First Impressions 2014 Winners
Published by: Nick on 06 Sep 2014 | No Comments
A packed gallery admired 50 pieces of amazing art created by students from the South West region and further afield. The art work for the exhibition was selected from hundreds of submissions and then a judging panel, including celebrated Bristol artist Beth Carter, deliberated hard before choosing the top 2 artists.
The work of this years winner, UWE graduate Lizzy Drury, covered the entire back wall of our gallery with her triptych ‘Abandonment’. These stunning graphite drawings not only were visually spectacular but had an intriguing narrative that kept us captivated. Many viewers were debating the story behind the content that evoked mixed emotions; some people found the work sad and unnerving, others were amused and fascinated. We are looking forward to working with Lizzy next year as she makes new work for a show in the gallery (the winner’s prize).
Runner-up, Kate Williamson, also at UWE, attracted huge attention and conversation about her 3 sculptures, The Frog Prince, Baby Bird and Rabbitmen. These beautiful porcelain (and other materials) pieces are technically impressive and high in aesthetic quality, but it is the narrative that stood out for the panel. The Frog Prince and Baby Bird achieved a level of anthropomorphism that many artists attempt but so few succeed in this way. They pieces were touched and talked to with such sensitivity. Whereas the narrative in these two pieces was reasonably straight forward, based on known stories and myths, the Rabbitmen left the door wide open for the viewers interpretation. In placing the pieces in various positions the interactions and conversation of the installation changed, providing a moving narrative that is personal to the viewer. Kate’s prize is to be taken by View to one of the top art fairs in London next year where her work will be admired by thousands of people.
Congratulations to Lizzy and Kate and to all the students who made the exhibition stage. In the opening night we were delighted that some of the students work was selling and attracted lots of enquiries. The aim of First Impressions is to give students exposure and also the opportunity to experience the whole exhibition process, from submission through to exhibiting and potentially sale.
The standard of First Impressions is increasing each year and we are already looking forward to seeing next years submissions.