• 18-11-2015
  • Arabic, Spanish and Korean translators in the shortlist for the 2016 Arts Foundation Literary Translation Fellowship.

  • Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Rosalind Harvey, Sophie Hughes, and Deborah Smith have been shortlisted for the £10,000 award which will be announced on the 28th January 2016 at the Arts Foundation Awards.
    Judges for this award were Paul Blezard, writer and broadcaster, Amanda Hopkinson, writer, translator and founder of the annual Translation Day and Sebald Lectures, alongside Meike Ziervogel, writer and founder of Peirene Press. They selected the four writers from a longlist of UK-based translators of fiction who had been nominated by literary experts acrosst the translation genre.

    This is the second time the Foundation has focused on this important artform as one of their chosen fellowships. As Amanda Hopkinson describes, ‘Only 3% of books sold in either the UK or the US are in translation compared to 30-50% in continental Europe. Yet, at a time when people appear to trust politicians less than ever, reading books in translation can help us understand other cultures from the inside, through the creativity of individual authors and translators. In Britain the whole literary translation sector has been transformed over the past 15 years, new literary awards, including the Arts Foundation, acknowledge the significance of cultural exchange and the role of the literary translator. ‘

    As noted by the judges each finalist had strategically selected their language of translation and was to some extent self-taught. Deborah Smith is the sole translator of Korean literature in the UK. Her most recent works, translations of contemporary female Korean author Han Kang, The Vegetarian (Portobello Books, 2015) received rave reviews and Human Acts, to be published in 2016 by Portobello Books. Sophie Hughes translates from Spanish with a particular focus on Mexican literature, a country in which she has spent time to understand and promote its rich literary culture. Her most recent translation is the critically acclaimed Ivan Repila’s The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse (Pushkin Press 2015). Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a multi-lingual translator with a focus on contemporary Arabic literature. Her translation of the controversial Bride of Amman by Fadi Zaghmout (Signal 8 Press, 2015) was noted of for its groundbreaking feminist and civil rights text representing LGBT an women's sexual freedoms and body rights for the first time in Arabic Literature in a positive light. Co-founder of the Emerging Translators Network Rosalind Harvey translates from Spanish, and has worked extensively with Mexican writer Juan Pablo Villabolos whose latest work includes Quesadillas (And Other Stories, 2013). Her best known work Down the Rabbit Hole (And Other Stories, 2011) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

    A noticeable trait among all the shortlist was made by judge Meike Ziervogel who said; ‘What excited me most was to see how many translators extend their role beyond the creation of a workable English text. For them that’s only the beginning. In order to ensure that foreign fiction becomes part of our culture they realise that they must perform, blog and organize events. Because there is no better advocator than the translator.’

    The recipient of the award will be announced at a special ceremony on Thursday 28th January in London at the Arts Foundation Awards 2016 when £78,000 of awards will be announced across the Arts, with each of the runners up receiving £1000.

  • 06-11-2015
  • Talented and Diverse: The Children's Theatre Award Shortlist announced

  • Steven Camden, Elizabeth Clark, Rosie Heafford and Greg Sinclair shortlisted for the 2016 Arts Foundation Children’s Theatre Award.
    The £10,000 award, which encouraged nominations from established practitioners, producers and directors, is supported by the Lionel Bart Foundation. The shortlist, selected by critic Lyn Gardner, Fevered Sleep’s David Harradine, and Southbank’s Jude Kelly CBE, looked at a wide spectrum of UK based talent working in Children’s Theatre from writers, adapters, designers and/or devisors. The Award is not a commission but to be used to pay for living and working expenses, affording the chosen artist some breathing space in order to nurture their own development within the art form.

    Children’s Theatre was chosen by the Arts Foundation to give recognition to the artform. As judge David Harradine explains, ‘I know how hard it can be to be an artist with ambition and a strong commitment to young audiences, and how frustrating that, still, work for children is not as celebrated, well funded, or critically acclaimed as it should be. Spanning disciplines, the shortlist all share a vision of a world in which artists aspire to make their best work, their most innovative work, and their bravest work, when they’re making work for children. That the Arts Foundation might help make such a dreamed-of world a reality is simply brilliant’.

    Looking at the shortlist it is notable that the diverse range of artists have brought well established skills to their current practice. Dancer and choreographer Liz Clark is artistic director of ‘Turned on its Head’, a company that is widely acknowledged to be pushing the boundaries of participatory dance theatre performance for children under five and their families, with inclusivity at its heart; Spoken word artist, Steven Camden’s (aka Polarbear) highly acclaimed and exuberant, fast-paced, ‘Mouth Open, Story Jump Out’ show has taken his story telling from Britain’s schools to the international stage; Self-proclaimed performance maker and choreographer Rosie Heafford makes highly visual, socially engaged and subtly participatory work for children, often designed to adapt to a variety of spaces, from the theatre-based, intergenerational ‘Dad Dancing’, to the multi-sensory and surprisingly active library performance of ‘Humpty Dumpty’; Greg Sinclair is a musician and live artist, beginning with a musical idea and then working with children as his collaborators. After extensive research in primary schools, he took ‘Ditto’, a music-based performance to the theatre, a show that allowed and encouraged children’s reflection and response to a musical journey.

  • 03-11-2015
  • Flowers of Evil: New Exhibition by David Harrison

  • David Harrison’s third solo show at Victoria Miro is set to open on the 14th November. Running until the 18th December Flowers of Evil comprises of a selection of new work presenting a densely populated and fully realised universe, where the supernatural pull of the natural world is intertwined with a keen sense of modern civilisation’s insensitivities. For more information go to http://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/484/