An Award Winning Year

We are delighted to announce that Fermynwoods Contemporary Art has been named:

  • Best Contemporary Art Gallery in Northamptonshire in the 2020 Midlands Enterprise Awards.
  • Art Charity of the Year for Central England in the Central England Prestige Awards.
  • And awarded one of the 2020 Achates Philanthropy Prize Bursaries as an organisation that has undertaken “interesting and exciting examples of proactive engagement with communities during the pandemic, demonstrating how the arts have reacted to it and the results achieved through these efforts”.

Our In Steps of Sundew exhibition at The Arches, Fineshade Wood together with our growing online programme led to the award of Best Contemporary Art Gallery in Northamptonshire. SME News describes the awards as marking “the hard work and stellar efforts of those who have helped shape this demanding and dynamic region, and our comprehensive selection and judging process singles out the true market leaders over the past year.

In naming Fermynwoods as Art Charity of the Year for Central England, Rocky Singh, Project Manager for Central England Prestige Awards commented “The passion for what you do really comes across and I hope this achievement brings more success during these difficult times.”

Achates Philanthropy Foundation Chair, Caroline McCormick, said “The 2020 Achates Philanthropy Prize shines a light into the role of the cultural sector at the darkest time for a generation. All of the nominations demonstrate how cultural organisations across the country have responded to the challenges of COVID-19, despite themselves being under threat … We can’t raise the voices of all the remarkable talent across the country and the work that is being done but are very proud that we can give a brief glimpse into what culture can do.”

James Steventon, Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art commented, “We are delighted to receive a hat trick of awards in this challenging year, particularly as nominations have come from both within and outside the arts sector. We believe deeply in our mission of supporting life through art and are proud of the resilience and creativity shown in the face of adversity by our team and the artists we have worked with throughout 2020.”

Fermynwoods Assistant Director Jessica Harby added, “The quality of our programme reflects the relationships with our artists during a time of intense upheaval and uncertainty for freelancers in the arts. We’ve been thanked repeatedly by artists this year for paying them for their work even when in-person exhibitions have been delayed, as it was not a universal action in the arts. We’ve also received positive feedback for commissioning new online work not related to the pandemic itself, with artists reporting that the infusion of new ideas “rebooted creative energy that had slumped during lockdown”, thanking our curators for being open to numerous conversations about their evolving work. As an arts organisation, we are nothing without artists, and we’d like to thank those we worked with this year specifically for their trust and resilience during such a difficult time.”

Fermynwoods were one of eight recipients of the 2020 Achates Philanthropy Prize Bursaries from across the United Kingdom including Echo Echo Dance Theatre, Derry, Northern Ireland; FEAST, Cornwall; Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland; Islington Mill, Salford; MOSTYN, Llandudno, Wales; Museum of the Home, London; and People United, Canterbury. These bursaries will be in the form of bespoke support from Achates Philanthropy Foundation Prize Ambassadors over the next six months.

We have lots more exciting activity to come. In 2021, Fermynwoods will be launching new exhibitions of contemporary art at the 950 year old Rockingham Castle, within the gardens at the 14th Century Deene Park, at surprising locations within Corby and online. We will also be hosting a wide range of artist led events and workshops for those who are not typically able to participate in the arts including children in both mainstream and non-mainstream education.