Rob Clinches Searle Award for Creativity 2010 with study of the role of maps

Published: 13 October 2010 at 09:52

Fine art student Rob Tovey gets ‘intellectual’ hug from award win

Cambridge School of Art PhD Graphic Design student Rob Tovey, has won this year's annual Searle Award for Creativity - and as a result his work, along with the work of others who entered the award, will be on display at the Ruskin Gallery from 1-5 November.

Judge David Ryan (Reader in Fine Art) said:

"First prize winner Rob Tovey's photographs and books married a creative adventurousness with meticulous clarity with their rigorous analyses of spaces exploring, simultaneously, various conceptual representations, reconstructions and deconstructions."

Rob's body of work, which included 6 framed photos and 10 books, explores the role of maps and photo-maps in informing how spaces are observed, with a focus on new technology.

Rob, who lives in Cambridge, received a hand-made sculpture based on a Searle design and a check for £3000.

On receiving the much-coveted arts prize, Rob said:

"What an honour. So often you generate work, alone, and these ideas are recognised as being of some merit within your little niche. But that's it. What's rarer is for someone to say, do you know what – this is good. Not just to a small group of like minded people, but generally.  And that's what the Searle Prize is - a wonderful, lovely, reassuring intellectual hug."

"The prize itself will let me extend my practice in ways that I couldn't have dreamt of before – better locations, better equipment, freedom!"

"So I'd like to extend my gratitude to Mr Searle and the late, great Mr Ruskin too, and everyone at Anglia Ruskin University, particularly those at the constantly-evolving Cambridge School of Art."

Ben Parker and Jo Miller (also pictured) were runners up in the competition.

The Searle Award for Creativity was introduced by Anglia Ruskin University in 2008 during the year long programme of 150 year anniversary celebrations.

The annual competition, initiated by the great artist and alumnus of Anglia Ruskin University Ronald Searle, has been devised to recognise excellence in a range of artistic disciplines including fine art, illustration, digital art and graphic design, film or video, photography, animation and 3D design.