Sulaïman Majali Announced as Recipient of the 2022 Margaret Tait Award

Part of Margaret Tait Commission

Portrait of Sulaïman Majali by Erika Steveson 2022

We are delighted to announce artist Sulaïman Majali as the thirteenth recipient of the £15,000 Margaret Tait Award, Scotland’s most prestigious moving image prize for artists. Sulaïman will use material gathered from Andalucia, Vienna and Istanbul alongside new research in various sites across Jordan, Scotland and England. The new moving image work takes the gravity of object, image and space into fugitive geographies of the crease and the fold as poetic and conceptual strategies. The project considers scheherazade, moses, the magician, the jester, the fool as languages and devices in order to speak and think about surviving empire.

Sekai Machache, Rae-Yen Song, and Natasha Thembiso Ruwona were shortlisted alongside Sulaïman Majali from a pool of eligible artists who were nominated through an open call process.

Sulaïman Majali said:

It was a pleasure to have been nominated alongside Sekai Machache, Rae-Yen Song and Natasha Thembiso Ruwona. Being the recipient of the Margaret Tait Award will allow me to continue practice and research and to pursue the development of a new experimental non-narrative moving-image work that explores the ways in which site, research and production are entangled processes. The award will enable me to bring into fruition ideas and techniques that I have been developing for some time now. The project will include visiting various sites, vistas, objects and archives. I am looking forward to the journey ahead, both with regards to this project, it’s afterlives and what it will offer in developing the thinking.”

Established in 2010, the Margaret Tait Award is a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, with support from Screen Scotland. Inspired by the pioneering Orcadian filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait (1918 – 99), the award recognises experimental and innovative artists working with the moving image, offering a unique avenue of commissioning and production support and providing a high-profile platform to exhibit newly commissioned work. Each year, the award is presented to an artist based in Scotland who has established a significant body of work over the past 5 – 10 years; is recognised by peers for their contribution to the artists’ moving image sector; and can demonstrate the significant impact that the award will have on the development of their practice.

Nominations are by a panel of artists and professionals from across the fields of the visual arts and cinema. The selection panel for the 2022 Margaret Tait Award comprised Jamie Crewe, Glasgow based artist and Margaret Tait Award 2019 recipient; Kirsten Body, Inverness based curator and producer; Georgina Jackson, Director of The Douglas Hyde Gallery of Contemporary Art, Dublin; Rabz Lansiquot, London based artist and programmer, part of curatorial collaboration Languid Hands; Kitty Anderson, Director of LUX Scotland; and Anne Petrie, Visual Arts Officer, Creative Scotland.

Previous Margaret Tait Award recipients include Andrew Black; Emilia Beatriz; Jamie Crewe; Alberta Whittle; Sarah Forrest; Duncan Marquiss; Charlotte Prodger; Rachel Maclean; Stephen Sutcliffe; Anne-Marie Copestake; and Torsten Lauschmann.

Andrew Black and Emilia Beatriz’s Margaret Tait Award commissions will premiere at Glasgow Film Theatre in 2022, before touring to venues across the UK and being presented at LUX’s exhibition space in London. Sulaïman Majali’s new commission will premiere at Glasgow Film Festival 2023, before touring venues across the UK and being presented at LUX’s exhibition space in London.

Jamie Crewe, Glasgow based artist and Margaret Tait Award 2019 recipient said:

It was a privilege to see and discuss the work of the artists nominated for the 2022/​23 Margaret Tait Award.

This is doubly true for the shortlisted artists, who presented four thoughtful and ambitious proposals. We were excited by Natasha Thembiso Ruwona’s explorations of the video essay form and their attentive approach to research, by Sekai Machache’s blending of moving image and live elements, grounded in curiosity and collaboration, and by Rae-Yen Song’s poignant, embodied considerations of language and relationship.

We selected Sulaïman Majali as the recipient of the award, moved by a proposal and a presentation that reflected a rigorous practice. This practice — poetic, imagistic, incisive — stems from experiences of revelation and irruption, and Sulaïman’s proposal carefully thought about how such encounters could be courted and condensed into a moving image form. We were deeply impressed by Sulaïman’s dedicated criticality, by the vividness of their imagery, by the sharpness of their thinking, by the consistency of their practice, and by their understanding of the opportunities of this commission. We are thrilled to provide Sulaïman with the time, resources, and support that the Margaret Tait Award enables.”

Kitty Anderson, Director of LUX Scotland said:

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to oversee the selection of the 13th Margaret Tait Award and the new Margaret Tait Residency, in collaboration with the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney. We received a fantastic range of nominations for the award, and a huge number of applications for the residency, clearly demonstrating the demand for opportunities such as these. We were delighted to see the breadth of practice from across Scotland, and my thanks go to all the applicants and nominated artists (and nominees) for taking the time to submit their work for consideration. I also want to thank Creative Scotland for supporting both the award and the residency, and for their input into both the development of the opportunity and the selection of both artists.

The standard of both shortlists was incredibly high and I’m grateful to all the artists for such thoughtful and considered proposals. My thanks also go to this year’s selection panels for their time and rigorous discussion – it’s wonderful to have an in-depth debate about artistic practice, and even more rewarding when it leads to opportunities such as these. We look forward to working closely with Sulaïman and Matthew over the coming months.”

Katharine Simpson, Audience Development Officer at Screen Scotland said:

Congratulations to this year’s Margaret Tait Award recipient, Sulaïman Majali. This award is a unique opportunity for the selected artist, and for audiences in Scotland, supporting both the development and exhibition of ambitious artists moving image work. We are particularly happy to see LUX Scotland’s interest in bringing this work to a variety of audiences, through the established partnership with Glasgow Film Festival and their plans to tour the final commission. We very much look forward to seeing Sulaïman Majali’s new work in 2023.”

Sulaïman Majali

Sulaïman Majali (b. 1991/​1771/​1412/​2941/​1492) is an artist poet who brings into play rupturing, grieving and dreaming as methodologies of collapse. Considering art as an already thinking and speaking thing, the artists agitate/​incite/​perform towards poetic and conceptual strategies. At issue in the play is the liberatory or otherwise.

Exhibitions and events include; false dawn, a solo exhibition at Studio Pavillion for Glasgow International Biennial 2021. IMG_​5917, produced with Camara Taylor, commissioned by Artists’ Moving Image Festival, GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW: PART 6, LUX Scotland, online (2021). assembly of the dispersed, part of The Internet of Things, Darat al-Funun, Amman, Jordan/​online (2020). strange winds, a sound commission for The Common Guild’s In The Open (2020). a dream for scheherazade, EVERYTHING HAPPENED SO MUCH, 66th International Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (2020). saracen go home, a solo exhibition at Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2019). something vague and irrational, Celine Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland (2019). Mene Mene Tekel Parsin, Wysing Arts Centre (2017). Towards an archive, 8th Cairo Video Festival (2017).


Part of Margaret Tait Commission

The Margaret Tait Commission is a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, backed by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

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