Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists

Ampersand Foundation Award


24 June 2021


DASH, which supports and commissions the work of disabled artists, has won the 2021 Ampersand Foundation Award it was announced today.

DASH has a long history of producing provocative interventions that continue the legacy of Dada, Absurdism and Surrealism into the 21st century. DASH’s Ampersand Award project, created in the spirit and essence of Dada, will involve 47 established and younger generation disabled artists.

Mike Layward, DASH’s Artistic Director said: “To be awarded the Ampersand award for this surreal intervention will not only have a massive impact on Disability arts but will show that the visual arts institutions are now open and willing to change.”

Flor Souto, CEO of the Ampersand Foundation, said: “What we want to achieve with this award is to enable curators and directors working in an extremely tough funding environment to realise a project that they always have dreamt of doing but have been unable to do so far due to funding pressure. We hope DASH’s winning project will be realised in a post-pandemic world and will help with the re-vitalisation of the sector.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “This is exciting news for DASH and marks an important moment for Disabled artists and creatives across the country. The Ampersand Foundation Award is one of the most substantial and imaginative awards in the arts and is designed to help an organisation realise a ‘dream‘ project. From commissioning new work, to mentoring and offering development opportunities for artists and creatives with disabilities, DASH’s work always makes an impact and in a post-pandemic world this new project, involving 47 disabled artists, will inspire positive change through creativity.”

The Award is open to the 48 members of the Plus Tate network. It aims to enable the winning institution to realise its dream project in the form of an exhibition, new commission, public space intervention or any other kind of project. There are no restrictions on the subject or format of the proposal except that it must be delivered by a curator, director or a team of curators working within the institution.

The winner is awarded £125,000 to realise their proposal, and an additional £25,000 to produce a related publication. The remaining shortlisted institutions each receive £5,000.

The 5 shortlisted institutions for the 2021 edition of the Award were:

De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill-on-Sea

Turner Contemporary, Margate

DASH, Shrewsbury (winner)

Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea

MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

The winner was selected by a judging panel composed of the following five members:

Jack Kirkland, Chairman, The Ampersand Foundation

Amalia Pica, Artist

Victoria Siddall, Trustee, The Ampersand Foundation
Alastair Sooke, Trustee, The Ampersand Foundation

Jonathan Watkins, Director, Ikon Gallery (and winner of the TAF Award inaugural edition)

(Please note Ikon Gallery did not enter this year).

Press Enquiries:

Erica Bolton, Bolton & Quinn

Tel: 07711 698 186


Notes to Editors: ​​​​​​​

The Ampersand Foundation

The Ampersand Foundation was founded in 2011 by businessman, collector, and philanthropist Jack Kirkland to support the visual arts. The Foundation supports high-quality exhibitions and projects, provided they are free to the public at least one day per week. It also supports public collection expansion. The Foundation is focused mainly on supporting institutions and projects within the UK.