Special awards

Wates Foundation Diana Brooks Prize

All artists aged 35 or under, who are exhibiting at Art for Youth London, are eligible for the Wates Foundation Diana Brooks prize. 


The prize-winning work is the personal choice of Diana Brooks, who helped to found the exhibition 30 years ago. Entry for the prize is free, and it serves as an artistic encouragement for the prize-winner, who receives £1,000.


The Wates Foundation has been active in the creative arts sector for almost fifty years, funding arts projects as a platform for the delivery of positive social change, addressing the disadvantage and exclusion of individuals and communities. Support to youth projects through the arts, engaging with the multiple needs that face young people in society has always been a high priority. The Foundation is proud to support Art for Youth London and to fund the Diana Brooks Prize.


The 2017 winner of the Wates Foundation Diana Brooks Prize went to the sculptor, Fred Gordon, who is based in Somerset. Fred was exposed to, and inspired by, the natural world from an early age. He uses quick and fluid gestures to capture the motion and vitality of the subject. Fred works first in clay or wax and then the piece is cast in bronze or bronze resin. Here is what he has to say about winning the prize: 


“Having just graduated and started sculpting professionally, this was exactly the confidence and morale boost that I needed. It made me more determined to succeed and branch out in my chosen field. Directly following the Art for Youth exhibition, I was fortunate to secure my largest private commission to date, a bust of a race horse, and the prize money financially made this commission viable. On a wider scale, the Art for Youth exhibition and the Diana Brook's prize has been an invaluable platform from which I have been able to show my work to a wider audience and meet likeminded young artists. Whilst my career progression has not been meteoric(!), the Wates Foundation has, nonetheless, made things that would otherwise not have been possible, possible, and it remains one of the most prominent events in my annual calendar.”

Winners of the Wates Foundation Diana Brooks Prize

Afshin Naghouni Reach Prize

This prize is awarded by the artist Afshin Naghouni for artistic excellence with a focus on diversity and social inclusion. Entry for the prize is free. In 2018, this prize will be for £1,500, sponsored by Julie Dickson.

In 2017, the Afshin Naghouni Reach Prize was won by Nasser Teymourpour. Nasser received his BA in industrial design and his MA in stage design. He has experience in design, media and photography, but is best known as a photographer and conceptual artist. His work, "chamar", featured at the first Iranian Conceptual Art Exhibition at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. He has held three solo exhibitions and has participated in more than 20 group shows.

"What has passed in the past?! History, myth, tale and art, each have had their own answer to this question. Nevertheless, history in the narrative of myths has always had particular significance to me; the answers born from thoughts, interests and wishes of those from the past; tales which are less debated and the phrase, legend or myth makes it easier for us to accept them and even at times we become such believers in them that we assume other stories to be fake and false.

To me the battle between good and evil is one of the most attractive amongst all these tales and myths; from Tishtar and Aposh to Rostam and the White Demon."

Winners of the Afshin Naghouni Reach Prize

Fred Gordon, 2017 winner of the Wates Foundation Diana Brooks Prize

Nasser Teymourpour (left), 2017 winner of the Afshin Naghouni Reach Prize

Minty Sainsbury (left), 2017 winner of the Parker Prize

Parker Prize

This prize is funded anonymously and is a prize for creative excellence awarded by the artist Alice Shirley. Entry for the prize is free and the prize-winner receives £1,000.

The 2017 winner of the Parker Prize was Minty Sainsbury. Minty studied architecture at the University of Cambridge, graduating top of her year in 2013, and went on to work in a London architectural practice. Here she discovered that the drawing board no longer has a place in the modern architectural office, so she returned to the pencil with the intention of keeping the art of architectural drawing alive. Her background in architecture has not only influenced her choice of subject matter but also her style of drawing, her understanding of spatial design is clearly expressed in the compositions of her drawings.

"As a young artist starting out, it was a huge honour to be awarded the Parker Prize in 2017. It was really encouraging to have my work acknowledged by the judges, who themselves are artists I admire. The prize money allowed me to travel and discover new architectural wonders, which will inspire future drawing projects." 

Winners of the Parker Prize

© Art for Youth London 2019

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