Panel of Judges
Having originally been nominated in 1995, Mark Wallinger’s 2007 Turner Prize win secured his position as one of the UK’s leading contemporary artists. His work Ecce Homo (1999) was the first piece to occupy the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, with the sculpture later being exhibited at the 49th Venice Biennale (2001), where he was Britain’s representative. Major commissions include Labyrinth (2013) for Art on the Underground and White Horse at Ebbsfleet (work in progress). He has held solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Galleries, London (1995); Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (1999); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2000) and Neu Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2004).
Best known for his photography and video work, Richard Billingham shot to fame in 1996 with his groundbreaking photographic series Ray’s a Laugh, an extraordinary set of images of family life in his childhood home. He has exhibited widely with a major solo exhibition at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2000) leading to his inclusion on the 2001 Turner Prize shortlist. His work is held in numerous public collections worldwide, including Tate, Arts Council England and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He was recently appointed professor in the Creative Industries at the University of Middlesex.
Sacha Craddock is an independent curator and critic, who has written for numerous national newspapers including the Guardian and The Times. She co-founded ArtSchool Palestine in Ramallah, which offers a structure and place for the exchange and development of contemporary art, as well as founding the Fellowship in Contemporary Art at British School at Rome. She currently chairs the Bloomberg New Contemporaries, which provides a means for newly graduated fine art students to be exhibited nationwide, and has been involved in the selection process since 1996.
Charming Baker’s work is defined by a restless imagination, and ranges freely from the everyday to the deeply personal, encouraging the viewer to make their own connections and conclusions. “Nothing is only ever one thing. I don't see why I shouldn’t bend, shape or brake an image to alter its original meaning, if only to entertain" says Baker. Born in Hampshire 1964, Charming Baker is often cited as one of the most dynamic artists of his generation. Baker left school at 16 and worked various manual jobs and in 1985, having gone back to college, he was accepted onto a course at the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s, where he later returned as a lecturer. Solo exhibitions include the Truman Brewery London 2007, Redchurch Street Gallery London 2009, New York Studio Gallery NYC 2010, Mercer Street London 2011 and Milk Studios LA 2013. Baker has also exhibited with the Fine Art Society, collaborated with Sir Paul Smith for a sculpture entitled ‘Triumph in the Face of Absurdity’ which was displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum and continues to be committed to creating work to raise money for many charities. His work is in numerous international collections.
Mary Simpson is the CEO of Spectrum and has worked in the field of autism for over 25 years. Mary has extensive knowledge of all current economic, social and regulatory issues in the care sector and autism. Mary has extensive links within the art world, through Spectrum’s affinity with artistic expression. Mary has been instrumental in the development of local and national art auctions to both raise awareness of autism and fundraise for a dedicated Education and Arts Centre in Cornwall.
Mary firmly believes that art can create a powerful and meaningful dialogue to those who feel socially isolated, lonely or different from those around them. Mary is passionate about giving individuals with autism the platform and opportunity to show others their unique world view as well as their interests, hopes and perceptions of life.
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen is one of the world's leading experts in understanding autism and related neurological conditions. His books include 'Mindblindness', which in 1995 transformed our understanding of the psychology of autism, through to ‘Zero Degrees of Empathy’ (2011), which gave a new perspective on biological and social factors that determine cruelty and kindness. Professor Baron-Cohen is the Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge and President of the International Society of Autism Research.