Apology accepted, but where’s my cheque?

I was pleased to read a positive reaction from The Business Design Centre regarding the award won by myself at the New Designers Exhibition, 1995 (Letters, DW 6 December). At the same time, I feel disappointed that it has taken numerous letters from a solicitor and myself to both Opera Arts and BDC over 16 months, along with an an article in Design Week, in order to receive a response.

With regard to Lucy Sicks’ statement that “The Opera Arts Award was described as to the value of 1000 in all exhibition literature… and that the winning designer would be commissioned”, at the awards ceremony Stephen Zachary, then chairman of The Chartered Society of Designers, announced, in a speech written by the BDC, that he was presenting me with a cheque for 1000. The envelope I received contained only a letter of congratulations. The BDC also distributed press information stating I had been presented with 1000, despite being informed twice that this information was incorrect. Furthermore, after 16 months, I still have no commission.

The BDC exhibited and damaged pieces of the winning design for which it has still not fully paid, despite agreeing to do so. I now ask its organisers to start reacting to this matter.

With regard to the production of The Royal Opera House calendar, it took some six months before Opera Arts actually had a meeting with the ROH, from which I was excluded. I find it unacceptable that my name and work should be used in order to promote and benefit New Designers, BDC and Opera Arts, yet I receive nothing. I hope this project will go ahead, but there is no guarantee it will, despite my spending one month producing various concepts for an ROH calendar, for which I have received expenses only.

Opera Arts has flatly refused to provide me with a contract. If, as Opera Arts states, this project is only delayed, I see no reason why a formal contract should not be forthcoming. In order to resolve this matter, I urge the BDC and Opera Arts to offer me the 1000 prize money. This can then account for any royalties forthcoming, should the calendar go ahead or, if it does not, it can be held as remuneration against the work already produced, and the disappointment and confusion which has arisen from this award through no fault of my own.

Rob Hassett

Coventry Technical College

Coventry CV1 3GD

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