AWARD 2023: Call for Artists

Applications for British Ceramics Biennial AWARD 2023 are now open!


What is AWARD?

AWARD is the British Ceramics Biennial’s headline exhibition. It is a prestigious exhibition formed from an open submission that celebrates the vitality of contemporary ceramics practice in the UK.   

A panel of experts who are integral to the growth and innovation of contemporary ceramics come together and select ten artists to exhibit in the BCB festival. Each selected artist will receive £1,000 towards a presentation of their work as a central component of the 2023 BCB festival. From the ten selected artists, one prize winner is selected, announced and awarded a £10,000 cash prize during the festival. 

“AWARD is the leading exhibition of contemporary ceramic art in the UK. It celebrates ground-breaking, progressive practice and allows artists to challenge themselves and the ceramics status quo. This headline exhibition of the BCB festival take audiences on a journey with contemporary ceramics, solidifying the role of clay as a rich material for storytelling, experimentation, playfulness, risk taking and activism.”

Clare Wood, Artistic Director and Chief Executive,

British Ceramics Biennial & AWARD Panel Member


What are the ambitions of AWARD?

  • To celebrate artists at a critical moment in their practice.
  • To platform ambition and creative risk taking within contemporary ceramics.
  • To acknowledge the talent and achievements of those advancing contemporary practice.
  • To be diverse and inclusive, reflecting the richness of ceramics practice.
  • To consider and explore the environmental impact of ceramics practice.


Who is AWARD for?

AWARD invites applications from UK based individual practitioners, collaborators or collectives who use clay as their primary creative material. The AWARD exhibition seeks to have a positive impact on the practice of the exhibiting artists. We seek to support artists who want to make best use of the opportunity, who may wish to tread new ground, use the momentum of the exhibition to focus or make a step change in their practice or to present work in ways it hasn’t previously been experienced.


What do the shortlisted artists receive?

Each of the ten selected artists will receive £1,000 towards the exhibition of their selected work as part of the flagship AWARD exhibition at the 2023 BCB festival (held in Stoke-on-Trent).

AWARD exhibitors will benefit from a national PR and marketing campaign, curatorial support, programme management support and one-way (return) transport of exhibits. The AWARD winner will receive a cash prize of £10,000 and a place on the 2025 AWARD selection panel. They will be invited to exhibit as ‘Awarded’ in the 2025 festival and they will benefit from additional marketing.


What is expected from the shortlisted artists?

Artists are invited to apply for AWARD by submitting a proposal, which outlines what they wish to exhibit. The artists selected must produce the work in line with their proposal. The £1,000 fee is provided to facilitate the costs involved in the production of the agreed work. It is understood that the proposal may change through the creative process. Any such changes should be discussed with BCB. The artists should budget for transporting the work to the BCB exhibition site. Artists are responsible for installing and deinstalling their own exhibit. Reasonable practical support from the BCB team will be provided where possible.

We recognise that artists may wish to propose work that will require additional funding or research, however, this is not an expectation of the exhibition.


Who is eligible?

  • Those based in the UK between January 2020 and September 2023.
  • Those working as an individual artist, a collective or in collaboration. A collaboration may take place between an artist and an arts organisation, between artists or between an artist and community group in the creation of the proposed exhibit.
  • Those working professionally before September 2020.
  • Those proposing work that uses clay as the primary medium and is based on exploration of ceramic process. Areas of practice may include, but not be limited to studio pottery, design, socially engaged practice, sculpture, performance, installation, objects, film and audio.
  • Previous AWARD exhibitors.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please get in touch: 


AWARD 2023 Selection Panel

AWARD exhibitors are selected by a panel of leading professionals who are advocates for contemporary art and making, and who bring a variety of perspectives to the decision-making process. The AWARD 2023 selection panel is:

  • Selection panel chairperson: Alun Graves – Senior Curator Ceramics and Glass Collections V&A
  • Stephen Dixon – BCB 2021 AWARD Winner, Artist and Professor Emeritus, Manchester School of Art
  • Dr Guan Lee – Founder of Grymsdyke Farm, architect and lecturer
  • Jenni Lomax – Curator, writer and visual arts and education consultant
  • Clare Wood – Artistic Director and Chief Executive, British Ceramics Biennial


The panel will make their selections based on the following criteria,

  • The quality of the proposal.
  • The quality, strength and ambition of the artistic practice.
  • The potential impact of the proposal on the development of the artists’ practice.
  • The potential for the work to connect with audiences.


Key Dates for AWARD 2023

June 2022 – Applications open

12 October 2022 – Deadline for submissions (midnight GMT)

November 2022 – AWARD selection panel meet and candidates informed

January 2023 onwards – Studio visits to selected artists

Mid-August 2023 – Delivery of work to exhibition venue

22 September 2023 – Festival launch

23 September 2023 – AWARD exhibition opens to the public

October 2023 – AWARD winner is announced

5 November 2023 – AWARD exhibition closes to public

November/December 2023 – Collection and dispersal of artwork


Access Support

Access support is available to individuals who feel they face barriers in making an application. A BCB team member is available to help with your application or to offer advice in advance of your application. Please email to discuss how we can help you.

Please note that the advice we give on making an application is on the eligibility and suitability of your proposal, it will have no bearing on its assessment during the selection panel. 


How to apply

Deadline for submission: Midnight (GMT), 12 October 2022 

Audio or video submissions are also accepted.

Full details on how to apply using the application form or a video/audio submission can be found on page 11 of the AWARD 2023 guidelines.


Get in touch

For enquires about eligibility / access support – contact

If you’re having technical issues with your application, contact