May 18, 2020

Announcing Our First Quarter Winner!

We are delighted to announce Grant Holden’s ‘Who Would Clean a Car Park?’ as the winner of this quarter’s John Byrne Award!


The standard of entries was extremely high this quarter and our judges – Shona McCarthy, Brigadier David Allfrey and Christopher Hampson – would like to thank every single person who has shared their work with us since February. In the end however, they could only pick one winner… View Grant’s winning entry, below!


By Grant Holden


During my final year at art college, I lived near a multi-storey car park in the centre of Edinburgh. One day, I heard a brush being swept there. At the time, I was developing ideas for my graduation film about a cleaner and his (talking) brush. Never had I thought a car park would have to be swept. When doing research for the film, I came across a quote in a report by the Equality & Human Rights Commission on the cleaning sector. A worker said that cleaners were frequently “the first to be blamed and the last to be thanked”. That really stuck with me: what would it mean to carry out a job that society relies upon yet never fully appreciates? …




“It was an extremely difficult decision to make to select just one entry from our shortlist. However, we were hugely impressed, moved and entertained by our winning entry, Grant Holden’s Cleaning In Progress. Grant’s animation took us back to basics, asking; when we scrape everything back, what’s important and who’s making it happen? Beautifully delivered, this gentle and poignant work opens space to talk about the relationship between workers and society. The animation is enjoyable, charming, and gripping. The accompanying statement offers a comprehensive and concise description of the ideas underlying Grant’s work. The production is outstanding, both in terms of the insight it offers and the technical execution. The entry, joining the thousands displayed on The John Byrne Award website, creates many opportunities for conversation, debate and exploration about issues that have rarely been more relevant in our society, than today.”- The John Byrne Award May Judging Panel