Artist Kate Davis Announced as Winner of 2016/17 Margaret Tait Award

kate davis winner margaret tait

kate davis winner margaret tait
Glasgow Film Festival is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016/17 Margaret Tait Award is Glasgow-based artist Kate Davis. Davis will receive a £10,000 commission to create a new piece of work, and the opportunity to present this work at Glasgow Film Festival in February 2017.
Supported by Creative Scotland and LUX, the Margaret Tait Award was founded in 2010 to support experimental and innovative artists working with film and moving image. Inspired by the wealth of talent emerging from Scotland within this field, the award aims to provide a high-profile platform for the selected artist to exhibit their work and engage with a wider audience. 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 is at the cusp of a major impact on the sector.
Margaret Tait (1918–1999) was an Orcadian filmmaker and writer whose film poems, hand-painted animations, and documentaries were pioneering in the field of experimental filmmaking. Tait’s refusal to compromise her artistic vision and commercialise her work meant that all but three of her thirty-two films, which she produced between 1952 and 1998, were self-financed. Her decision to remain in Scotland, where there was no sustained film industry at the time, meant she had access to very little funding during her lifetime.


Born in New Zealand, Kate Davis lives and works in Glasgow. Her work reconsiders what certain histories could look, sound and feel like. This has often involved responding to the aesthetic and political ambiguities of specific art works and their reception, or re-evaluating historical moments that have been marginalised. Informed by successive waves of feminist art and theory, Davis works across a range of media, including moving image, drawing, printmaking and bookworks.
Davis has presented solo exhibitions at: Dunedin Public Art Gallery, NZ; The Drawing Room, London; Temporary Gallery, Cologne; GoMA, Glasgow; Galerie Kamm, Berlin; Museo de la Ciudad and La Galeria de Comercio, Mexico; CCA, Glasgow (with Faith Wilding); Tate Britain, London; Kunsthalle Basel and Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow amongst others. Recent group exhibitions/ screenings/ awards include: Cinenova Presents Now Showing, LUX Cornwall, St Ives; LUX/ BBC Artists and Archive commission; GENERATION exhibition, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; HOUSE WORK CASTLE MILK WOMAN HOUSE, Glasgow Women’s Library; Art Under Attack, Tate Britain; For Each Gesture Another Character, Art Stations Foundation, Poznan, Poland; eva International 2012, Limerick, Ireland; Olinka or Where Movement is Created, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City. Forthcoming projects include a solo exhibition at Stills, Edinburgh.


The 2016 panel consisted of a diverse range of experts and curators in the field of visual arts and cinema, including Kirsten Body (Inverness Museum and Art Gallery), Sophia Hao (Cooper Gallery, Dundee), Paul Pieroni (GoMA, Glasgow), Gayle Meikle (artist/curator), Emma Nicolson (ATLAS Arts, Skye), Laura Simpson (Hospitalfield Arbroath), Stephen Sutcliffe (artist and previous Margaret Tait Award winner), Mark Thomas (Creative Scotland), Luke Collins (LUX Scotland) and Jane Hartshorn (Glasgow Film). 21 prominent Scottish artists were nominated for the award, and five were then shortlisted and asked to submit proposals. The shortlisted artists were Aideen Doran, Hardeep Pandhal, Catherine Street and Stina Wirfelt.


The panel said:
‘Although the proposals from all five shortlisted artists were extremely strong and well-considered, the panel agreed that Davis’ proposal clearly demonstrated how the award would support a step change in her practice. From the ambition and tenacity of her proposal, it was clear to the panel that this is the right moment in Davis’ career to receive the award. The panel have complete confidence that Davis will deliver an innovative and compelling moving image work, and are excited to see how the project evolves before its premiere at Glasgow Film Festival in 2017.’
Kate Davis said:
‘Working with the moving image has become an increasingly important part of my practice in recent years and the Margaret Tait Award will be invaluable in enabling me to realise my most ambitious and experimental moving image work to date. Inspired by the ways in which Margaret Tait’s films invite us to contemplate fundamental emotions and everyday activities that are often overlooked, I propose to investigate how the essential, but largely invisible and unpaid, processes we employ to care for others and ourselves can inform both the subject of my film and the way it is made.’
Luke Collins, Project Deputy Director of LUX Scotland, said:
‘We are delighted that Kate has won the Margaret Tait Award and look forward to supporting the development of her project, building on the success of her recent work Weight (2014) for the BBC Artists and Archives project. Kate is an exceptional artist whose rigour and sensitivity brings great nuance to all her works. She is a credit to the legacy of both the award and Margaret Tait.’       
Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said:
‘Creative Scotland is delighted to be a partner in the Margaret Tait Award and excited by the choice of Kate Davis as this year’s winner. We have seen the real impact and benefit the award can have on an artist’s practice and look forward to seeing how Kate uses the award to develop her work in film over this year.’

Edinburgh Film Festival 2016
Purple Rain, GFT – 26 June, 2016

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