The Neville Burston Prize is a prestigious award made annually to Upper Sixth artist who has produced outstanding work in his final year at Harrow. Neville Burston OH (Moretons 1942) also bequeathed fine art painting prizes to Goldsmith’s College and the Royal College of Art.
The winner of this year’s Burston Prize was Max for his painting Voices of the Sublime. Max wrote of Voices of the Sublime:
We laugh like soft mad children,
smug in the woolly cotton brains of infancy.
The music and voices are all around us. – Jim Morrison (Ghost Song)
‘The human ego fears the infinity of the natural world, constructing a delusory reality in which man is separated from all else, glorified to a status of superiority – contempt in numbness. From here, synergy ceases to exist, the mystic is out of reach. As humans succeed in controlling the natural world, they simplify its boundless deity. And so, the search for the sublime continues.’
This year’s Burston Prize adjudicator was Dr Samson Kambalu, Associate Professor of Fine Art and Director of Research at the Ruskin School of Art and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. Dr Kambalu works in a variety of media including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. His work has featured in major exhibitions and projects worldwide, and his winning commission Antelope, featuring the pan-Africanist Baptist preacher John Chilembwe, will display on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth in 2022–24.
Dr Kambalu praised for Max’s work for its high level of skill, composition and use of colour.