The nominees for the eighth UK Freelands Award—bringing to the fore “a mid-career woman artist who may not yet have received the acclaim or public recognition that her work deserves”, say the organisers—have been announced.
The award is given by the Freelands Foundation, a philanthropic organisation founded by the media executive Elisabeth Murdoch.
Five organisations and artists from across the UK will compete for the prize of £110,000, awarded to an exhibition which will take place in the next three years (the award also includes an allocated £30,000 fee for the winning artist). The four runner-up organisations, meanwhile, will each receive £10,000 towards their programmes.
The winner of this year's prize will be unveiled on 29 November; the exhibition will take place within the next three years.
The nominees for this edition are: Camden Art Centre and Ain Bailey; Chapter (Cardiff) and Imogen Stidworthy; Goldsmiths CCA (London) and Christina Mackie; QUAD (Derby) and Becky Beasley; and Whitechapel Gallery (London) and Joy Gregory.
Beasley’s exhibition at QUAD (2025-26) will be the Portsmouth-born artist’s largest to date, unfolding across six “chapters” encompassing sculpture, photography, ceramics and video. The artist says in a statement: “As a late-diagnosis autistic female artist and keen advocate for better understanding of neurodiversity in the arts, this nomination offers an ideal platform to highlight the joys of being a bit different, of not fitting in, of being weird, queer…and of the intersectional obstacles both I, and so many others, experience each day.”
At Chapter in 2025, London-born Stidworthy will present video and sound works “exploring the concept of crisis” and issues around mental health today. “Now, more than ever, it’s vital to collaborate with artists who articulate how we might view the world through different lenses, opening up the possibility for a more equitable society,” says Hannah Firth, co-director and artistic director of Chapter, in a statement.