We attended the John Byrne Awards, University of Edinburgh.

John Byrne Awards 2017

John Byrne Awards 2017

Last night we attended the John Byrne Awards at the Playfair Library, University of Edinburgh. The John Byrne Awards are quite unusual in that it is focused around values and how young people can express their personal and/or group values through their creative artwork.

“Our purpose is to facilitate the consideration of and debate about values. Our vision is a world in which the explicit consideration of personal and group values is widely practised as an integral part of the informed decision making process. It is the belief of The Iris Initiative that by understanding, articulating, and acting with reference to their values, both individuals and groups will act more consistently, and subsequently, they will be more likely to achieve their goals.”

It’s great to see so many entries of such a range of works. Each entry had a brief, 200 word text that related the values that were being explored in the works. A digital representation of each entry was on show – it would have been nice to have seen more of the actual pieces. However I do understand the implications and practicalities of this.

This kind of opportunity is a great spring board for students going on to study creative arts at a higher level (art college or University). It encourages a deeper reflection and involvement in both the process of making and engagement in their subject.

Huge congratulations to everyone who took part, the award winners and to all those involved in such a great event.

John Byrne Awards 2017

John Byrne Awards 2017 values

Sadly the John Byrne Awards no longer exist – (updated in 2024)

“Entries can be any piece of creative work that means something to you: art, music, video, essays, photography – your imagination is your limit. You can even submit school work.

Pick a value or set of values from the values circumplex above to inspire/ describe your entry. The values you choose are completely up to you. Write 200 words or record a 2-minute video or sound file describing which values your entry expresses and why. The most successful entries will have descriptions that focus on the values behind them rather than the techniques used to create them.

To submit your entry, send us a message on Facebook or send an email to Share@JohnByrneAward.org.uk with your:

1. Name
2. E-mail address
3. Age
4. Hometown
5. High school/college/university (if attending)
6. 200 word/ 2-minute audio description and title for your entry
7. Entry files (If your entry file[s] are larger than 25MB, please use WeTransfer.com).

Each month, the best entry wins £100. All entries from the year are submitted to the annual John Byrne Award competition where the best entry wins £1000 and three runners-up win £500. All entries are eligible for all prizes and all entries will be considered for posting on the John Byrne Award social media pages.

The John Byrne Award is designed, managed and delivered by The Iris Initiative, a Scottish Charity. The Iris Initiative is run by Niall and Liam from our office in Edinburgh and is regulated by our board of trustees. The Iris Initiative does not promote any one particular value over another and receives support and core funding from Cairn Energy.”

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