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Queen Sonja Print Award 2020

The Irish-Canadian artist Ciara Phillips is the recipient of the Queen Sonja Print Award 2020. Her Majesty The Queen presented the award at the Royal Palace in Oslo today.


Forty four artists were nominated for the 2020 award by curators, museum directors and fellow artists from all over the world. The nominees reflect the breadth of contemporary printmaking today, ranging from traditional forms to new approaches involving installation, collage and performance.

Queen Sonja granted Ciara Phillips audience at the Royal Palace this afternoon and presented the award during the following luncheon.

Queen Sonja presents the award to Ciara Phillips. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

- I am delighted that the Queen Sonja Print Award 2020 goes to an artist that is so deeply committed to the art of printmaking, Queen Sonja says. - Ciara Phillips’ formal and social experiments within the graphic arts are bold and unconventional, yet striking and aesthetic.

Ms Phillips receives a cash prize of NOK 400,000 and a residency at the Atelje Larsen art studio in Helsingborg, Sweden.

The Queen Sonja Print Award

Statement from the jury

"The jury is unanimously convinced by the fervor of Ciara Phillips’ commitment to the medium of printmaking, the boldness of her formal and social experiments within it, and the maturity and confidence of her artistic outlook and attainment in general. Her belief in collaborative practice, manifest in her ongoing Workshop project, grows from a set of political and aesthetic concerns that she elaborates and elevates through concerted making. "

Ciara Phillips' workshop. Photo: Daniel Boud

"Beyond her graphic and compositional prowess, Phillips is also a keen spatial thinker, adept at expanding beyond the conventional wall and frame. Without sacrificing seriousness, her work is imbued with a sense of wonder and delight in the serendipity and collaborative nature of this creative process.

The jury further believes that Phillips is at an ideal point in her career to both benefit from and bring credit to the prize, giving renewed prominence to the field of printmaking and the Foundation’s role within it.»

Ciara Phillips

Ciara Phillips (b.1976) is an Irish-Canadian artist living and working in Glasgow, Scotland. Phillips has her MA in Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art, Scotland, and her BA in Fine Art, from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.

The artist has exhibited widely in public galleries and museums in the UK and internationally - and in Norway at Kunsthall Stavanger and Bergen Kunsthall.

Ciara Phillips at work. Photo: Courtesy of Ciara Phillips

Her long-term artwork Workshop (2010 - ongoing) was nominated for a Turner Prize in 2014. In 2021 there will be exhibitions in both Sligo, Edinburgh and Limerick.




Winners of the Queen Sonja Print Award:

  • 2022: Yto Barrada
  • 2020: Ciara Phillips, Canada/UK
  • 2018: Emma Nishimura, Canada
  • 2016: Tauba Auerbach, USA
  • 2014: Svend-Allan Sørensen, Danmark
  • 2012: Tiina Kivinen, Finland

Winners of the QSPA Inspirational Award 

  • 2022: Meerke Vekterli
  • 2020: Anna Pajak, Sverige
  • 2017: Julie Ebbing, Norge
  • 2015: Adam Saks, Danmark

Winners of the QSPA Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2022: William Kentridge 
  • 2020: Paula Rego, Portugal
  • 2018: David Hockney, Storbritannia


Queen Sonja presents the Queen Sonja Print Award. Photo: Nina Rangøy / NTB scanpix

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