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Dissertation prize winners 2023

Composite image showing portrait photos Meg Erridge, Tatiana Parr and Jo Nash.

Meet this year’s winners of our annual prize for writing on sculpture.

Every year, we present two awards for outstanding BA and MA dissertations focused on contemporary, modern, or historical sculpture, along with a prize of £250 for each recipient.

We encourage research and writing that explores sculpture in its most expansive form. This year, we delved into papers that tackled topics ranging from land art to theoretical architecture, soundscapes to liminal spaces, examinations of sex, gender, performance art, and much more.

In fact, we had so many strong submissions this year that we couldn’t choose just two. So, meet the three winners of our 2023 dissertation prize: Jo Nash (University of Leeds) Meg Erridge (University of Oxford), and Tatiana Parr (University of Manchester).

MA dissertation prize winner

Portrait photo of Jo Nash.

Jo Nash
University of Leeds, MA Fine Art

A Phenomenological Investigation into Arboreal Art

Jo Nash’s essay examines the topic of arboreal art, or ‘the re-purposing of trees either for display within the art gallery or as sites for an artistic intervention.’

Nash has a nuanced approach to a complex subject and develops his argument in a mature manner, exploring sculpture imaginatively through the philosophical methodologies of Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Martin Heidegger.

BA dissertation prize winners

Portrait photo of Meg Erridge, who is sat on the floor of an art studio.

Meg Erridge
Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of Oxford, BA Fine Art

Escaping the Panopticon: One-way Mirrors, (in)Visibility, and State Surveillance

Meg Erridge’s dissertation argues that the panopticon, as a mechanism for the centralisation and disembodiment of power, has been actualised through the surveillance state in which we live today.

Comprised of postcards sent through ‘the elaborate web of bureaucracy’ of the postal system, it is stylistically original, with a strong underlying premise argued convincingly as the narrative develops in unexpected directions. A pleasure to read.

Portrait photo of Tatiana Parr.

Tatiana Parr
University of Manchester, BA History of Art

Harmony and Hostility: A Study of Ancient Ife’s Figural Sculptures c. 1100-1400 CE

Tatiana Parr’s essay considers the insight ancient Ife’s figurative sculptures provide into the complex war-torn society they were made within.

Her work is art historically rigorous and extremely well researched, with a depth of knowledge strikingly impressive at undergraduate level.

Find out more

Want to learn more about about our annual dissertation prize? Find answers to commonly asked questions and information about how to apply for next year’s prize on our website.


Henry Moore Institute Dissertation prize