The Jerwood Foundation is often associated with the craft world or fashion, rather than design as we define it, because of its annual visual arts prize scheme that visits one discipline after another, from jewellery and glass to furniture, via ceramics, drawing and fashion.
But the introduction this year of the Jerwood Moving Image Award puts it on a different footing. Though the scheme is not necessarily concerned with overtly commercial projects, it helps push the boundaries in digital art, which in turn will impact on digital design as practitioners move way beyond websites as an outlet for their talent.
Three winners of the inaugural Jerwood Moving Image Awards, drawn from a shortlist of eight finalists, are to be named on 4 March and each will receive £10 000 from the charity. But prize money apart, the publicity that digital art will get as a result will not only promote those winners and the shortlisted artists, but should raise public awareness of the medium.
It is significant that the projects will be displayed in the Jerwood Space, a major rehearsal and exhibition space opened in south east London some ten years ago. That initiative shows that the foundation’s commitment to the arts extends further than just its awards, prestigious though they are.