The B. S. Art Prize is a general prize for merit in any area of artistic practice, judged, administered and financed entirely by B. S. Tancham.
The aim of the B. S. Art Prize is to celebrate and reward great art created by all kinds of people in all walks of life, and to do that by awarding on-the-spot prizes with as little bureaucracy as possible.
The award itself consists of a cash prize along with a unique commemorative medal. Due to budget limitations, the cash award will be quite small to begin with (currently £10) but it is hoped that this can be increased substantially at some time in the future.
There are no rules or limitations placed on the judging process, and it is acknowledged to be very subjective indeed.
The B. S. Art Prize is open to everyone, with no special attention or privilege given according to past showing record or reputation and standing in the art world. There is no requirement even for artistic intention on the part of the recipient.
By awarding prizes to anyone and everyone the B. S. Art Prize seeks to create encounters and spark dialogue, potentially penetrating the boundaries of the art scene bubble and invading the wider world. That’s not to say that art school folks won’t get awards as well – There really are no rules.
In the spirit of engagement and dialogue, this website has been structured as a blog, with comments enabled and open to the public. Please share your thoughts and opinions here.
PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM B. S. TANCHAM
I did not set out with the intention of writing a blog about myself, however it quickly became apparent that since the prizes are judged and administered entirely subjectively by me alone, this is going to have to be quite a lot about me also. This was not really my intention at the outset but it is an obvious corollary of the premise of the prize. I may have a go at writing up my thoughts about some of the awards, although I’ll probably keep it brief most of the time since I am not a very good writer and I know that I am going to struggle to explain my decisions in a satisfactory way and to do justice to the great artwork which I wish to celebrate. Maybe better to just not say too much.
I don’t want to restrict the B. S. Art Prize awards to any particular type of work although I’m sure that patterns will emerge. I acknowledge that I have biases and understand that they cause me to think and behave in ways which I find hard to control. I need to be mindful of these biases (as I would be in daily life), but not overly so. Subjectivity is key to the unique format of the B. S. Art Prize and so the judging is inherently biased. The real goal should be sincerity, because without it the B. S. Art Prize could easily turn into something trivial and silly. It would be easy to award prizes for all the funny online videos I see and for any old thing which tickles my fancy, but no – I want to set the bar higher and award only for work which I find to be truly and profoundly affecting, and by doing this, to earn and maintain a reputation for integrity on behalf of the B. S. Art Prize. I also wish to keep immediacy and directness as defining attributes of the enterprise, so there could be some difficulty in getting the right balance.
This may seem like a prize for outsider art since many (but not all) of the prizes which I award are given to people who are not part of the established art scene, but in fact it’s not that simple; I want to award prizes to all kinds of art – that may include work by professional artists, and it may also include giving prizes to people who didn’t even know that they were making art.
In part, the B. S. Art Prize can be seen as my answer to the sort of public engagement which gets bolted on to publicly funded art projects. I don’t want to take money from the public to build my own artwork (which they probably don’t want) and then try to justify it to them by staging some lame dumbed-down craft workshops. Instead, I want to walk out into the world in a true spirit of engagement and receptivity, and give my money to members of the public involved in creative practice which I admire.
It is now my mission to make this happen.
B. S. Tancham (April 2019)