• 17-12-2015
  • Creative Music Producers into the spotlight with Arts Foundation Award

  • Congratulations to Laura Ducceshi, Suzy Glass, John Stevens and Kate Whitley, four exciting Producers of Live Music shortlisted for a £10,000 Arts Foundation Award supported by PRS for Music Foundation.

    Dreaming up music productions in multi-storey car parks, harbours and cinemas; from classical, contemporary to electronic; always visually and sonically inspired, the power of the creative producer of live music can never be underestimated. In times where music and technology can both collide and collaborate from the smallest stage to an epic outside space, the four shortlisted artists demonstrate the huge diversity and potential of this artform.

    The judges were Jane Beese, Head of Music at London’s Roundhouse, composer, producer, DJ and founder of NonClassical record label and club night Gabriel Prokofiev and Vanessa Reed, Executive Director of PRS for Music Foundation who chose the shortlist from a longlist of nominees put forward by musicians, producers and other practitioners in music. The shortlist approach their work in different ways, yet all accomplish the creation of vital and eclectic delivery in their chosen speciality. Their task, to help interpret and present artists work requires complex and meaningful collaboration. As judge Jane Beese commented ‘We were really looking for an individual with a proven track record of creating new and challenging projects which ask important questions and push the borders of the current live music scene. The relationship between the creative producer and the artists is particularly important to the authenticity of this role and the quality of the end iteration of these projects.’

    Laura Ducceschi 's production credits include the initiation of mini-festivals such as ‘Wordsmith’ and an annual week-long festival called ‘earsthetic – art amplified’ a programme of projects that have both a visual and sonic perspective. Glasgow-based Suzy Glass is known for her sited productions, including her most recent project Hanna Tuulikki’s, Away with the Birds. which performed in a natural harbour on the Isle of Canna. Bristol-based John Stevens is an independent live music producer based in Bristol. He recently co-worked on a project called The Peace Garden (2015) a tour of yoga and deep listening performance workshops conducted by American ambient music pioneer Laraaji. Finally, producer, composer and classically trained pianist, Kate Whitley is best known for her epic music events at a disused multi-storey car park in Peckham, with the intention to bring classical music to an unconventional audience in unorthodox surroundings. More info on them below.

    The winner of the £10,000 fellowship will be announced on the 28th January at the Arts Foundation Awards 2016 when a total of six awards will be announced across the Arts. Runners up will each receive £1,000.

  • 15-12-2015
  • Shortlist just announced for 2016 Arts Foundation Materials Innovation award

  • Rachel Freire, Carmen Hijosa, Laura Morgan and Silo Studios shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Materials Innovation Award supported by The Clothworkers' Foundation. From pineapple leaf 'leather' and textile-moulded glass, to E-gloves and laser-enhanced wool, the expressions of craft, material and technology put forward this year have formed an outstanding shortlist for this £10,000 Award..

    The four were chosen from a longlist of artists, makers and designers working in this field by judges Joao Wilbertword, Lead Creative Technologist at Google Creative Labs; Dr Richard Johnston, Senior Lecturer in the Materials Research Centre, Swansea University; Scarlet Oliver, Designer and Representative from The Clothworkers' Foundation and Kay Politowicz, Professor Emeritus of Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art who was impressed both by the contemporary issues raised about materiality and their concern for social engagement in their material-led innovation.

    Rachel Freire’s Open Source work on the development of interactive musical gloves – a project she worked on initially with Imogen Heap (pictured above) – brought her to the attention of the judges as did Carmen Hijosa’s new material ‘Pinatex’, a natural, sustainable non-woven textile made from the waste of the pineapple harvest. Is this the new replacement for leather that we’ve been waiting for? Laura Morgan’s clever advances using laser technology on textiles are meanwhile proving essential in reducing dye and water consumption needed in their treatment, while the team at Silo Studios have used textile moulds to create a stronger and more durable polystyrene, bringing craft and technology together and questioning what ‘materiality’ really is. For bios on all artists go to http://www.artsfoundation.co.uk/winners-and-shortlist/2016.

    The award supported by The Clothworkers’ Foundation was set up to identify where the current shoots of enterprise are coming from in the UK, reflecting and encouraging new ways of thinking. It accepts nominations from artists, designers and makers who are involved in materials innovation at any stage of the lifecycle. 2016 marks the third year of this important award – with Julia Lohmann (2014) http://www.julialohmann.co.uk and Sarat Babu (2015) http://www.sarat.co being previous recipients.

  • 30-11-2015
  • Hannah Starkey at Maureen Paley

  • Just opened and running until 24th Jan 2016 this is the 7th show by Arts Foundation fellow Hannah Starkey showing at Maureen Paley. Over a career which spans 20 years Hannah Starkey's most recent work focuses on the female individual positioned within the urban environment. For this exhibition she turns her attentions to the subtleties that lie between private reflection and social interaction in the city using a language that veers on the cinematic to convey the personal relationships between her subjects and their worlds. With her focus being women going about their daily lives in a busy city, Starkey manages to capture those moments of contemplation and stillness, separating the figures from their social contexts.
    Maureen Paley, 21 Herald Street, London E2

  • 27-11-2015
  • Shortlist for major Jewellery Award shows that the intersection between science, technology, natural forces and cultural expression is ripe for exploration.

  • Four unique designers, Sophie Boons, Vann Kwok, Christopher Thompson Royds and Katharina Vones have been shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Jewellery Award.

    With £10,000 going to the winner the prize was hotly contested from a longlist of nominated UK-based designers. The judges were jewellery designer Solange Azagury-Partridge, Head of Modern Design at Christies Simon Andrews and Caroline Broadhead, Jeweller and Course Leader of Jewellery Design at Central St Martins who commented on the applicants:

    ‘Each was strong and individual, and each prompted discussion about what we consider to be jewellery, its purpose and how people make it and use it. It was a fascinating experience’. The recipient of the award will be announced on Thursday 28th January in London at the Arts Foundation Awards 2016 when £78,000 of awards will be announced across the Arts.

    Sophie Boons’ practice is inspired by substances, scents and science, calling herself the ‘Alchemical Jeweller’. She was scouted as ‘One to Watch’ (2015) by the Design Council for her progressive work creating a new material combining resin and gold nanoparticles. By contrast Christopher Thompson Royds is concept-driven, exploring themes of sentimentality and value, with his Natura Morta (2014) series considering permanence and impermanence in nature using paper-thin gold and silver, hand cut and painted as flowers. Digital jeweller Kathy Vones creates ‘stimulus-responsive’ jewellery enriched by what she calls ‘technological enchantment’; pieces that use digital technology that change colour according to its environment, such as body temperature or react to the heartbeat of the wearer. Vann Kwok’s work sit between the realms of art, fashion and jewellery with an emphasis on material innovation and interaction using both traditional and modern methods of manufacturing. Her film ‘Out of Flux’ showing her latest collection can be seen at London’s Short Film Festival in 2016.

    ‘Stylised or dramatic, crafted or conceptual, perhaps allegorical or simply inquisitive, or of materials both traditional and new - jewellery will offer multiple intriguing personalities, but foremost may be the prospects of engagement, innovation and of communication. After careful and considered review, we identified in those shortlisted jewellers a sense of orientation that can offer new interpretations to the craft and meaning of jewellery.’ Simon Andrews, Judging Panel.

    The £10,000 award is not a commission but to be used to pay for living and working expenses, allowing the artist, who has to show a track record in the art form, breathing space in order to further their practice. Over the past 23 years the Foundation has given over £1.6m to support artists from all areas of the arts. Previous winners of this particular award include Andrew Lamb and Lin Cheung.