Artist Rebecca Moss chosen as the Dover Prize winner from over 320 submissions

We’re pleased to announce Rebecca Moss as the winner of the Dover Prize 2023.

Rebecca will be awarded £10,000 towards developing an exhibition of works to be shown for the first time in Darlington in 2025.

After receiving over 320 submissions from UK artists, judges from The Bowes Museum, Arts Council England, Creative Darlington, Create Britain, Tees Valley University and the Foundation selected Rebecca Moss as the eventual winner. Rebecca’s unique style is inspired by slapstick and often uses everyday items to explore notions of absurdity or instability. 

Sharon Gollan, Head of Grants here at the Foundation said: “The Dover Prize is a significant opportunity for artists to undertake research and develop new work, which will be seen for the first time in Darlington.  

This year the judging was harder than ever – we’ve had so many excellent applications this year and it’s wonderful to see great talent from across the UK exploring opportunities here. 

Rebecca’s work immediately appealed to the judging panel with a very definite public facing and accessible approach; she is bringing innovative, clever, and very funny art to the region for all to engage with.

We’re excited to see what Rebecca will create and share in the borough.”

The Dover Prize is now in its 25th year and was started by art-lover and philanthropist Peggy Nonhebel (née Dover) in 1998 to promote art and the education of art in and around Darlington. Entrusting us with an endowment fund, the Dover Prize has gone from strength to strength. Awarding over £85,000 and supporting some 20 artists in its 25-year run.

Of the award, Rebecca said, “I am thrilled to win the Dover prize, at a very timely moment in my work and life. With this prize I plan to explore Darlington’s industrial heritage, thinking about pre-electronic power and energy, and drawing upon my interest in mechanisms that are activated by water. This project will build upon themes of movement, animation and kinetic artworks.

I still can’t believe I won, and I am so grateful for this award.”

Some of Rebecca’s work is currently part of a group exhibition at The Bowes Museum, The Magic of the Silver Swan celebrating the 250th year anniversary of a silver swan automata in its collection.

Vicky Sturrs, Director of Programmes and Collections at The Bowes Museum and member of the Dover Prize judging panel, said, “I’m extremely pleased to congratulate Rebecca Moss as this year’s Dover Prize recipient. This award will give Rebecca the opportunity to further develop and explore her practice. 

I already love the absurdity of her work, its humour and the way her almost DIY-like films captivate audiences. I see this every day in our visitors to The Bowes Museum where three of Rebecca’s films feature in our first-floor exhibition The Magic of the Silver Swan. I’m excited to see what she does next in our region.”