Robert discovers that it's a Good year for a crisis!

Published: 4 May 2011 at 12:11

Master of Fine Art student wins Anglia Ruskin’s Searle Award for Creativity

The 2011 Searle Award for Creativity has been won by Master of Fine Art student Robert Good for his installation based on the theme ‘crisis’.

Now in its fourth year, the Searle Award for Creativity, initiated by the Cambridge School of Art alumnus Ronald Searle to recognise excellence in a range of artistic disciplines at Anglia Ruskin University, has grown in significance and reputation.

Robert, who also receives a £3,000 cash prize, said:

“I am delighted to win the Searle Award. I am coming to the end of a two year Master of Fine Art degree at Anglia Ruskin which has been a great source of inspiration and a real challenge to me to make more ambitious work.

“The Searle Award is the icing on the cake and gives me every encouragement as we finish our studies and look ahead to making exciting new work in the future.”

Commenting on the entries, judge Dr David Ryan, who is a Reader in Fine Art, said:

“This year’s award attracted a strong body of work from very different art practices. 

“One of the huge challenges of judging this award is weighing up the comparative merits of work coming from very different working contexts and perspectives, and yet this is all part of the fascinating process of seeing how these very different disciplines can communicate the given theme. 

“This year was marked by ambitious work, including several complex installations such as that of the first prize winner Robert Good.”

Robert’s installation is best described by his statement accompanying the piece, which reads:

“A dysfunctional, retro office is piled high with books, magazines and prints. Crisis is stacked upon crisis: Solar crisis, Bionic crisis, Indian crisis. A turntable cues up ‘Crisis’ by Roger Banton behind ‘Crisis’ by Bob Marley. Manga, vinyl, VHS: in all media, from every decade.

“Half-buried amongst the clutter sits a red emergency telephone. A hidden Linux box, networked to Google Realtime, listens for occurrences of the word ‘crisis’ from news agencies, bloggers and the twitterati. Each hit rings the telephone and sparks a printer into life. The very latest contemporary crisis from around the globe has been reported and is injected into the mix.”

The runners-up were first year BA (Hons) Illustration student Anastasiya Rudaya and Rebecca Palmer, who is studying for an MA in Children’s Book Illustration. Anastasiya’s entry was a book depicting the evolving crisis of a character’s dependence on social networking, while Rebecca’s work was titled ‘Identity Crisis’ and consisted of cards which viewers could use to construct different images.

Visit to watch a video of Robert’s winning entry. Robert’s work will also feature in ‘Re:Location’, which is an exhibition by four Master of Fine Art students at four different sites in Cambridge. ‘Re:Location’ runs from 6-8 May and more information is available by visiting