Welcome to the John Bunting Foundation

The John Bunting Foundation is a charitable organisation that has been established to promote art in the community. The Foundation runs an annual art awards programme to promote expression and meaning in contemporary art: for many people what passes under the label of 'modern art' can be difficult to comprehend or too often fails to resonate with our lives. The Foundation provides financial support and recognition for artists making the kind of vocational commitment to art that is invariably involved in such expressive work, the kind of commitment that sculptor John Bunting himself made throughout his long career, as recounted in Jonathan Black's book 'Spirit of Faith - the Sculpture of John Bunting'. 


John Bunting believed that art throughout history had always been an expression of faith, often religious but more than religious too as a faithfulness to purpose, in mankind’s enduring search for some kind of meaning in life. Through the Foundation's annual awards programme, we aim to redress the balance with abstract and concept art which is so well represented and has become so ubiquitous in the world around us. It strives to do this by encouraging this faithfulness to purpose in artists at a time when, in many spheres of life, expression of meaning or values has been so subordinated to the notion of accessibility that its voice can hardly be heard. 


Each year the Foundation invites artists to submit work they have done or ideas for work they are developing to be sited in community spaces and which are accessible to the public. A shortlist of entries is selected from a number of different categories of community space, and awards of financial grants and educational or travel bursaries are made by way of support and recognition. 


Art which can get through to people and connect with their lives can make meaningful contributions to our neighbourhoods, whether through quality of life, as focal points for community identity, as inspiration for social action, celebration or regeneration. And yet however meaningful these contributions may be, they are difficult to measure, especially in financial or commercial terms. The Foundation endeavours to support artists with such projects, to help make them happen and provide recognition for them when they become reality. 


The Foundation was established in memory of John Bunting, sculptor in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, from his schooldays in 1940 until his death in 2002. John's lifelong commitment to his work and its message for the wider community provides the inspiration for the work of the Foundation. 


Please take part in the Foundation's Annual Awards programme. Though we are a young and only modestly funded organisation, we may be in a position to help you give voice to your work in the community.



Registered with The Charities Commission number 1144293