Jarman Awards

By Jo Phillips

From surreal animated worlds to filmic explorations of landscape and community, the 2023 Film London Jarman Award showcases the urgency, creativity, and humour of exciting new approaches to the moving image. Whether located in a Hackney council block or a Guinness factory in Nigeria, Ayo Akingbade’s intimate and playful films reflect the influence of place on a personal sense of identity, while Andrew Black works in close collaboration with local communities to uncover complex political histories hidden beneath the surface of the British countryside. The Shortlist has been announced for the prestigious Film London Jarman Award. The winning artist will receive £10,000 for this award inspired by visionary filmmaker Derek Jarman. Find out more here is Jarman Awards

Image on left Andrew Black, On Clogger Lane (2023), video still. Depicted – Lindis Percy.

Experimental animator Sophie Koko Gate transforms familiar angsts and desires into dreamlike stories and psychedelic worlds, from a curious woman who has developed a taste for slugs as lovers to a fantastical holiday-romance film made during lockdown. Karen Russo’s work focuses on marginalised characters, obscure buildings and forgotten moments from the 20th century, allowing us to reflect on the political, religious and cultural power structures that shape our understanding of history.

Karen Russo, Externsteine (2012), production still.

Empathy and community are at the heart of Rehana Zaman’s practice. Developed in collaboration with a group of women affected by the UK Government’s Hostile Environment Policy and prison system, Zaman’s recent work captures the perseverance of love and solidarity through experiences of trauma. In his practice, Julianknxx explores the multiple realities of black lives, from a poetic documentary that highlights the disproportionate impact of air pollution on working class citizens in London to a cinematic return to the artist’s birthplace of Freetown in Sierra Leone.

The artists shortlisted for the 2023 Film London Jarman Award create work characterised by a sense of resilience and joy, creating new visual languages and fresh perspectives on often tough and complex subjects. 

Rehana Zaman, Your Ecstatic Self (2019), video still

Now in its sixteenth year, the Award has built an enviable reputation for spotting rising stars of the UK art world. Previously shortlisted artists include Heather Phillipson, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Oreet Ashery, Duncan Campbell, Monster Chetwynd, LukeFowler, Imran Perretta, Charlotte Prodger, Laure Prouvost, Elizabeth Price, James Richards, and Project Art Works all of whom went on to be shortlisted for or to win the Turner Prize.

The winner of the Jarman Award will be announced the week of 20 November 2023 at the Barbican Centre, London. In the run-up to the event, art and film lovers can explore the work of the shortlisted artists through a nationwide touring programme presented in partnership with a variety of our cultural venues, including Nottingham Contemporary, Spike Island (Bristol), g39 (Cardiff), LUX Scotland (Glasgow) and Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne).

Sophie Koko Gate, Slug Life (2018), digital still

The Jury who selected this year’s shortlist are: Matthew Barrington, Cinema Curator, Barbican; Shaminder Nahal, Commissioning Editor, Arts and Topical, Channel 4; Artist and 2020 Jarman Award joint-winner, Michelle Williams Gamaker and Lila Rawlings, Head of Creative: Film and Television for award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón’s London-based company Esperanto Filmoj and Film London Board Member.

The Film London Jarman Award recognises and supports artists working with moving image and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of UK-based artist filmmakers. Find out more about the award Here

If you enjoyed reading Jarman Awards then why not read Gateway; Tangible & Ethereal Here

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