EMERGENCY 2017 | Winner's Announcement

Above: Installation view of Maggie Robert’s UNRULY CITY, as part of EMERGENCY (2017).


We are thrilled to announce that artist Maggie Roberts is the recipient of the EMERGENCY 2017 prize.

EMERGENCY  aims to champion contemporary art by emerging artists, increasing exposure for their work, and encouraging further professional development opportunities.

Over three-hundred emerging artists applied for the international open submission opportunity, of which just eight were selected for inclusion in the group exhibition at Aspex.  Maggie Roberts, based in London and South Africa was selected as the winner of the prize by the panel: Joanne Bushnell, Director, Aspex; Lindsay Friend, Director, IMT Gallery (Image Music Text); Cathy Lomax, Artist & Director, Transition Gallery and Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts.

On show until 25 February 2017,  EMERGENCY reflects the diversity and dynamism of contemporary art practice, with artists working in a broad range of media. As well as Roberts, the show features the work of: Eleanor Breeze, Matthew Gough, James Lewis, Lindsey Mendick, Flore Nové-Josserand, Beth Emily Richards and Lotte Rose Kjær Skau.

As the 2017 winner, Maggie Roberts will receive a prize of a solo exhibition in 2019, a fee, production budget and support to realise the development of new work.

The Artist said:

“I would like to thank the team at Aspex and the panel who awarded me this amazing prize. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with Aspex on a solo show. When I visited the Gallery to install my work, I felt a deep and immediate affinity with the space - a professional and welcoming atmosphere. I am still getting used to the fact that I will be working with the Gallery again through to 2019”.

Maggie Roberts’ artwork, UNRULY CITY, an installation and video work currently on display at the gallery,  is a response to digital aesthetics, which has seen the artist create new “habitats or fantasies”.

This exhibition is the eighth incarnation of EMERGENCY. Previous winners of the prize, established in 2003, include: Susan Collis (2003), Tim Machin (2005), Cathy Ward & Eric Wright (2007), Kihlberg & Henry (2009), Charlie Tweed (2011), Jim Howieson (2013) and Maya Ramsay (2015).

Director of Aspex, Joanne Bushnell said:

“We are thrilled to be working with Maggie Roberts as the winner of Emergency 2017. The panel were intrigued and excited by her engaging imagery, the richness and diversity of her practice. We hope the solo exhibition will present Maggie with a fabulous opportunity to develop her work and career, and be a real treat for our audience in Spring 2019.”

This year we have introduced the People’s Choice award, an opportunity for visitors to vote for their favourite work. The winner of the public vote will receive a £200 prize.

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #EMERGENCY2017 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.