Margaret Tait Award 2020/21 open for nominations

LUX Scotland is pleased to announce that the call for nominations for the 2020/21 Margaret Tait Award opened on 24 September 2019.

The Margaret Tait Award is Scotland’s most prestigious moving image prize for artists. Inspired by the pioneering Orcadian filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait (1918–99), the award recognises experimental and innovative artists working with the moving image, offering a unique avenue of commissioning and production support and providing a high-profile platform to exhibit newly commissioned work.

Established in 2010, the Margaret Tait Award is a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, with support from Screen Scotland. The only award of its kind in Scotland, it allows LUX Scotland, Glasgow Film and Screen Scotland to make a lasting and meaningful impact on the careers of new filmmaking talent, support new commissions and forge new partnerships across the sector.

Each year, the Award is presented to a Scottish or Scotland-based artist who has established a significant body of work over the past 5–12 years; is recognised by peers for their contribution to the artists’ moving image sector; and can demonstrate the significant impact that the award will have on the development of their practice. The recipient of the award will receive a £15,000 prize to produce ambitious new work, which is exhibited at the Glasgow Film Festival the following year and will subsequently tour with LUX Scotland.

Eligible artists are nominated through an open call process, which allows anyone (the general public, as well as arts professionals and artists) both within and outwith Scotland to put forward an artist. Nominations are assessed by a jury of artists and professionals from across the fields of the visual arts and cinema. Shortlisted artists are then asked to present proposals for the commission.

Jamie Crewe, recipient of the 10th Margaret Tait Award (2019/20), will present their new film at Glasgow Film Festival 2020 (26 February – 8 March 2020). Please note that Crewe uses they/them pronouns. The 2020/21 award will be announced at this screening, and a reception for both Crewe and the new recipient will be held afterwards.

Alberta Whittle’s 2018/19 Margaret Tait Award commission, between a whisper and a cry, is currently being shown as part of her Dundee Contemporary Art solo, How Flexible Can We Make the Mouth, which runs until 24 November 2019, and will form part of her upcoming exhibition at LUX in London in November 2019.

Previous recipients have included Jamie Crewe, Alberta Whittle, Sarah Forrest, Kate Davis, Duncan Marquiss, Charlotte Prodger, Rachel Maclean, Stephen Sutcliffe, Anne-Marie Copestake and Torsten Lauschmann.

Who can be nominated?

  • Artists who are Scottish and/or based in Scotland.
  • Artists who have developed a significant body of work over the past 5–12 years and are at the cusp of a major impact on the artists’ moving image sector.
  • Artists who are contributing to the critical context of artists’ moving image production in Scotland at the time of nomination.
  • There is no age restriction.
  • We regret that we cannot accept nominations of artists who are students.

How to nominate

Please send 200 words on the artist’s career to date, their impact on the sector and your reasons for nominating. Please include a link to the artist’s website or an online example of their work, as well as the artist’s email address and phone number.

Nominations should be sent by email only to Deadline for nominations is 9am on Monday 18 November 2019. The shortlist will be announced in December 2019. The recipient of the 2019/20 Margaret Tait Award will be announced at Glasgow Film Festival 2020 (26 February – 8 March 2020).


LUX Scotland are delighted to announce that this year's jury is comprised of Sarah Forrest (2017/18 Award recipient); Myriam Mouflih (Africa in Motion and Transmission Gallery); Helen Nisbet (curator and Director for Art Night); Morgan Quaintance (artist); Sean Greenhorn (Screen Scotland) and Kitty Anderson (LUX Scotland, chair).

Sarah Forrest is an artist based in Glasgow who works across film, installation, text and sound. She received her MFA from Glasgow School of Art in 2010. Solo exhibitions include: The Unreliable Narrator, Hospitalfield, Arbroath (2019); Sarah Forrest: April, LUX, London (2018); Again, it objects, Kunstraum Dusseldorf, Germany (2016); I Left it on Page 32, Supplement, London (2014); Two Solo Shows: Sarah Forrest and Mounira Al Sohl, CCA, Glasgow (2013). She was recipient of the 2017/18 Margaret Tait Award and is a current AHRC Doctoral Researcher at Glasgow School of Art.

Myriam Mouflih is a programmer and writer from Glasgow, UK. She currently works as Programme Co-ordinator for Africa in Motion Film Festival and has worked for the organisation since 2017. Myriam also is on the committee of Transmission Gallery and works for Scottish Contemporary Art Network as Programme and Marketing Officer. Her current research focus is Artists Moving Image from the African continent and the diaspora.

Helen Nisbet is a curator from Shetland, now based in London. She is Artistic Director for Art Night and curates projects across the UK. Helen sits on the Acquisitions Committee for the Arts Council Collection and the Advisory Board for Art Quest. Her publication It Disappears in Blue and Red and Gold was published by Bookworks and The Common Guild in 2018.

Morgan Quaintance is a London-based artist and writer. His moving-image work has been shown recently at David Dale Gallery, Glasgow; LUX, London; KARST, Plymouth; LIMA Amsterdam, Kunstmuseum Bonn; Jerwood Space London; the 14th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival; London Film Festival 2018; November Film Festival; the Palace International Film Festival; and Videonale.17.

Kitty Anderson, Director of Lux Scotland, said: "We are really pleased to open nominations for the 11th Margaret Tait Award, with continued support from Screen Scotland and Glasgow Film Festival. I’m thrilled to be working with a wonderful jury on the selection and look forward to seeing the nominations that are submitted over the coming weeks. The Margaret Tait Award is one of the highlights of our programme and a wonderful opportunity for us to support the work of a Scottish-based artist, and to share the commissioned work with a national and international audience."

Allison Gardner, Programme Director at Glasgow Film, said: "We are delighted that the nominations for the 11th Margaret Tait Award are now open. It’s always a highlight to screen the award winners work at Glasgow Film Festival to a packed house who are full of anticipation for the world premiere. We are proud of being founding partners of this significant award supporting moving image by artists."

Sean Greenhorn, Screen Officer at Screen Scotland, said: "Scotland is home to a wealth of internationally renowned Moving Image Artists and the Margaret Tait Award is one of the most significant opportunities to support and develop emerging talent. The Award has established a strong track record of enabling artists to create quality new work and showcase the breadth of work being created in Artist Moving Image in Scotland today."

More information

Full details about the Margaret Tait Award can be found here:

Header image credit: Margaret Tait, 'Tailpiece', 1976. Courtesy of the Margaret Tait estate and LUX