About the awards


  • Nominators (twenty for the Awards for Visual Arts and twelve for the Awards for Composers) put forward the name of up to five artists who live and practice in the UK.
  • Nominators change each year and are either artists themselves or recognised professionals in related fields (museum and gallery directors, curators, journalists, teachers, musicians, programmers, etc).
  • Nominated artists are then invited to submit an application which includes biographical details, examples of their work and a short statement saying how they would benefit from an Award.
  • These artists are then considered by a panel of five judges (including a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Trustee as Chair).¬†Typically, each panel comprises at least one artist (often a previous winner) as well as respected individuals from similar backgrounds to the nominators. The four external judges on each scheme change every year.
  • For the Awards for Visual Arts, the panel of judges meet over two days to review all applications and select five recipients.¬†For the Awards for Composers, judges select a shortlist in their own time and then come together for a day to choose the three recipients out of a list of up to fifteen artists.
  • Nominations remain anonymous throughout the process (i.e. artists do not know who nominated them or, indeed, if they have been nominated more than once) and judges are not told if artists have been already nominated in the past.
  • The recipients of the five Awards for Visual Arts and the three Awards for Composers are announced at a reception in the autumn of each year.