Phoebe Cummings Awarded the Inaugural Woman’s Hour Craft Prize

Posted November 14, 2017 at 7:45 pm in Awards, News

CLAY artist Phoebe Cummings has been selected from 12 finalists as the winner of the inaugural £10,000 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize. The prize was established in October 2016 by the Crafts Council, BBC Radio 4 and the V&A, with the aim of celebrating craft artists in the UK.

The finalists were chosen from over 1,500 applications by judging panel of 29 including artists, editors, professors, curators and creative directors. She was then awarded the prize by Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council; Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A; Martha Kearney, BBC journalist and broadcaster; Jacky Klein, art historian; and Susie Lau, fashion writer and style influencer.


Antediluvian Swag by Phoebe Cummings, 2016, New Art Centre.
Photograph courtesy: Sylvain Deleu

Phoebe uses unfired clay to create sculptures and installations that disintegrate over time. Her works last only for the duration of an exhibition, after which materials are reused on future projects whenever possible. As a result, her career has been led by commissions for public galleries and museums, rather than the production of pieces for sale.


Phoebe Cummings working on an installation.
Photograph courtesy: Sylvain Deleu

For the Craft Prize Phoebe created a fountain that dissolves as the water flows. The piece was inspired by fragments of the recently restored 18th Century Meissen Fountain, which she first saw as an Artist in Residence at the V&A in 2010.

Triumph of the Immaterial by Phoebe Cummings for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, 2017.
Photograph courtesy: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

by Rosie Byers

The 12 finalists’ work has been showcased at the V&A since September 2017 and will be on display until February 5, 2018 at the Sackler Centre for arts education, Room 220, V&A Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL. Admission to the exhibition is free. Details of the featured pieces can be found at the V&A website.

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