Director of the Smirnoff Winter Pride UK Arts Awards – Simon Tarrant

 Simon Tarrant
Hello Simon, how has life been since the last Winter Pride UK?
Life has been busy! I went travelling to India at the beginning of the year and spent the summer painting and setting up my new art studio. The past couple of months I have helped launch Winter Pride UK’s gallery partner, Lacey Contemporary in Notting Hill, and promoted the Be Inspired charity auction at the Saatchi Gallery which raised over £230,000 for the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts. I am currently planning the Winter Pride UK Arts Awards Ceremony and Exhibition and am thrilled to have received so many inspirational and original entries.
What made you start the Arts Awards as part of Winter Pride UK?
The Winter Pride UK team and their partner Smirnoff decided to place a cultural event at the heart of Winter Pride UK. Rather than Winter Pride UK just be a party, we thought it was an excellent opportunity to showcase up-and-coming artists and performers through an Arts Awards competition open to all artists regardless of their sexuality.
What has changed with the Arts Awards this year? 
The major change we have made this year is that we have created three Performing Art Awards, which encompass everything from singing, beatboxing and dancing, to poetry, fashion and cabaret. Also within the Visual Arts Awards we have expanded the categories to include flowers, food and body painting. Our theme this year #Artis… is targeted at artists and performers who want to make a difference, we are challenging them to tell us what they think Art Is.
What are you and the judges going to be looking for in this year’s finalists?
The judges will be looking for artists and performers who really express themselves and create pieces that are adventurous, playful and provocative.
You’ve returned to Tobacco Dock again this year. What can we expect from Winter Pride UK 2014?
Beyond the Winter Pride UK Arts Awards, Tobacco Dock will host a HUGE Winter Pride party in the historic warehouse space. Frost Festival will bring together the very best of London’s  LGBT club nights – including the return of legendary London hot spot Club Ghetto – immersive performance and live acts under one Grade 1 listed roof for a winter themed spectacular!
To enter the Winter Pride Arts Awards visit: www.winterprideuk.com
Deadline for entries 31 October 2014
Interview by Alice Botham, Winter Pride UK Arts Co-ordinator

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