Annual Winners 2020-21


Thank you so much to all of the courageous entrants to The John Byrne Award, this competition year! ⁠We received over 1200 original artworks since last February, and – after many weeks of deliberation – are delighted to announce the winners of our grand prize of £7,500 and two runner-up prizes, of £500 each.

The winners were chosen by our panel of expert judges; Clare English, veteran BBC broadcaster and events host; Alex Renton, writer and journalist; and architect at 7N Architects, Andrew Piggot. 

Announcing the winner of The John Byrne Award 2020-21 annual grand prize of £7,500…


‘Is Our Past Set in Stone?’ By Tom Fairley


We are delighted to announce Tom Fairley’s ‘Is Our Past Set in Stone?’ as the winner of our annual grand prize of £7,500!

Our judges loved Tom’s work and felt it epitomised what The John Byrne Award is all about; to encourage thought and dialogue about the values that impact collective consciousness in Scotland, through the creative arts.

Designed to mimic the style of Georgian architectural engravings, Tom’s entry impressed the judging panel both for the technical prowess of its presentation, and for the thought-provoking and unconventional perspective it offers on an increasingly polarised topic. The judging panel included award-winning journalist Alex Renton, veteran BBC broadcaster and events host, Clare English, and architect at 7N Architects, Andrew Piggot, who unanimously selected the entry from a shortlist of ten other, highly competitive entries.

Member of the judging panel, Clare English, said, “I love the idea that, in the midst of what has become such a binary debate, this project literally gives us another perspective on the question of what to do with these statues. I think Tom’s entry makes a very brave, strong statement on a hugely contemporary issue

Highly Commended Entries 2020-21


‘Do We Need to Experience Inequality to Act on It?’ By Annaliese Broughton


Winning £500 for her powerful spoken word and British Sign Language interpreted film, is Annaliese Broughton, for ‘Do We Need to Experience Inequality to Act on It?’.

Our judges found Annaliese’s film and entry statement to be incredibly powerful and thought-provoking, and only wished they could have seen the poem performed live!

Journalist and member of the judging panel, Alex Renton said, “Watching the film, I felt I was in the presence of a poet, a performer, a really interesting young writer, bursting with ideas – it was thrilling to watch”.

‘Who Would Clean a Car Park?’ By Grant Holden


Also awarded £500 for his charming yet thought-provoking ‘clay-mation’ short film, is Grant Holden. His entry, ‘Who Would Clean a Car Park?’ was a quarterly winner in May 2020, and once again impressed the judges, to sail into the top 3 entries of the year.

All three members of the judging panel were found Grant’s animation charming, while considering his entry statement to be an extremely grounded and accessible gateway to some very important, contemporary topics.

Member of the judging panel and architect at at 7N Architects, Andrew Piggot said, “The film is amusing and moving in almost equal measure. Extremely intelligent, it touched my heart.

Plus, check out the full John Byrne Award 2020-21 annual shortlist, below!