Tristan Hoare is delighted to be hosting the finalists of the Sequested Prize later this year.
Art has always sustained humanity in its darkest hours.
To sequester means to isolate. To put away, to set aside for a particular purpose. The Sequested Prize, a new short-hand for sequestered, is using an unprecendented word for unprecedented times. The Sequested Prize is recognising the particular purpose of the artist at this time: to make work.
The Sequested Prize is instigated by an artist
Many artists’ financial existence is very fragile, even at mid-career. Matisse said that people do value and enjoy art, like they enjoy butter, cream and milk, but don’t want to know about the dung and flies surrounding the reality of the cow.
This prize is instigated by an artist who knows this well, often several jobs are needed to create a small space in which to shelter the slight, flickering flame of an art career. The freelance/contractor/zero-hours/casual jobs used to sustain artists have evaporated in this time of sequestration.
The Sequested prize is designed to offer light and hope in these dark times and the chance to be in a show where your portrait will stand out, a space where your work will be taken seriously, specifically, through a self-portrait created now, when we are sequested at home remembering this significant moment in our history. Looking at yourself, using you as primary subject matter is as a way of connecting with others in these constrained and strange times.