The 2021 Cordis Prize for Tapestry

Rewarding ambition in contemporary weaving

23 October – 12 December 2021

Inverleith House Gallery,

The Royal Botanic Gardens,


Submission deadline 23 August 2021

Image credit Anna Ray

The Cordis Prize, the world’s largest award for tapestry, is set to return for it’s fifth round in 2021. The £8000 prize is the biggest award from woven tapestry in the world and aims to encourage and reward ambition and scale in the field of contemporary weaving. From 1October 2020 we will be accepting entries via an online open submission, full details can be found below. The Deadline for entries is 23 August 2021.

The aim of the prize is to reward ambitious, innovative and skilled use of tapestry weaving techniques. We hope that the prize will attract international entries from established artists working in the field of contemporary tapestry. We are looking for works that are essentially woven – they should reference traditional Gobelin techniques, but need not be wholly constructed using this method. Works need not necessarily be two dimensional or wall hung, we hope to encourage ambitious and non-conventional applications of tapestry weaving.

We are delighted to be returning to the majestic Inverleith House Gallery in the heart of Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. The shortlisted tapestries from the open submission will be exhibited from 23 October – 12 December 2021, and the winner of the £8000 prize selected from the works on show.

Submission Guidelines

  • The prize is open to established visual artists from the UK and abroad
  • Entries should be recent and should have been completed no earlier than 2018. Retrospective works are not eligible
  • There are no restrictions on material or technique but entries should reference traditional tapestry weaving and the Gobelin method. Jacquard weaving and embroidery are not eligible media
  • Shortlisted works must be available for delivery in the week beginning 11 October, for the exhibition running from 23 October – 12 December 2021
  • We are looking for large scale tapestries and as a general guide works should be no less than 120 X 120cm. Works that are shorter than 120cm on one side may still be considered if the overall scale is ambitious, for example works in three dimensions or very long narrow works. If in doubt please contact for clarification
  • The maximum height is 3m, and the maximum width is 5.5m
  • Please take a moment to view the floor plans with full details of the gallery dimensions
Entry Process
  • Artists may submit up to 3 works
  • There is a one off entry fee has been waived for 2021
  • All entries must be submitted via the online entry system. Entries by email or post will not be considered, late entries will not be considered
  • You will be required to submit the following details via the online entry system; title, materials used, dimensions (please note size restrictions above), warps per inch, description of the method, price (if for sale), a brief artists statement pertaining to the artwork, a short biography and CV, any specialist hanging or installation requirements
  • You can save your application at any point and return to it later to continue editing
Image Guidelines
  • You can submit up to four images per artwork.
  • Submitted images must include at least one image of the work in its entirety, one detail, and one close up to demonstrate the quality of weaving
  • Submitted images must show the actual work you intend to exhibit, and the work must be finished. If possible an image of the piece in context would also be helpful to give an idea of scale
  • Please include your name and the title of your artwork in the file name, eg, BeccaPollard_WovenStructure.jpg
  • Images should be jpeg format at 72dpi; ideally one side should measure a minimum of 1000px
  • Shortlisted applicants will be required to provide a high quality 300dpi image of the selected work for publication and publicity use
  • The Trust has a small budget of up to £100 per artist (on submission of receipts) to assist with transportation costs. The artist will be responsible for the any further cost of transporting the work to and from the gallery and for insurance during transit, and any customs duties or taxes incurred
  • The Cordis Trust and Inverleith House Gallery will insure the tapestries from the point of receipt until the point of collection. The artist should arrange in-transit insurance for their own work
  • Shortlisted artists should arrange for their works to be delivered by carrier or in person between Mon 11 and Weds 13 October 2021
  • Shortlisted artists are responsible for arranging the uplift of the works at the end of the exhibition on the advised date
  • Artists are responsible for any customs duties incurred and are urged to seek advice on appropriate paperwork and labelling before sending their work
Conditions of Exhibition
  • If the work is for sale all sales are subject to 40% commission, please supply the full sale price of which you will receive 60%
  • The curators at Inverleith House and the Cordis Prize judges reserve the right not to exhibit any artwork which upon receipt is not deemed to meet the expected standards of making or presentation, or that has been mis-represented in the submission process, knowingly or otherwise
  • The Botanic Gardens have a strict bio-security policy, and artists are asked to take the sensitive environment of the gardens into consideration. Any works that are deemed to pose a risk to the gardens and their ecology will not be accepted
  • All works must be treated against moths prior to sending. Any works displaying evidence of a live or past infestation will be removed from the exhibition and returned immediately to the artist at their own expense

The following details are correct as of 11 February 2021. Please sign up to our mailing list to receive future updates.

  • Open for entries 1 October 2020
  • Deadline for submissions 23 August 2021
  • Selection notifications by 14 September 2021
  • Delivery 11 – 13 October 2021
  • Open to the public 23 October – 12 December 2021
  • Collection by courier 17-18 December 2021
Floor Plans

The 2019 Winner


The winner of the 2019 Cordis Prize for Tapestry was Brita Been, for her monumental Telemark inspired tapestry, Vine.

Vine is a joyous statement about heritage and the textile traditions of Norway. It is also a beautiful tapestry.  Simple, bold and bright, it is from a pattern traditionally used to decorate a white linen shirt from Brita’s home county of Telemark. 

This is one of this recent series which Brita says is, “a tribute to women’s creative work, their time, their patience and the sheer abundance of these embroideries represented in textile folk art”.