Aspiring artists selected for national touring exhibition

Date published: 14 February 2022

Touchstones Rochdale will host The Football Art Prize exhibition, which has been launched to coincide with the 2022 FIFA World Cup to celebrate art and football, with generous support from Arts Council England.

UK and international artists were invited to submit their entries and have them reviewed by a prestigious selection panel of prominent faces from the world of both art and football.

Among the judges were former England player turned pundit, David James, art critic Sacha Craddock, Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger and curators Jo Cunningham, Kirstie Hamilton and Mark Doyle, and former chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association Gordon Taylor OBE.

The Football Art Prize intends to show how football can reflect the entirety of the human experience through art. Entries have included visual tales of glory and defeat, alongside deeply personal pieces and scenes of wintery night matches and foggy football fields.

Along with international entries from countries around the world, several entries from Greater Manchester made the shortlist and are in with the chance of winning up to £5,000 in prizes.

Caitlin Hardman, based in Worsley, is one such shortlisted artist for her work “A Game of Two Halves”, a stunning photograph of Cambridge Queer FC. The piece explores the politicism and classist issues around the North/South divide, with the North identified in red kits, and the South in blue. Each shirt of the two five-a-side kits is uniquely designed from manipulated images of Northern and Southern stereotypes to satirise these.

Another Manchester local to make the shortlist is Lynn Setterington who hails from Levenshulme. Her entry, “FC Utd” is made up of sewn together autographs of players from the team sheet at a random FC United game on a Saturday afternoon in 2012. 

Notable entries depicting Manchester football include two photographs by Hull-based artist, Derek Taylor. His works include “Rainy Night in Rochdale” depicting home fans leaving the stadium following the Rochdale vs. Bolton Wanderers match at the Crown Oil Arena in Rochdale in January 2020 and “Long Walk Home” showing away fans leaving the stadium following the Salford City vs. Oldham Athletic Match.

Manchester football stars have also been included in entries, such as “Simply Marcus”, a portrait of Manchester-born premier league star, Marcus Rashford and a series of photos celebrating Manchester City midfielder, Raheem Sterling. An “Ode to Sterling” highlights the footballer’s career in the England squad.

Mark Doyle, Head of Culture at Touchstones and judge for the Football Art Prize, said of the shortlisting: “We’re delighted to have some Greater Manchester artists’ work in the shortlist, and to show some of Manchester’s football culture through other entries.

“We’re proud of this exhibition and it’s been a fantastic way of bringing together two unlikely companions; football and art.”

The exhibition will open at Touchstones Rochdale with a private view and prize giving on Friday 11 March 2022. It will be open to the public and free to visit from Saturday 12 March to 26 June 2022.

The show will then tour the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, from July 2022, and to Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens from November 2022.

The shortlisted works will also feature in an online gallery.

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online