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The Founders' Sculpture Prize

The Founders' Sculpture Prize aims to promote figurative sculpture based on the human form and its translation into bronze; eligibility is limited to sculptors in the first ten years of their sculpting careers.

Since 2007 The Founders Company has co-organised and sponsored The Founders Sculpture Prize a bi-annual prize promoting figurative sculpture in cast bronze.


2007, Sophie Dickens - Turning Man

2009, Valentina Zlatrova - Immersion

2011, John Ensor - Offshore Dissipation

2013, George Triggs - Surrender

2015, Ellen Christiensen - Odyssseus

2017, Thomas Merrett - Flight





The Founders’ Sculpture Prize


Sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Founders, The Gilbert Bayes Trust,

and the Society of Portrait Sculptors

Prize Rules

1    Introduction

Scope of these Rules

These Prize Rules, which comprise both requirements and recommendations, will regulate the competition in 2021/2022 for The Founders’ Sculpture Prize (hereafter “Prize”). They are not intended to be unduly restrictive, but rather to make as clear as possible at the outset of the competition both the expectations of the Prize Committee and the obligations of competitors. If competitors are in any doubt about the meaning of these Rules, they are asked to consult the Prize Administrator at the earliest opportunity

Aims of the Prize

The aims of the Prize are:

To promote excellence and imagination in the art of figurative sculpture using the human form, to foster figurative sculptors in the earlier stages of their careers, and to give them a unique opportunity of creative freedom within a commission context

To encourage figurative sculptors to use cast bronze, and to increase public interest in cast bronze sculpture To increase the standard of technical skill in figurative sculpture To find new and meaningful expressions of the human figure in sculpture, and To challenge preconceptions about sculpture of the human form, and to stimulate public interest in figurative sculpture


Prize Sponsors and Host

The Prize is sponsored by the following bodies:

The Worshipful Company of Founders

The Gilbert Bayes Trust

The Society of Portrait Sculptors


Eligibility of competitors

Applications for the Prize are invited from any figurative sculptors in the early stages of their sculpting careers. There are no restrictions on nationality, age or sculpting qualifications, and the Prize Committee will look sympathetically at borderline applicants. However, the Prize Committee wishes the Prize to encourage up-and-coming sculptors in the early stages of their careers, rather than those whose careers are already established, and will not entertain submissions from competitors whose post-qualification sculpting careers exceed fifteen years in aggregate.

The Prize benefits

The Prize consists of the following financial and other benefits:

There will be not more than five shortlisted finalists (hereafter “Finalists”) Each Finalist will be commissioned to make Finalist’s Maquette(s) and Drawing(s) (as described below) Each Finalist will receive a Shortlisting Commission (as described below) Each Finalist will also receive the mentoring facility described below The winner of the Prize (hereafter “Winner”) will receive £5,000 The Winner will be commissioned to make the Prize Sculpture (as defined below) The Winner will also receive the additional mentoring facility described below

All the Finalists’ Maquettes and a bronze cast of the Prize Sculpture will be displayed in the City of London for approximately 3 months.


2    The Initial Stage

Submissions by competitors

Competitors are required to submit:

Photographic images (in A4 size format) of eight of their recent works, each correctly captioned with title, dimensions, material and date A CV.  A completed Application Form

Competitors may also submit, but without obligation so to do:

A 250-word statement in English with their ideas about the inspiration of the human form in the language of figurative sculpture

The Application Form and instructions on the manner of delivery of those other documents can be found on the Prize website. Submissions will only be considered if duly delivered online.


Timetable for Initial Stage

Submissions must be received online not later than May 30th 2021  Any submissions received by the Prize Administrator after that date will not be considered.

Submissions will be judged during July 2021 and the names of the Finalists will be announced by the end of that month. The Prize Committee reserves the right to alter that timetable, having regard to the diary availability of its members.


The judges will include representatives of the Prize sponsors and host.


3    The Finalists’ Stage

Number of Finalists

The number of Finalists will not exceed five. If for any reason any of the initial shortlisted Finalists withdraws from the competition for the Prize, and if the Prize Committee so determines, a replacement Finalist may be substituted by the Prize Committee.

Finalists’ submissions

Each Finalist will be required to submit (mandatory):

One or more developmental and working drawing(s) made specifically for the Prize submission (not exceeding five in number and not greater than A2 in size, but otherwise as determined by the Finalist) of a figurative sculpture of the human form which fires the imagination of the Finalist and which the Finalist, if he or she were to win the Prize, would like to make as the Prize Sculpture (as defined below) and Not more than three maquettes (of which one maquette, if two or more are submitted, must be designated the principal maquette) made specifically for the Prize submission, in a reasonably durable medium determined by the Finalist, but not exceeding one-third scale of the proposed Prize Sculpture (so that the maquette(s) will not exceed 350mm in height)

Each Finalist may also submit (optional):

A short written statement, explaining what the Finalist wishes to achieve with and/or by the proposed Prize Sculpture and including any supporting factors which the Finalist considers would help the Prize Committee in its consideration of the Finalist’s submission (Finalists should bear in mind the oral interview mentioned below, and are recommended to restrict any such written statement to approximately 250 words)

The Shortlisting Commission

Upon receipt by the Prize Administrator of all the documents and artefacts required to be comprised in a submission, each Finalist will receive £500.

Save for the mentoring assistance and interview travel allowance mentioned below, no other payment or benefit will be made or afforded to Finalists, except to the Winne


Finalists are reminded of the aims of the Prize, and in particular of the elements of challenge and innovation which the Prize seeks to promote. Finalists are therefore strongly recommended to accept the offer of mentoring assistance.

Each Finalist – through the initial contact point of the Prize Administrator – will be entitled to receive mentoring from a senior experienced sculptor (by whom the Finalist has not previously been taught), with a view to having one (1) artistic mentoring session in order to develop the Finalist’s ideas and strengths and to explore areas perhaps not previously explored by the Finalist. Mentoring guidelines will be issued to both Finalist and mentor.


Timetable for Finalists’ submissions

Submissions (meaning complete submissions) must be received by the Prize Administrator at the address specified in Section 6 of these Rules on or before May 30th 2021. Unless the prior written consent of the Prize Administrator has been obtained, submissions received after that date will not be considered by the Prize Committee.

The Prize Committee intends to consider submissions, to interview Finalists in person, and to determine the Winner by Christmas Eve 2021, but will have regard to the diary availability of both its own members and the Finalists, and reserves the right to postpone the date of determination of the Winner.


4 The Prize and the Prize display

The components of the Prize

The Prize comprises the following elements:

A cash payment of £5,000, of which half will be payable upon the announcement of the determination of the Winner, and the balance will be payable upon the delivery of the Prize Sculpture by the Winner to the Royal College of Art Foundry for casting. Three (3) further mentoring sessions, on the lines of the mentoring sessions mentioned earlier in these Rules One bronze cast edition, numbered 1/6, (hereafter “the Prize Cast”) of the Prize Sculpture, without cost to the Winner, to the intent that title to the mould(s) of the Prize Sculpture will, upon its or their creation, pass to the Winner, and The display of the Prize Cast in the City of London for a period of approximately three months in 2015 after the creation of the Prize Cast and otherwise upon terms determined by the Prize Committee at their absolute discretion (but without any charge to the Winner)

The Prize Sculpture

The Prize Sculpture which will be commissioned from the winner of the Prize (hereafter “the Winner”):

May be created in any medium chosen by the Winner, but must be capable of being cast in bronze Must be a fully three-dimensional figurative sculpture of the human form Must not be either a portrait head or a bas relief Must be of a single (subject as mentioned below) half life-size figure, of dimensions not exceeding 1000mm h x 250mm w x 250mm d, or similar variables of those measurements, but Notwithstanding the previous rule, may be of a group comprising two or more figures, provided that the approximate volume and complexity of the proposed sculpture comply with the foregoing limitations

Other Finalists’ drawings and maquette(s)

Drawings and maquette(s) submitted by the Finalists other than the Winner will be made available for exhibition or display in the City of London for a period not exceeding the period of display of the Prize Cast and otherwise upon terms determined by the Prize Committee at their absolute discretion. Upon the termination of such display, the Finalists other than the Winner will be entitled to repossess such drawings and maquette(s), and to deal with them without further reference to the Prize Committee

Timetable for delivery of Prize Sculpture

The Prize Committee expects that the Prize Sculpture will have been completed and delivered to the Royal College of Art Foundry for casting not later than the end of March 2022. Although time is not of the essence for the date of delivery, the Prize Committee reserves the right not to pay the balance of the cash payment mentioned above if delivery is materially delayed without just cause previously notified to and accepted by the Prize Administrator


5    Legal and Insurance

Title, possession, copyright and further casts of the Prize Sculpture

Title to, and possession of, the Prize Cast shall belong to and remain with The Worshipful Company of Founders as the trustee of the Prize (hereafter “the Trustee”).

The Trustee shall have indefinite licence to display the Prize Cast and its precedent drawings and maquette(s), and to lend the Prize Cast, drawings and maquette(s) to third parties for display, and to reproduce and distribute photographic representations of the Prize Cast, drawings and maquette(s), in each such case on a non-profit-making basis, without payment to the Winner and otherwise in such manner as the Trustee shall determine in its absolute discretion.

As between the Trustee and the Winner, the Winner shall be at liberty to seek to procure, at his or her entire expense, not more than six (five edition numbers 2 to 6, plus one artist’s cast) further casts of the Prize Sculpture, for disposal at the Winner’s discretion and without reference to the Trustee. The Royal College of Art will be willing, in principle, to be engaged in the making of any such casts on a commercial basis, but the choice of founder will remain a matter for the Winner's discretion.

In all other respects, and subject to the foregoing limitations, unrestricted copyright in the Prize Sculpture shall remain vested in the Winner.

Title, possession and copyright of Winner’s drawings and maquettes

The foregoing provisions relating to title, possession and copyright shall also apply to the drawings and maquette(s) previously submitted by the Winner, but in respect of the maquette(s) no casts shall be made


Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Prize Administrator, the insurance of all drawings and maquettes, and of the Prize Sculpture, the Prize Cast and any related moulds, shall at all times remain the sole responsibility of the relevant Finalists, and any loss or damage caused to any such artefacts by any normal insurable risks shall be at the sole risk of the relevant Finalists

If the Royal College of Art (at its absolute discretion) shall agree in writing to accept responsibility for the insurance of either or both of the Prize Sculpture and the Prize Cast, the Winner acknowledges that any such insurance shall be limited (a) in value to the cost of reinstatement of the relevant item (and therefore shall exclude any greater artistic, intrinsic or other premium value attributable thereto) and (b) in time to the period during which the Royal College of Art shall retain possession of the said artefacts (actual or putative) for the casting contemplated by this Prize


All Prize sums will be paid gross (unless otherwise required by law), to the intent that any tax payable thereon (including but not by way of limitation any Value Added Tax) will be the responsibility of the recipient of the payment


6    Miscellaneous


Prize Administrator

The Prize Administrator and his contact details are:

Prize Administrator, Founders’ Sculpture Prize, Founders’ Hall, Number One, Cloth Fair, London, EC1A 7JQ

Email: sculptureprize@foundersco.org.uk


The Prize Committee will consider requests for the reimbursement of reasonable and necessary travelling expenses incurred by Finalists within the United Kingdom in order to attend the interviews and mentoring sessions mentioned above. However, any such expenses must be approved in writing by the Prize Administrator before they are incurred, and any claim for reimbursement of any such approved expenses must be accompanied by adequate receipts or other evidence of expenditure. The Prize Committee will not reimburse either travelling expenses incurred outside the United Kingdom or the cost of delivery of maquettes.

Supervision of casting

The Winner will be expected to supervise the casting of the Prize Sculpture by the Royal College of Art, in accordance with normal art foundry good practice.

Final decision of Prize Committee and Administrator

Any decision of the Prize Committee or of the Prize Administrator, in relation to any matter arising under these Rules, is final. Reasons will not be given for any such decision, nor will the Prize Committee enter into any correspondence regarding the merits of any submissions. The Prize Committee also reserves the right neither to select any Finalist nor to select a Winner.

Consultation of Prize Administrator

The Prize Administrator is available for consultation at any reasonable time about the application of these Rules.

Implied acceptance of these Rules

Competitors making submissions for any stage of this competition will be deemed thereby to have accepted these Rules.