax, winner of the MTSA 2019-20.

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MTSA Touring Programme

The MTSA National Touring Programme brings exhibitions by winning artists to partner venues across the UK. The programme is a major development for MTSA and part of a new initiative to develop audiences for the award outside of London, and strengthen networks across the UK.


Anna Reading, The Pothole


Anna Reading The Pothole

8 November -14 December 2019
Cross Lane Projects, Kendal, Cumbria

7 March-20 June 2020
Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre, Greater Manchester


Frances Richardson Not even nothing can be free of ghosts

13 October - 16 December 2018
Cross Lane Projects, Kendal, Cumbria


Olivia Bax Off Grid

31 October -12 December 2020
Cross Lane Projects, Kendal, Cumbria

Spring 2021 (Dates TBC)
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall

Background of the MTSA

Mark Tanner was a British Sculptor who trained at St. Martin's College of Art and had been associated with Standpoint since its inception. He worked mainly in steel, and was one of the first artists to show in Standpoint Gallery. He died in 1998 after a long illness.

The Mark Tanner Award was established in 2001, on the initiative of and with full sponsorship from a private charitable trust, to keep alive the passion and enthusiasm he had for the making of art.

MTSA Limited Edition Prints

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A decade of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award


Thinking is Making: Presence and Absence in Contemporary Sculpture

by Herbert Martin and Fiona MacDonald

Published by 'Black Dog’ in celebration of a decade of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award.

The book includes essays by Martin Herbert on the changing role of the object within recent and contemporary sculpture, a short history of sculptural practice as taught at St. Martins School of Art during the 1960s and 70s by Matilda Strang (independent curator) and an introduction and commentary on each of the past winners of the award by Fiona MacDonald (curator Standpoint Gallery).

It is a large format, hardback book of circa 200 pages, with beautiful images.

It is available from Standpoint Gallery for £25 - call in or contact us, for information on how to purchase via post.

MTSA Archives

© Beth Collar

MTSA Archives

Previous recipients of the MTSA

2018/19   Anna Reading
2017/18   Frances Richardson
2016/17   Beth Collar
2015/16   Megan Broadmeadow
2014/15   Kate Lyddon
2013/14   Iain Hale
2010/11   Jemima Brown 
2009/10   John Wallbank
2008/9   Paul Carter
2007/8   Clara Clark
2006/7   John Summers
2005/6   Kevin Osmond
2004/5   Paul Jones
2003/4   Victoria Rance
2002/3   Giles Kent
2001/2   Rosie Leventon

Previous Guest selectors

Phyllida Barlow CBE RA, Rachel Whiteread CBE, Cornelia Parker OBE RA, Cathy de Monchaux, Richard Deacon CBE RA, Lisa Le Feuvre, Conrad Shawcross RA, Penelope Curtis, Laurence Sillars, Richard Wilson RA, Tim Marlow, Hew Locke, Alison Wilding RA, Denise de Cordova, Cathie Pilkington RA and Clare Lilley.