V&A and Art Jameel announce a thematic focus and an open call for applications for Jameel Prize

The Jameel Prize, launched by the V&A and Art Jameel in 2009

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Newsgate360 – Dubai: The Victoria & Albert Museum, London (V&A) and Art Jameel announce today substantial changes to the Jameel Prize, heralding in a new era for the world’s leading award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. Previously a mixed-media award, the next Jameel Prize is dedicated to a single discipline: in 2020-21, the focus will be contemporary design, allowing for increased exposure for fashion, product, graphic and craft designers inspired by Islamic traditions. Jameel Prize 6 will also be the first edition of the award to benefit from a dual application process, with the launch of a new open call for submissions in addition to its traditional nomination system.

A collaboration between the V&A and Art Jameel, the Jameel Prize was founded in 2009 to recognise the influence of Islamic tradition on contemporary culture and celebrate contemporary practitioners inspired by Islamic design and visual culture. Throughout its 10-year history, the prize has continued to evolve and grow; Jameel Prize 5 was jointly awarded for the first time — to Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar and Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum. Through its five editions, the Jameel Prize has received more than 1,000 nominations from over 40 countries around the world; exhibited the work of 48 artists and designers; and toured 16 venues globally.

The Jameel Prize 6 exhibition will open at the V&A, London, in Summer 2021 before touring internationally; it will be the first exhibition to take place, globally, with a particular focus on innovative contemporary design inspired by Islamic traditions.

Following the conclusion of the Jameel Prize 5 exhibition, which toured from the V&A to Dubai’s contemporary art institution Jameel Arts Centre in 2019, the V&A and Art Jameel undertook a review of the award, aiming to ever-enhance its relevance and impact. The curatorial teams concluded that — despite the deep craft traditions and recent growth of the Middle Eastern and Asian design scenes — contemporary design inspired by Islamic tradition is yet to have its due spotlight.

Jameel Prize 6 sets out to highlight the extraordinary innovation and craftsmanship inherent in today’s design world; applications are welcome from practitioners across the discipline including fashion, jewellery, product, graphic, web, and speculative design, as well as typography, architecture, craft, and the applied arts. Applications can be submitted by practicing designers plus other contemporary practitioners who identify particular works within their practice as design; more information on the history of the Prize and the application process is located here.

Applications are open from Wednesday March 18 until Sunday May 31, 2020.

As with other editions of the prize, a renowned jury will meet and select from the applications a shortlist of notable design works, which will form the basis of a major exhibition, curated by the V&A’s Jameel Curator of Contemporary Art from the Middle East, Rachel Dedman, in collaboration with Senior Curator Tim Stanley. The Jameel Prize 6 exhibition opens at the V&A, London, in the summer of 2021, at which point the jury meets again, to select and award the winner of the Prize. The exhibition will then tour internationally.

The Jameel Prize 6 jury will be chaired by Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, and include the joint-winners of Jameel Prize 5, Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar and Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum, as well as British author and design critic Alice Rawsthorn and Emirati writer, researcher and founder of Barjeel Art Foundation, Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi.

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