Established in 2019, the Mansfield-Ruddock Art Prize acquires one graduate and one undergraduate artwork from the Ruskin School of Art degree show each year for Mansfield College’s contemporary art collection. The Prize is generously support by the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, with our sincere thanks to Sir Paul Ruddock, an alumnus of the College.

The judging panel for this year’s prize comprised of distinguished figures from the art world – architect, Amanda Levete CBE; Matthew Slotover OBE, founder of Frieze Art Fairs and entrepreneur; and Stephanie Straine, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland.

Olubunmi Agusto is an artist, writer, curator and art historian who explores fantastical and allegorical storytelling. Her mixed-media artworks combine painting, drawing and printmaking to depict otherworldly landscapes merged with geometric compositions that draw from West African aesthetics embedded in Agusto’s cultural consciousness. Collectively, her work is informed by a paracosm — a world in her mind with braided terrains that the artist has named ‘Within’. This pocket reality reflects the artist’s interiority and is a site to explore psychology, cultural theory, and the evolution of selfhood through the lens of fantasy. ‘Within’ functions as a repository for all people, objects and theories the artist encounters in her waking life as she creates fantastical retellings of her lived experiences as well as the unseen mechanics of the metaphysical forces around us.

Upon receiving the award, Bunmi said:

“I am so excited to be selected the winner of this year’s Mansfield Ruddock Art Prize. I am a big fan of previous recipients of this award and it is an honour join them in attaining this accolade. My year at Oxford has been very influential for me, so I am also very happy that Mansfield College will be acquiring this work.”

Paige Diedrick-Edwards’ work focusses on bringing dark obsessions and hidden interpersonal interactions into a harsh light for analysis. Her paintings and drawings depict snapshots of catastrophe and violence. Paige unpicks her personal experiences in her work, transforming them into something more tangible, and presents them as plot points for startling connections to be projected onto. Motifs of fire, repeating patterns, and moments of sexual aggression run through her work. Sometimes clinically and intimately detailed, sometimes cropped and obscured to the point of abstraction but all to the effect of intrigue and confrontation.

Paige said:

“Being awarded the Mansfield-Ruddock Art Prize came as an incredibly exciting surprise. It is such an honour to be acknowledged by the judges, especially with such strong work from the entire BFA cohort. The prize will afford me the stability to fully focus on and continue with my work as a new graduate.”

Principal Helen Mountfield KC said:

“I am delighted to congratulate this year’s winners of the Mansfield-Ruddock Art Prize. Bunmi and Paige’s artistic talent and creative vision have truly captivated us. For the fifth year running, Mansfield has been able to acquire exciting contemporary works of art by up-and-coming artists from the Ruskin School, and it is a joy to see the Prize stimulating curiosity and interest from our own students. We’re grateful to the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, our judges, and the Ruskin School of Art for enabling this exciting collaboration to take place.”

Sir Paul Ruddock, supporter of this prize, said:

“My wife and I are pleased to support this Prize at Mansfield College, which serves the dual purpose of providing valuable assistance to artists graduating from the Ruskin School, and enabling the College to build an exciting collection of contemporary art. I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to this year’s winners, Bunmi and Paige, who I know impressed the judges with their talent and originality.”