The winners of the Catlin Art Prize, which we’ve been delighted to host at The Londonewcastle Project Space this month, were announced last Wednesday. Closing on 25th May, there’s not long left to catch the eclectic selection of contemporary work by ten of the UK’s most promising artists, as handpicked by respected curator Justin Hammond during his tour of last year’s degree shows.
Julia Vogl scooped the £5000 prize for her installation ‘Let’s Hang Out’ which encourages public interaction and has been cause for much conversation and amusement throughout the show. Visitors are asked to choose one of several suggested pastimes - Tweet, Daydream, Call Mum, Masturbate, Have a Cuppa, Ask Me About It - each represented by a coloured carpet tile, and place it on a square on the checkered communal area. The project is part of a wider focus in Julia’s work to create site specific ‘social sculptures’, drawing on her passion for colour, architecture and the power of art to influence a community.
For the first time since the prize was launched in 2007, there was also a Visitor’s Vote cast by public ballot. It was one of our personal favourites, Adeline de Monseignat, who won the £2000 prize for her slightly unnerving sculpture, ‘Hairy Eye Ball’. It consists of a ball of vintage fur encased in glass, which on close inspection appears to be breathing. Adeline plays with our concept of the familiar, with the juxtaposition of safe vs threatening, and through the introduction of kinetic motorised movement in her work, the animate vs inanimate.
Justin Hammond reflects on this year’s show: “These artists are less than a year out of art school, but the technique and execution of the work in this showcase is way beyond that of the average degree show. They’ve produced an extremely cohesive exhibiton and – despite the competitive element – nobody was interested with hogging attention. Each of the finalists thoroughly embraced this opportunity, and they’re already making plans to kick on with their careers.”