Gallery founded by alumna wins prestigious award

Anna Ray and House on Mars, founded by London Met grad Vanja Bazdulj, have been awarded the Brookfield Properties Crafts Council Collection Award worth £25,5000.

Date: 12 March 2021

The prestigious Brookfield Properties Crafts Council Collection Award has been awarded to Anna Ray and House on Mars, a gallery founded by London Met alumna Vanja Bazdulj.

Ray’s set of colourful sculptures, Capture and Weave were created during and immediately after the first UK Covid-19 lockdown to bring ‘vibrancy and joy to people,’ she says.

Ray explained that the award marks a pivotal moment in her journey with Bazdulj. She said, "We first connected at [art fair] Collect in 2012 and it was an absolute meeting of minds – we decided there and then that we must work together.

"Nine years later, I am thrilled that our resulting collaboration has led to shared success."  

The award – launched at Collect in 2020 – is a career-boosting prize for makers working in Britain and unique for the sector as it supports not only the individual artist, but their gallery and the Crafts Council. Ray and House on Mars Gallery will together receive a total of £25,500 and her works will be acquired for the Crafts Council Collection.

House on Mars gallery is an offbeat, contemporary design gallery, showcasing an avant-garde collection of wearable art, objects, and wall pieces. Established in 2020 by architect, educator, and maker Vanja Bazdulj, the London-based gallery is home to a range of unconventional materials, processes, and ideas, beautifully realised in an array of surprising, three-dimensional forms.

They showcased a harmonious collection of pieces in a dedicated virtual booth at this year’s Collect art fair, which was held online. Titled ‘Beyond Typology’, the gallery’s showcase will consist of an array of materials, formats, and textures, based around the human need for comfort and self-expression. Bazdulj explains: "the showcase is about reimagining and reinventing our environment and our body as more humane and curious places, where we can feel safe and relaxed."

The exhibitors in Beyond Typology at House of Mars included London Met alumni Zoe Robertson, who studied Jewellery, and Nicholas Marschner and Juliano Cordano, both graduates of BA Furniture and Product Design. 


woven textile sculpture

Weave, by Anna Ray, 2020, textile wall sculpture. Courtesy: House on Mars Gallery