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The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award

Lee Holden

Mark Tanner Sculpture Award Winner 2022-23

Image: Save My Soul, 2018-19

We are delighted to announce that Lee Holden (b. 1972, Accrington, Lancashire, UK) has won the 2022-23 Mark Tanner Sculpture Award.

Lee Holden is the 20th winner of the annual sculpture prize and receives: £10,000 towards the production of new work over the coming year; a solo exhibition at Standpoint in 2023; and a National Touring Programme.

This year was the highest amount of entries for the award yet with Holden being selected from close to 300 submissions by a judging panel, comprising: Mike Nelson RA; Jane Bhoyroo, Producer at Yorkshire Sculpture International; Rebecca Scott, director at Cross Lane Projects and Mark Tanner Trust; and Rosie Edwards, MTSA winner 2021/22.

Holden’s practice takes the form of elaborately constructed sculptural works and complex installations. His site-specific installations employ a wide range of fabricated and found materials (re-configured computers, TVs, industrial furniture, adapted medical equipment, reworked video footage). Re-inscribing their values and implications so as to render their naturalised meanings problematic and open to dispute.

Consequently, visitors are subjected to an intense, often multi-layered, audio-visual environment. In his current practice, emphasis has shifted towards exploiting the performative and poetic quality of technological materiality.

The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award is the most significant award for emerging UK artists working in the field of sculpture. It seeks to reward outstanding and innovative practice, with a particular interest in work that demonstrates a commitment to process, or sensitivity to material. 

There was an extremely strong shortlist of eight artists selected for interview from across the UK. Shortlisted artists were Camilla Bliss, Louise Bradley, Frances Drayson, Rafael Perez Evans, Anna Fairchild, Katrin Hanusch, Lee Holden and Rafal Zajko.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the award and to celebrate the prize fund has been raised to £10,000 and the Mark Tanner Trust will be publishing a second book in the ‘Thinking Is Making’ series. The publication will bring together a variety of texts to consider the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award within the broader context of contemporary sculptural practice, particularly exploring the role of the object and its maker.

Image credit: Lee Holden, Save My Soul, Site-specific installation, Dimensions variable, 2018-19, Unit 1 Gallery, London. Image courtesy of the artist.