Freelands Award shortlist for Becky Beasley and Derby QUAD

The winner of the award will receive £110,000 of funding



Freelands Award shortlist for Becky Beasley and Derby QUAD

26 October 2023

QUAD are delighted to announce that artist Becky Beasley has been shortlisted for a Freelands Award for her upcoming exhibition at Derby QUAD.

2023 marks the 8th instalment of the Freelands Award, which recognises visual arts organisations and the work of mid-career women artists who may not yet have received the acclaim or public recognition that their work deserves.

Becky is one of the 5 shortlisted nominees announced for the award on 18th September with an exhibition due to take place in QUAD’s main gallery in 2025–6. The proposed project features a large-scale linoleum floor piece, that will run across 6 different ‘chapters.’ These encapsulate sculpture, photography, ceramics, video and an installation visualising speculations on the cultural implications of Becky’s statistical life expectancy of 54 years as an independent autistic adult.

When discussing the project and shortlist, Becky said:

“As a late-diagnosis autistic female artist and keen advocate for better understanding of neurodiversity in the arts, this nomination offers an ideal platform to highlight the joys of being a bit different, of not fitting in, of being weird, queer…and of the intersectional obstacles both I – and so many others – experience each day. The opportunity to take up public space and contribute positively and progressively to culture is the greatest privilege and my deepest joy.”

Peter Bonnell, QUAD Arts Programme Manager, said:

“We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted for the Freelands Award this year. We’re equally thrilled to be working with and supporting Becky Beasley – a singular artist of such high calibre. From my personal viewpoint as an autistic leader in the creative sector, it is also equally important to elevate the visibility of the very few established artists who are role-modelling directly for the younger creative neurodivergent communities – such as Becky. It’s very exciting that we are representing the East Midlands for this project.”

QUAD joins Camden Art Centre/Ain Bailey (North London), Chapter/Imogen Stidworthy (Cardiff), Goldsmiths CCA/Christina Mackie (South-east London) and Whitechapel Gallery/Joy Gregory (East London) in the running for the award that will be announced in November. The winner of the award will receive £110,000 of funding, with £30,000 going to the nominated artist.

To raise awareness about the nomination and the project, Becky and QUAD are encouraging the use of #freelandsawardbeckybeasley and #promisingmidcareerwomen.

Becky would also like to thank Heather Peak, autistic creative and CEO & Creative Director of DASH, and Sonia Boue, autistic creative and advocate for sharing a preview her newly published book, Autistics At Work. Becky has also received 10/10 feedback from her autistic team of teams supporters, Sonia Boue and Heather Peak so would like to give a special mention to them amongst the nomination. Finally, Becky would like to celebrate this new resource by Sonia.

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