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Neda Koochakain Fard to create unique trophy for Jhalak Prize 2020

By HSoA Team

The Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour is delighted to announce Neda Koochakian Fard as the recipient of the 2020 Jhalak Art Residency.

The London-based, Iranian conceptual artist will create a unique work of art for the winner of the 2020 prize.

This unique work of art shall be unveiled and presented to the winner along with a £1,000 prize cheque at a reception on 26 May 2020.

The first Jhalak Prize trophy was created by ceramic artist Chris Bramble and awarded to Reni Eddo-Lodge in 2018.

In 2019, activist, writer and artist Tashmia Owen created ‘The Library’ as the winner’s trophy which was awarded to Guy Gunaratne.

About the Artist for 2020:

Neda Koochakian Fard is a Tehran born, London based conceptual artist. She studied fine arts at the Tehran University and has exhibited in Iran and the UK, including at the Hampstead School of Arts, Central St. Giles, and the Royal Academy of Art. She was a featured artist for the Hampstead School’s annual public art exhibition of artisticinterpretations of the egg for Easter 2019.

Upon arriving in London in 2014, Neda was part of an Islington based art and writing class run by writer Sita Brahmachari and author and illustrator Jane Ray who recommended her to the Hampstead School of Art. She continues to study at the school.

Neda is currently focussed on exploring how technology impacts humanity, the climate crisis and the impending anthropocene extinction.

About her new and evolving style, she says: “My head was looking for abstraction but my hand was drawing realism.”

She is now “creating differently, learning a different history of art, about thinking about art and aesthetics differently.”

Isabel Langtry, principal of the Hampstead School of Art said: “Neda Koochakian Fard explores the world in a highly personal way responding to the influence that location and physical surroundings have on her perception and thoughts. By connecting with something larger than the present moment Neda Koochakian Fard demonstrates a commitment to looking beyond the obvious to create powerful connections to memories and places.”

The Jhalak Art Residency:

The Jhalak Art Residency was born in 2018 when the best-selling novelist Dorothy Koomson offered to sponsor a unique work of art by an artist of colour to serve as a trophy for the Jhalak Prize.

Since 2019, private donors have sponsored the Jhalak Art Residency, an annual art commission granted to a UK based artist of colour. Each year, a selected artist creates a unique work that addresses the ethos, principles and goals of the Jhalak Prize and serves as the trophy for the year.

The aim, as with the Jhalak Prize, is to shine a light on artists of colour in contemporary Britain, to recognise their creative output, and celebrate their works.

The first trophy, awarded in 2018, was designed by the ceramic artist Chris Bramble who drew on the decolonising ethos of the prize and created a powerful defiant figure who “stands on our books the colonisers burnt and holds up the stories we continue to create.”

The 2019 trophy was created by artist, activist and writer, Tashmia Owen, who worked in resin to create a piece she titled ‘The Library.’ Battling a life-threatening illness, Owen worked on the sculpture in her kitchen, creating a piece that embodies the creativity, talent, passion and struggle required for creation.

The annual Jhalak Art Residency will continue to reach out to artists of colour in Britain to commission unique works in a range of styles and media.

The 2020 Jhalak Prize:
The judges for the 2020 prize are poet and writer Roy McFarlane, journalist, critic and

author Anita Sethi, novelist and screenwriter Nikesh Shukla, and novelist Kerry Young. The 2020 longlist is:

  1. Golden Child, Claire Adam (Faber)
  2. The Black Flamingo, Dean Atta (Hodder Children’s)
  3. Remembered, Yvonne Battle-Felton (Dialogue)
  4. Surge, Jay Bernard (Chatto & Windus)
  5. Asha and the Spirit Bird, Jasbinder Bilan (Chicken House)
  6. Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams (Trapeze/Orion)
  7. Fleche, Mary Jean Chan (Faber)
  8. The Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats, Maya Goodfellow


  9. This Brutal House, Niven Govinden (Dialogue)
  10. Suncatcher, Romesh Gunesekera (Bloomsbury)
  11. Nudibranch, Irenosen Okojie (Dialogue)
  12. Afropean: Notes From Black Europe, Johny Pitts (Allen Lane)


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