Turner Contemporary's Director, Clarrie Wallis, wins the £150,000 Ampersand Foundation Award
The Ampersand Foundation today announced that Clarrie Wallis, Turner Contemporary is the winner of The Ampersand Foundation Award 2023 for Resistance, an exhibition, curated by Clarrie Wallis with artist Steve McQueen, that charts how protest shaped Britain – and photography shaped protest – through the twentieth century.
With a focus on amplifying underrepresented voices, the exhibition will explore the vital role photography has played in the perception of protest movements and its impact as a driving force for change. It tells the stories of individuals and how their often-forgotten stories helped to create modern Britain.
Clarrie Wallis, Director, Turner Contemporary said: “The Ampersand Foundation Award provides a lifeline for curators to realise ambitious exhibitions in the face of scarce funding for the arts. By recognising the importance of supporting these opportunities, the Foundation acts as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. For Turner Contemporary, winning the award for Resistance presents the chance to realise a major project with artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, resulting in a ground-breaking exhibition in Margate.”
Flor Souto, CEO of The Ampersand Foundation, said: “It is very exciting to be running the third edition of The Ampersand Foundation Award and to hear about what curators and directors dream about doing. Through this Award, we want to give them the chance to bring to life an idea close to their hearts.”
The Ampersand Foundation Award is currently open to the 48 UK art organisations which are members of the Plus Tate network. It aims to give curators and directors the chance to produce their dream exhibition or visual arts project, something that they have been unable to do so far due to funding pressures and constraints – a project that is outside of their regular programing and that would have been impossible to realise without this award. There are no restrictions on the subject or format of the proposal except that it must be delivered by a curator, director or a team of curators working within the institution.
The winning proposal is awarded £125,000 to realise the project, with an additional £25,000 to produce a related publication. They will have up to three years to deliver the project. The remaining shortlisted institutions receive £5,000 each to cover the costs of preparing the proposal’s presentation.
The five shortlisted proposals:
Fruitmarket, Edinburgh / Fiona Bradley, Director
HOME, Manchester / Clarissa Corfe, Creative Producer: Visual Art – Curator
Liverpool Biennial / Aimee Harrison, Curator of Learning
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange / James Green, Director (withdrawn)
Turner Contemporary / Clarrie Wallis, Director
The winner was selected by the judging panel:
Alastair Sooke, Trustee, The Ampersand Foundation
Hurvin Anderson, Artist
Jack Kirkland, Chairman, The Ampersand Foundation
Mike Layward, former Artistic Director, DASH (and winner of the 2nd edition of The Ampersand Foundation Award)
Victoria Siddall, Trustee, The Ampersand Foundation
Erica Bolton, Bolton & Quinn
Tel: 07711 698 186
Notes to Editors:
Resistance will draw on material in archives and personal collections, much of which is unseen, to build a compelling visual argument from material which encompasses photographs of marches, uprisings, sit-ins, and vigils. Each chapter will document a crucial event from a unique perspective to highlight the personal cost of taking a stand.
The exhibition, which begins in 1903, sheds light on how the strategies employed by a range of movements throughout twentieth-century Britain have influenced other resistance efforts days or decades later. For example, it examines the early strategies of the women’s suffrage movement and establishes a throughline from their marches of 1907 and 1913 to later marches they inspired. Among these is the Blind March of 1920, a historic moment in the disability rights movement; the Hunger Marches of the 1920s and 1930s; and the Jarrow Crusade of 1936, documented by Humphrey Spender for the New Left Review. By connecting these historical events to Martin Jenkinson’s photographs of the People’s March for Jobs in 1983, the exhibition shows the ongoing legacy of these early movements and how they inspired and influenced future generations.
Alongside the protests, placards, and strikes, it will highlight moments such as Raissa Page’s Dancing on the Siloes at Dawn 1983 capturing the anti-nuclear women’s protest at RAF Greenham Common, Friends of the Earth Bottle Dump in 1971, and moving photographs by Andrew Testa of the tree huggers who fought to prevent the Newbury bypass in 1996.
Through these various photographic representations of protest, visitors will discover how photography has been woven into civic life since its early history as a means of conveying the actions and aspirations of resistance movements to the British public. Resistance is a testimony to strength, resilience, and perseverance in the face of injustice and hardship.
Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Founded to celebrate JMW Turner’s connection to Margate in 2001, the David Chipperfield-designed gallery opened in 2011. Our work extends beyond showcasing world-class exhibitions, to driving the social and economic regeneration of Margate and East Kent and transforming lives in one of the most deprived areas of the UK.
Since it opened, Turner Contemporary has welcomed nearly 4 million visits, put over £70 million back into the Kent economy and connected with thousands of people from the local community through our world-class programme.
Entry to the gallery and all of our exhibitions are free. To ensure our doors stay open to all, we rely on donations from individuals as well as trusts and foundations. Visit turnercontemporary.org to find out more.
The Ampersand Foundation
The Ampersand Foundation is a UK grant-awarding charity that exclusively supports the visual arts. The Foundation supports high-quality exhibitions and visual arts projects, provided they are free to the public at least one day per week. It also supports public collection expansion, artists’ residencies and fellowships. The Foundation is focused mainly on supporting institutions and projects within the United Kingdom.
In 2019, the inaugural winner was Jonathan Watkins, former Director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, with a proposal entitled Carlo Crivelli: Shadows in the Sky. It was an exhibition of works by Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli that included loans from The National Gallery, the National Trust, the Vatican Pinacoteca, the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Wallace Collection and the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.
In 2021, Mike Layward, former Artistic Director of DASH, won the second edition of the Award with a proposal entitled We are Invisible We are Visible. The project consisted of thirty-one disabled artists creating interventions that appeared in thirty Plus Tate venues on 2nd July 2022, the 102nd anniversary of the first Dada International Exhibition.