At the world premiere of Kate Davis’ Margaret Tait Award commission Charity (2017) on Monday 20 February, Glasgow Film Festival presented the 2017 Margaret Tait Award to Glasgow-based artist Sarah Forrest. Forrest will receive a £10,000 commission to produce a new work to be presented at Glasgow Film Festival in 2018.
Supported by Creative Scotland and LUX, the Award was founded in 2010 to support experimental and innovative artists working within film and moving image. Margaret Tait (1918–99) was an Orcadian filmmaker and writer whose film poems, hand-painted animations and documentaries were pioneering in the field of experimental filmmaking.
After studying at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee, Sarah Forrest gained her masters from Glasgow School of Art in 2010, during which time she also studied at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. Forrest has held solo exhibitions at CCA in Glasgow (Two Solo Shows: Sarah Forrest and Mounira Al Sohl in 2013), Supplement in London (I Left it on Page 32 in 2014) and Kunstraum Dusseldorf in Germany (Again, it objects in 2016). Her work has been presented at international film festivals, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2014) and she has completed numerous residencies, amongst these the inaugural Margaret Tait Residency in 2012.
Inspired by the wealth of creativity and talent emerging from artists working with the moving image in Scotland, the Award is given to an experimental Scottish or Scotland-based artist who has established a significant body of work within film and moving image over the past 3–10 years, and who is able to demonstrate the impact the Award will have upon their practice.
‘We are extremely excited to see what Sarah will produce over the next twelve months, and look forward to viewing her completed work at Glasgow Film Festival 2018. Whilst all four proposals submitted for the 2017 Margaret Tait Award were thoughtful, considered and each with their own strengths, we ultimately decided that Sarah had both the significant body of work and ambition to push herself to the next level that the Award strives to honour.’
'I’m delighted to receive the Margaret Tait Award. Her work and approach as a filmmaker and writer has been influential for me, so to receive an award that celebrates her legacy is a humbling experience. So too was my inclusion in a shortlist of such incredible artists. The work that I have proposed will begin with a period of research on the Isle of Lewis, where I will be looking initially at the island’s rich history of prophetic ‘second sight’, drawing from stories that I heard from my mother who grew up there. This work will build on recurring themes in my practice that look at appearance, perception, doubt and belief, with the commission being an exciting and significant opportunity for me to explore these in a longer form work.’