Each November the Hand & Lock Prize draws to its dramatic conclusion and for the first time, in 2019, the embroidery spectacle was a two day pop-up exhibition. Open to the public, the exhibition drew over 400 embroidery lovers including groups organised by the Royal School of Needlework and Embroiderers’ Guilds up and down the country. Visitors were invited to examine, scrutinise or simply enjoy the 24 finalists’ masterpieces. Curated carefully in the Great Hall of the Bishopsgate Institute, the works were organised into four categories: Textile works by students and textile works non-students, fashion by students and fashion by non-students. A separate display featured notable works pre selected for associate awards by Hand & Lock’s partners.
At 6pm on the 21st November, the public opening closed and the official Prize-giving finale event began. 300 specially invited guests; made up of the finalists, their guests, their mentors gathered along with the esteemed Prize judges and a wide array of industry figures. As ever the crowd busied themselves analysing the works and completing their public voting slips. Enjoying well deserved champagne the finalist happily talked up their final submissions explaining how they had interpreted the brief and how the executed their inventive and complex embroideries.
The public vote concluded at 7.15 while the Judging panel made their way back stage to consider the finalists supplementary work,
mood boards and samples. The public vote was combined with the Judging panel and the results were sealed in an envelope.
Back in the Great Hall Hand & Lock Chairman, Alastair Macleod, wearing an embroidered suit and bicorne ostrich feathered hat took to the stage to deliver his customary speech thanking the entrants, the sponsors the venue and the staff of Hand & Lock. He was joined on stage by Director Jessica Pile and Prize co-ordinator Sophie Carr and the envelope with the names of the winner was finally opened.
In the Fashion Open Category:
Winner / Sheila Ramsay / Mentor Hazel McDonald
2nd Place / Svetlana Kossman / Mentor: Daniel Heath
3rd Place / Joanna Galica-Dorula / Mentor: Chloe Giordano
In the Textile Arts Open Category:
Winner / Hannah Mansfield / Mentor: Georgina Bellamy
2nd Place / Samantha Trevis / Mentor: Nelly Agassi
3rd Place / Julie Heaton / Mentor: Diana Springall
Fashion Student Category
Winner / Faye Arguelles / Mentor: Davida Hadden
2nd Place / Sophie Reynolds / Mentor: Alice Walsh
3rd Place / Anna Holmes / Mentor: Alastair Macleod
Textile Art Student Category
Winner / Inge Tiemens / Mentor: Alastair Macleod
2nd Place / Rosie Gee / Mentor: Diana Springall
3rd Place / Emma Rodak / Mentor: Angie Wyman
Associate Awards Winner:
Wilcom Award for Digital Embroidery: Textile Art Winner / David Morrish
Wilcom Award for Digital Embroidery: Fashion Winner / Daisy Rawson
The Worshipful Company of Gold Silver Wyre Drawers Award: Winner / Frances Stone
The Worshipful Company of Broderers Award: Winner / Jung Byun
With each winner taking to stage their elaborate embroideries flashed up on the screen behind them and our photographer captured the moment. Friends, family and mentors cheered and applauded their big moment as they joined the esteemed ranks of Prize winners.
As quickly as it all began, it had to end. The finalists and winners celebrated with the VIP guests at the exhibition after-party. For many the talk quickly turned to the 2020 Prize already open for registration.
For the 20th Anniversary of the Prize, this coming year’s Brief is titled ‘The Poetics of Colour’ and asks designers to think of the myriad of ways we see and perceive colours. The Brief has been written by Polly Kenny of London College of Fashion is association with hand & Lock and works like a real client brief that students can embrace. Supported by academic writings in Textile View and a series of Pinterest inspiration boards there is plenty to inspire next year’s creatives.
Once again the Prize is open to students and the wider public from all over the world. Hand & Lock are currently taking registrations with submissions due in the second half of 2020. Given it is the 20th anniversary you can expect a longer exhibition and some exciting surprises over the year.
For more information on the 2020 Prize visit www.handembroidery.com/the-prize