'Diversity': Christ's College Art Prize 2020

It is a great pleasure to announce the winners of the 2020 art competition. The subject this year was ‘Diversity’, giving everyone in College an opportunity to reflect upon the remarkable richness of our community, past and present. The range of works submitted was impressive, and we look forward to the contest for 2021, with the new theme of ‘Touch’.

HuitsThe winner of the first prize for 2020 is Lieske Huits, who is doctoral student in art history, and president of the MCR. Her entry, a collage compiled from promotional brochures and exhibitions about diversity, is entitled Just what is it that makes today’s colleges so diverse, so appealing. Recalling Richard Hamilton’s seminal Pop Art work of the 1950s, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so comfortable, so appealing, this challenging image forces us to confront questions of image, publicity, buzzwords and reality in achieving diversity. Lieske explains her aims as follows:

As much as this work is a hopeful imagining of the ideal diverse college of the future, it is also a comment on this apparent gap between the University’s projected commitment to diversity and equality and the less-then-ideal present. It looks not quite right, messy, cut-and-pasting things together that don’t necessarily “belong”. Collaging, like working on diversity, is about working through discomfort to move towards harmony, creating a new context for that which is out of place to make it feel in place.



RiggThe joint runners up are Francesca Rigg, and Sergio Ballarin and the gardening team. Both entries deal with diversity of a different kind, in the wonderful gardens at Christ’s. Francesca Rigg—who has now completed her final year in Geography—focusses on the ‘meditative and tactical process of drawing’ in a closely observed line sketch of the flora and fauna of Christ’s gardens. As Francesca notes, ‘I was greeted by a rich plant life and a reminder of how lucky I am to be able to enjoy that every day. I am so grateful for the Christ’s gardeners and the biodiversity haven they have created in the heart of Cambridge.’




BallarinAppropriately, the other winners were Sergio Ballarin and the gardening team, for their vibrant entry entitled ‘The Gardeners’ Variegated Vision’. This is a collaborative work assembled from four sections, ‘where each member of the team has represented freely their vision of “Diversity” at Christ’s College.’

Thanks to everyone who contributed, to the judges and to Martin Johnson for the generous donation that makes this annual prize possible.


Professor Jim Secord

Acting Chair, Visual Arts Committee