Claire Doherty awarded MBE in the New Year honours list

Issue date: 04 January 2016

Claire Doherty

Claire Doherty, founder Director of Situations, and research fellow at UWE Bristol, has been awarded an MBE for services to the arts.

Since 2002, Claire has nurtured and developed Situations from its genesis within UWE Bristol, to becoming one of the country's foremost producers of the arts outside conventional venues. The organisation is dedicated to creating and commissioning compelling and imaginative new forms of public art, guided by a firm belief in the capacity for the arts to change, enhance and inform the way we think about, and interact, with the world around us.

Having been awarded the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Award as an outstanding cultural entrepreneur in 2009, Claire has since led Situations to become an independent arts organisation and charity, spearheading projects in Norway, New Zealand and the UK. From 2015, a testament to her artistic vision and leadership, Situations became an Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation, and delivered one of this year's preeminent public art projects, Theaster Gates' Sanctum for Bristol 2015 European Green Capital which garnered both critical and popular acclaim.

Throughout her leadership of Situations, Claire has continued to champion the under-heard and overlooked, creating opportunities for emerging artists, writers, musicians and producers, seeking out ways in which to engage those for whom the arts might have seemed irrelevant or inaccessible. Perhaps most notably, she spearheaded a national advocacy campaign, as Chair of the European Network for Public Art Producers, to support braver and bolder new forms of public art. Her 'New Rules for Public Art' has already become an international touchstone for commissioners and producers internationally, and as an adviser and mentor to national organisations such as English Heritage, National Trust, and local authorities in South West England, Claire will continue to advocate for the social value of art.

John Kieffer, Chair of the Situations Board of Trustees, said, “This honour is much deserved. I am delighted for Claire. Over the last ten years, she has shown herself to be an original and challenging thinker on public art, putting her ideas into practice and developing Situations as a significant arts organisation in Bristol, the UK and internationally. The good news for Situations, and all of us, is that there is much more to come from this remarkable arts leader.”

Claire Doherty, said, “I am both surprised and touched to receive this honour. It is testament to the commitment, passion and vision of the small team at Situations, our artists, partners and volunteers, and the funders who support us, that our work has been recognised in this way. It's a privilege to work which such extraordinary talent.”

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