Launched in 2020, the award is a craft prize for makers in Britain that is overseen by the developer Brookfield Properties. It carries with it a cash prize of £25,500 for the artist and associated gallery, and also supports annual acquisitions for the Crafts Council Collection.
Ray, who is represented by House on Mars Gallery, was selected for her sculptural textile works Capture and Weave, which were produced during and after the first UK lockdown. Both pieces will enter the Crafts Council Primary Collection.
Ray said: “It has been a challenging time with the pandemic, of course, and this boost of recognition and financial support is so welcome. The two pieces acquired by Brookfield Properties as a gift to the Crafts Council Collection were created in my studio during last year’s lockdown and they are my way of bringing some vibrancy and joy to people.
“The fact that Weave and Capture will eventually reside alongside a collection built over 50 years, including luminaries such as Maureen Hodge, Edmund de Waal, Grayson Perry, Kaffe Fassett and Lucie Rie is a true honour.”
Ray's work was selected from a shortlist that also included artists and designers Marcin Rusak, Archana Pathak, Elliot Walker and Chris Day. Collect 21 was hosted online in light of the pandemic.
The first edition of the award was won by ceramicist Matt Smith.