We are pleased to announce our second annual award and it is for St. Bernard's School in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.


Founded in the early 1960's as a specialist public sector secondary school for the development of creative arts, John Bunting was commissioned in 1965 to produce a large scale sculpture for the centre of the school community. The piece was to represent the founding principles of the school and provide a focal point for its inspiration. Bunting's solution was a larger than life, triumphant depiction of St.Bernard of Clairvaux, the pioneering Twelfth Century Cistercian cleric, in local York stone.


The school is marking the 50th anniversary of the setting of Bunting's St. Bernard with the establishment of their own annual John Bunting Arts Award for their extended community of Clairvaux Learning centres. The John Bunting Foundation is happy to sponsor this award with workshops for parents and children alike to share in arts, creative projects and skills development.


As he worked on this commission, Bunting wrote of his admiration of the words of advice St.Bernard had given to St.Aelred of Rievaulx about the powerful source of 'knowledge' that was the sheer hard labour of work, as detailed in the opening sections of this website and in the book on Bunting's life, 'Spirit of Faith' by Dr Jonathan Black.


The Trustees of the Foundation are delighted that Bunting's sculpture at St. Bernard's continues to provide the school with its founding inspiration and to support the school, rated Outstanding in all areas by the recent Ofsted inspection, in recognising this 50th anniversary year in such a constructive and creative way. We hope to continue our support of this award in the years ahead.



We are pleased to announce our inaugural Foundation Award for the Laurence Sterne Trust at Shandy Hall, Coxwold, North Yorkshire. (November, 2013)


The Trust runs a full and diverse schedule of arts and environmental programmes which attracts participation and creative contributions from all age groups throughout the North East. Under the energetic and inspiring curatorship of Patrick Wildgust and with the support of a committed Trustee Board, the Trust has become a centre for arts and culture in the community which first nurtured John Bunting's own artistic career: the workshop of Robert Thompson, where Bunting first took up a woodcarving hammer and chisel in 1940, is just down the road, and he stayed next to Shandy Hall in the summer of 1948 after demob from National Service during his apprenticeship there before going up to the Royal College of Art. Bunting became a great admirer of Laurence Sterne's brand of humanism and it remained an inspiration to him throughout his life.


The Foundation will support a variety of workshops and exhibitions in the years ahead, spanning the arts and environmental projects planned for the Trust and their partner organisations in York, together with support from other national arts sponsors who will be confirmed in the New Year. We look forward to seeing the further development of the Trust's activities in the community. We are proud to be able to support them and thank all our friends and supporters for their help in making this possible.


Further information about the Trust can be found on their website:




In 1957, Bunting returned to Yorkshire to settle in Oswaldkirk and built his War Memorial Chapel above Coxwold at the original site of Scots Corner on Sutton Bank. The Chapel is open to the public on Summer Bank Holidays in May and August, and is the subject of Bunting's daughter Madeleine's book 'The Plot: Story of an English Acre' (published by Granta Books), including contributions and perspectives on the local history and environment from Patrick Wildgust himself.

Past Awards