LONDON - Iranian born Afruz Amighi has won the new Jameel Prize for her art titled "1001 Pages," with Sevan Bıçakcı, a Turkish artist of Armenian origin, named as one of nine finalists.
Hundreds of artists were competing for the Jameel Prize awarded Tuesday. The prize, named after the late Saudi businessman Abdul Latif Jameel, is a new international art award that was launched by the Victoria & Albert Museum, or V&A, in London.
The award aims to raise awareness of the thriving interaction between contemporary practices and the rich artistic heritage of Islam, and to contribute to a broader debate about Islamic culture, in order to provide an exchange between contemporary art and Islamic culture. The prize, which will be awarded every two years, was presented at a ceremony Tuesday at the museum.
The ceremony was attended by artists from various countries. Mark Jones, director of the V&A, presented Afruz Amighi with her prize, worth 25,000 pounds.
Bıçakçı, who is known as the "Lord of the Rings" for his jewelry designs, was listed as a candidate for the Jameel Prize by the British Council in Istanbul in August. He was the only non-Muslim member among the finalists. Bıçakçı said he received a special invitation from the museum and became one of nine finalists among 100 candidates.
"Sculptors and graphic designers reflecting the art of Islam in the best way were among the finalists. They chose me in the field of jewelry. This process started a few months ago. I chose the five most special rings that I have never thought of selling for the competition. The rings will be exhibited in Jameel Gallery for two to three months and later on they will be on display for one year in various museums in the Middle East, such as in northern Jerusalem, Jordan and Egypt," Bıçakcı said.
Bıçakçı, who is one of the few well-known names in Turkey in jewelry design, is known around the world. He won the American Jewelry Design "Couture Design Award," which is regarded as the design Oscar, for three successive years.