The Jhalak Art Residency

We are delighted to announce two Jhalak Artists in Residence for 2021 under our expanded residency.

Both 2021 residents are women artists of colour: London artist and designer Amber Khokhar who will create the trophy for the fifth Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour and artist and illustrator Ruthine Burton, who will create the inaugural trophy for the new Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize.

The works created by the Jhalak art residents will be revealed at an awards ceremony to announce the winners on 25 May 2021 held in partnership with the British Library.


Book of the Year Trophy

Amber Khokhar is a London artist and designer who has worked as an artist for the last thirty five years and taught art for the last twenty. Her art addresses contemporary themes and issues using traditional motifs and traverses a range of media and styles, marking her as a quintessential London artist who came of age with Punk Rock while immersing herself in the teachings of Sufism. 

Amber began her education in the arts at St. Martins School of Art and continued it at the Academy of Fine Arts (Warsaw, Poland), Harvard University (Cambridge, USA), and the Prince’s School of Traditional Art (London, UK). She has exhibited widely across the world, including at Clarence House (London, UK), Queens Museum (New York, USA), Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, USA), the Islamic Arts Museum (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Ayala Museum (Manila, Phillipines), Shared Space Gallery (Bristol, UK), and the William Morris Gallery (London, UK). 

She has executed a formidable array of commissions including the design for a 40 metres by 6 metre carpet for Buckingham Palace and stained glass library ceilings at Dumfries House (Scotland); interior designs and features of bespoke Rolls Royce Phantom Standard and Phantom Coupe; and leather designs for Bill Amberg UK and Moore and Giles USA. 

Her design projects include Amnesty International; Joi and Pink Floyd record cover; logo for the Young Designers Centre, Design Centre (London, UK); and three posters for the Act Up mark International Aids Day.

She currently works from her studio in Creekside, Deptford and accepts private commissions. 


Children’s & Young Adult prize

Ruthine Burton is an artist and illustrator living in London. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Art from Aberystwyth University and is currently a mentee on the Pathways into Children’s Publishing programme (2021). 

Art, illustration and creativity have always been Ruthine’s first love. She drew portraits at craft markets before entering the computer games industry as an animator and artist. 


Her illustration practise is based on her love of real paper, paint and pastels with a touch of digital thrown in. She likes to work in two distinct ways: colour pencil on paper followed by some digital postproduction or drawing digitally then colouring and texturing using multiple media such as photographs, digitised fabrics and textures. She loves drawing characters and creating fun compositions. She also loves stories and has been developing some for picture books. 

About the Jhalak Art Residency

The Jhalak Art Residency was born in 2018 when the best-selling novelist Dorothy Koomson to sponsor a unique work of art by an artist of colour to serve as a trophy for the Jhalak Prize. 2021 sees the expansion of the residency to a children’s book illustrator who will create a trophy for the new Children’s & Young Adult prize. 

Since 2019, private donors have sponsored the Jhalak Art Residency, an annual art commission granted to a UK based artist of colour. Each year, a selected artist creates a unique work that addresses the ethos, principles and goals of the Jhalak Prize and serves as the trophy for the year. 

The aim of the residency, as with the Jhalak Prize, is to shine a light on artists of colour in contemporary Britain, to recognise their creative output, and celebrate their works. 

The first trophy, awarded in 2018, was designed by the ceramic artist Chris Bramble who drew on the decolonising ethos of the prize and created a powerful defiant figure who “stands on our books the colonisers burnt and holds up the stories we continue to create.”

The 2019 trophy was created by artist, activist and writer, Tashmia Owen, who worked in resin to create a piece she titled ‘The Library.’ Battling a life-threatening illness, Owen worked on the sculpture in her kitchen, creating a piece that embodies the creativity, talent, passion and struggle required for creation. 

The Jhalak Prize winner also receives a trophy, especially created this year for the Jhalak Prize by the artist Neda Koochakian Fard. As recipient of the 2020 Jhalak Art Residency, she has created a unique sculpture titled ‘Rebirth’ for the winner of the 2020 prize. 

The pandemic presented some unique challenges for the 2020 artist in residence including difficulties in accessing art materials, studio space and clay casting services and Koochakian Fard chose to title her sculpture, made with air drying clay with gold leaf and paint, Rebirth."

The annual Jhalak Art Residency will continue to reach out to artists of colour in Britain to commission unique works in a range of styles and media.

We invite interested artists and potential sponsors to contact us.



Neda Koochakian Fard is a Tehran born, London based conceptual artist. She studied fine arts at the Tehran University and has exhibited widely in Iran and the UK, including the Hampstead School of Arts, Central St. Giles, and the Royal Academy of Art.  She was a featured artist for the Hampstead School’s annual public art exhibition of artistic interpretations of the egg for Easter 2019. 

Upon arriving in London in 2014, Neda was part of an Islington based art and writing class run by writer Sita Brahmachari and author and illustrator Jane Ray who recommended her to the Hampstead School of Art. She continues to be affiliated to the school. 

Neda is currently focused on how technology impacts humanity,  the climate crisis and the impending anthropocene extinction.

Chris Bramble-trophy 2018.jpg


Chris Bramble studied Art and Design at Glasgow School of Art and spent ten years working in the city.  In 1985 he took two years out to go and work in Zimbabwe as the Exhibitions Officer at the National Gallery in Harare. On moving to London in 1989 he set up a studio at Kingsgate Workshops in Kilburn.

Chris creates hand-crafted pots and ceramic sculptures that bring together his interest in the European sculptural tradition and the love of African craftsmanship, shape and form. Sculpted faces and torsos emerge from the wheel-thrown vessels and shapes. Each of his pieces is a meditation, and a spiritual and emotional activity that is shared with everyone. 

Chris runs workshops in schools across London, teaches in colleges and has regular classes at his workshop. 

2019 trophy.jpg


Tashmia Owen is a visual artist, writer, activist and scriptwriter. Owen studied at Central St. Martins and works in various mediums to explore life as a woman of colour in contemporary Britain. She writes on a host of issues and her work has appeared at, Women’s Republic, Media Diversified, gal-dem and more. She can be found at but is more often on twitter: @dancinginshado

Contact us
Join the Mailing List

© 2021 Jhalak Prize. 

Created by Digital-help