The awards are made at a timely moment in an artist’s career, offering significant support with no strings attached. The awards are not prizes in any conventional sense, but are instead given on the basis of a mix of factors – talent, promise, tenacity and need, as well as achievement to date. They do not prioritise any particular age group and consider artists from as broad a spectrum of visual arts practice and composition as possible.

Each award provides three years of support totalling £60,000, which artists are free to use as they see fit. Recipients are given full autonomy to decide how the award can best support their life and practice as an artist. The awards are not about recognising commercial success and they will therefore only be made to artists who need financial support to continue to practice. Previous recipients have used the award to help with living costs and purchase equipment, as well to buy time and space to develop new ideas and explore new techniques.