“We’re delighted to announce up & coming artist Astrid Butt as the recipient of the 2023 Yorkshire Graduate Award.

Leeds-based Astrid intrigued the Yorkshire Sculpture Park judges with her use of animal-human hybrid characters to explore womanhood and domestication.

She is currently studying for her Master’s degree in Fine Art at University of Leeds University and her work utilises the grotesque and surreal to express female anxieties, with a particular focus on generational trauma and the terrors of the body.

Astrid’s work takes on a feminist perspective, which she uses to discuss sensitive topics, such as motherhood, domestic abuse and sexual assault. She also recently produced a 10-minute short film “Bird Diaries” where the central hybrid woman-bird character laments over her relationships with men, women and her own body. The surreal film taps into the Lynchian horror genre, complete with disturbing archive footage and eerie voice-over narration.

The Yorkshire Graduate Award is an annual award that offers a unique residency opportunity for a Yorkshire-based graduate artist to develop and showcase their talent. For over 45 years, residencies have been at the heart of YSP offering opportunities for emerging artists to reflect and move forward with their practice. Set up in 2018, the YGA is specifically aimed at helping to nurture artistic talent across the region.

Astrid will now have a residency for up to two weeks at the Park, access to facilities including metal and wood workshops, time with the YSP technical and curatorial teams, as well as receiving a £750 fee and a further £250 for materials to develop new ideas.”

“We are delighted to offer the Graduate Award to Astrid and are really looking forward to working with her over the coming months. We’re keen to support artists at all stages of their career and acknowledge the particularly challenging transition for new and recent graduates.”

– Louise Lohr, YSP Deputy Curator.

“This award means everything to me, to have something I’ve created be recognised and appreciated. It’s extremely validating and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to create more work in such a gorgeous environment.”

– Astrid Butt

Astrid is inspired by the works of Cecelia Condit and Marianna Simnett, both film and performance artists who work with themes of womanhood and the body. Books by Ottessa Moshfegh have also been a huge inspiration, best known for her grotesque and unlikable female characters. Butt was also the recipient of the FUAM* Graduate Prize in 2022.