Way before fish and chips became the centre of our world, we (James and Bonny) could be found in Brighton studying for our Fine Art Sculpture degree. Back then, there was a prize for second year students who showcased outstanding talent. Worth £100, the prize would go towards helping the winners afford the materials they needed to carry out their creative projects. Unfortunately, James’ year was the last year the prize was given out and so we were determined to put together a new award, and that’s when the Ritchie Prize for Risk and Ambition was born.
After meeting up with an old friend, Leah Capaldi (now a first year tutor of Sculpture at Brighton University and successful artist), we discussed the idea of a new prize and how we could help young artists again. We then decided to up the prize to £200, and give it to the artist who demonstrated the most growth and who had taken the most risks in their work.
‘The Ritchie Award is our way of giving back, our way of giving someone the chance to experiment and explore a little further. We’re incredibly honoured to have been offered this opportunity.’
James and Bonny Ritchie
After some deliberation, and plenty of time spent admiring the amazing art, we chose the winner of our prize… Drum roll please for Tasneem Arif! We know how tight the purse strings can be when it comes to being a student (hello overdraft!) so we hope this money really helps Tasneem achieve her dreams.
Last week, we received a lovely letter from Suzanne Huntchinson – Tasneem’s lecturer, regarding Tasneem and her prize:
‘I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you very much for the prize you presented to Tasneem last week. She is delighted with the prize and really enjoyed meeting you both in her studio. A prize at this stage in the student development is very important in building ambition for the future, but also in providing affirmation of the importance of risk in the creative journey. The fact that this came from two graduates of the course makes it a particularly special award.’
Suzanne Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer, Fine Art, Brighton University.
It is heartwarming to know that the prize money will help this promising young artist buy the art materials she needs to complete her future works and we can’t wait to see her new creations very soon.
Moving forward, we hope to do this every year, awarding it to the students in time for their second year exhibitions at the university. So, if you’re studying Fine Art Sculpture at Brighton, next year, it could be you!