Beyonce collaborator Es Devlin leads arts honours at New Year

Artist Es Devlin is among the capital’s cultural heavyweights recognised in the New Years Honours.

The designer and artist, whose work includes West End theatre hits and London’s Olympic ceremonies, has been awarded a CBE.

Devlin, who made her name with large scale installations, designed the UK pavilion at the Expo in Dubai in 2020 and her sculptures have been used on stage by acts including Beyonce, U2 and Kanye West.

She said: “This is a huge honour and incredibly humbling. Much of my practice involves mass gatherings – which have been temporarily extinct for much of the past two years. None of my work would be possible without exceptionally resilient teams and collaborators – this honour is very much the result of their ceaseless dedication.”

Other leading figures in the arts recognised by the Honours system include Sadler’s Wells artistic director Alistair Spalding who was given a Knighthood for Services to Dance.

Spalding, who has run the legendary dance venue since 2004 and is currently overseeing the creation of its new building in east London as part of the transformation of Stratford, said: “It is a great honour to have the work of Sadler’s Wells recognised in this way.

“It has presented and invested in more new dance than any other theatre in the world. Dance is now one of the most popular art forms in this country. I believe this award is an indication that our vibrant dance culture goes from strength to strength, and that our ambitious plans for Sadler’s Wells East will inspire and nurture a new generation. Dance is, of course a team effort, and the honour is very much shared with my wonderful team at Sadler’s and our artists and collaborators.”

Also recognised was John Gilhooly who as Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall is responsible for the UK’s largest classical music concert programme and was awarded the CBE.

Aubrey Adams OBE, Chairman of the Wigmore Hall Trust said: “I am delighted that John has been recognised for his contribution to the culture life of this country, particularly his display of leadership, resilience and resourcefulness in bringing music to the nation under tremendously challenging circumstances over the past two years.  The honour is also a testament to his great voluntary work outside his role at Wigmore Hall in helping many charities and organisations.”

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