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2020-21 Dissertation Prize winners

This year's MA prize was awarded to Lydia Brockless (Royal College of Art), and the BA prize to Johanna Saunderson (Glasgow School of Art).

Each year we award two prizes for excellently researched and written dissertations, one from a BA and one from an MA course at a UK university. Our winners have taken home a cash prize and a selection of art publications.

BA Dissertation Prize

Awarded to Johanna Saunderson, BA (Hons) Sculpture and Environmental Art, Glasgow School of Art, for the dissertation ‘Investigating Renewed Focus and Value of Worldmaking in Contemporary Art Practice.’

We selected Johanna's dissertation as it's an excellent example of independent research, using interesting and apposite case studies – including work by Larry Achiompong, Ian Cheng, Cécile B. Evans and Paul Noble - to explore the subject of worldmaking and its critical place in contemporary art practices.

Reference to numerous and various different texts, both fiction and non-fiction, make for a particularly creative and original study which engages the reader and indicates the potential reach and range of its subject. Saunderson has written an insightful, clear and imaginative study of a fascinating and diverse artistic practice.

Find out more about Johanna Saunderson at

MA Dissertation Prize

Lydia Brockless MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art, for the dissertation ‘The Lay of the Land, The Swell of the Sea.’

We selected this highly original and insightful dissertation, as it blends both forms of writing and multifarious sources and provides the reader with sustained and thought- provoking critical analysis.

Through an extremely creative approach to the dissertation process Lydia Brockless investigates interconnected artistic theories in a moving meditation on the subject of geology, and a poetic and highly personal study into both research and art making.

Brockless confidently explores the relationships between materiality, writing, objects and theories and manages to expertly navigate both the micro and the macro in terms of art, ecology, geology and memory, producing a riveting piece of research and a beautiful piece of creative writing.

Find out more about Lydia Brockless at