Why do we need prizes for art? The Cordis Prize for Tapestry
Let’s look at one of them. The Cordis Prize for Tapestry was initiated by Miranda Harvey and her husband, the crime writer Ian Rankin, in 2015. The fourth exhibition of shortlisted submissions will be exhibited 16 March to 27 May at Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. All the entries may be viewed here:
The Cordis Prize is biggest international prize for tapestry at a whopping £8000 (= US$10,000), and submissions duly come from around the world. The profile of tapestry is raised, and textiles artists are encouraged to challenge themselves to make ambitious pieces. All good, right?
But some people argue that any jury has its own biases and that when there are winners, there are also losers. Losing causes resentment, leading to discouragement. Maybe the wrong thing wins – the piece that shouts the loudest, but is actually less thoughtful than other ones.
But to me, tapestry is an amazing artform that is less understood and is underappreciated. Anything that helps to let the public know about the best practitioners and helps them to understand its subtleties and advantages is to be applauded. Offering such a large prize will persuade many artists to come forward, leading to a strong exhibition and a worthy winner.
The Cordis Prize trustees are to be congratulated for putting the time, effort, thought and substantial money into this enterprise.
And by the way, I am proud to say that my tapestry, For Irena Sendler, is one of the seventeen chosen for exhibition.