Es Devlin, one of two designers of the 2021 BRIT award statuettes poses for a photo at an unknown location in this image obtained by Reuters on April 28, 2021. Alfonso Duran/Handout via REUTERS
Winners at next month’s BRIT Awards will receive two different trophies, encouraged to share one as a way to embrace the community spirit and kindness seen during COVID-19 lockdowns, organisers of Britain’s pop music honours said on Wednesday.
Artists Es Devlin and Yinka Ilori designed the statuettes, which will be handed out in pairs at the May 11 ceremony held at London’s O2 arena.
“Each recipient is invited to award the second trophy to someone they consider worthy – it might be recognition – or it might be someone that does something entirely unrelated to music,” Devlin said.
Ilori added that the idea came from the experience of lockdown. “Your neighbour you’ve lived beside for six years and never say hello to suddenly gave you flowers, foods, acts of kindness. I wanted to capture that,” he said.
Devlin and Ilori follow in the footsteps of designer Vivienne Westwood, milliner Philip Treacy and Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor, who all designed BRIT trophies in the past.
This year, a colourful larger statuette was inspired by Ilori’s Nigerian heritage, while Devlin said the smaller trophy was “engraved with the maze pattern that celebrates the paths many of those working within the creative industries have had to tread in order to progress through this challenging year”.
Some 4,000 people will attend the BRITs, which organisers have said will be the first major indoor music event with a live audience as Britain emerges from COVID-19 lockdown.
The ceremony will be part of the UK government’s Events Research Programme, looking at whether major events can take place in closed environments without social distancing.
More than half of the audience, 2,500 people, will be key workers with tickets gifted through a ballot.