Sustainability First Art Prize
Art Prize 2021
Sustainability First Art Prize

Sustainability First Art Prize 2021

The Sustainability First Art Prize 2021 is open to all living British visual artists and international visual artists living, working, or studying in the UK, established and emerging, over the age of 18 years. This year’s theme is: “Together for a Fair Climate Future.”

We are interested in artworks that:
- Look at the relationship between the climate crisis and fairness in society;
- Set out visions for a fairer and more sustainable future;
- Explore working together or collectively to achieve these visions;
- Explore what meaningful changes are needed and how to put these into action; and/or
- Draw from personal experience.

The winning artist will receive a prize of £1,000 with £500 for second prize and £300 for third prize. Images of up to 3 works only can be submitted online per person. The works must be original, created in any media , including but not limited to digital, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and textiles.

The deadline for applications is: 31 July 2021 at 23:00.

We have brought together a high profile panel of judges spanning visual arts and sustainability, including:

  • Matthew Burrows - Painter and Founder of Artist Support Pledge
  • Enam Gbewonyo - Textile and Performance Artist, Founder of the Collective of Black British Female Artists
  • Charise Johnson - Policy Advisor, British Academy
  • Charles Olgilvie - Director of Strategy, COP26 Unit, and Artist
  • Nicola Shaw - President, UK Networks, National Grid
  • Valeria Toro - Multidisciplinary Artist and Somerset House Future Producer


The judging criteria will include:
- Relevance to the theme “Together for a Fair Climate Future”;
- Creativity, originality, and quality of the artwork;
- Impact of the artwork;
- Sustainability considerations - for example in the artist’s ethos, practices, process and/or materials;
- Clear communication of artist’s intent through the artwork and accompanying description.

We plan to hold an online prize-giving event as part of a wider conference on 21-22 September 2021, with a digital exhibition and virtual book of shortlisted works.

Applications are now closed.

Sustainability First Art Prize 2021

The Sustainability First Art Prize 2021 is open to all living British visual artists and international visual artists living, working, or studying in the UK, established and emerging, over the age of 18 years. This year’s theme is: “Together for a Fair Climate Future.” We are interested in artworks that:

- Look at the relationship between the climate crisis and fairness in society;
- Set out visions for a fairer and more sustainable future;
- Explore working together or collectively to achieve these visions;
- Explore what meaningful changes are needed and how to put these into action; and/or
- Draw from personal experience.

The winning artist will receive a prize of £1,000 with £500 for second prize and £300 for third prize. Images of up to 3 works only can be submitted online per person. The works must be original, created in any media , including but not limited to digital, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and textiles.

The deadline for applications is: 31 July 2021 at 23:00.

We have brought together a high profile panel of judges spanning visual arts and sustainability, including:

- Matthew Burrows, Painter and Founder of Artist Support Pledge

- Enam Gbewonyo, Textile and Performance Artist, Founder of the Collective of Black British Female Artists

- Charise Johnson, Policy Advisor, British Academy

- Charles Olgilvie, Director of Strategy, COP26 Unit, and Artist

- Nicola Shaw, President, UK Networks, National Grid

- Valeria Toro, Multidisciplinary Artist and Somerset House Future Producer


The judging criteria will include:
- Relevance to the theme “Together for a Fair Climate Future”;
- Creativity, originality, and quality of the artwork;
- Impact of the artwork;
- Sustainability considerations - for example in the artist’s ethos, practices, process and/or materials;
- Clear communication of artist’s intent through the artwork and accompanying description.

We plan to hold an online prize-giving event as part of a wider conference on 21-22 September 2021, with a digital exhibition and virtual book of shortlisted works.

Applications are now closed.

Sustainable Futures Programme

The Art and Writing Prizes are part of Sustainability First’s Sustainable Futures programme. The programme focuses on how we can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in a way that’s fair, innovative, and positive for the environment, including in the lead up to the international UN climate change conference COP26 taking place in Glasgow, in November 2021. Sustainable Futures is developing imaginative visions for social, environmental, and economic wellbeing.

As well as the Art and Writing Prizes, the programme includes a series of six online discussion events focusing on how action for the climate crisis and social justice can come together; schools outreach workshops; work with artists in communities along the North Sea; a conference on culture change; and culminating in a call to action at COP26 itself.

This work is being funded by the National Grid, one of the COP26 official Principal Partners.

Project partner

national grid

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