Four finalists for the 2020 Visual Arts Futures Award supported by the Yoma Sasburg Estate have just been announced: Ima-Abasi Okon, Emily Hesse, Lindsey Mendick and SAGG NAPOLI.
The award is an annual award given to creatives working in any area of the Visual Arts. The finalist, who must be resident in the UK to qualify, were selected from a longlist of nominated artists, put forward by both established artists, curators, writers and educationalists across the country.
The 2020 finalists represent a diverse snapshot of current artistic practices; Emily Hesse‘s multidisciplinary practice draws on materials from her surroundings to construct complex narratives that often define working class communities; Lindsey Mendick often works in ceramics, situating them within elaborate and intriguing installations. Her own practice runs in parallel with her community projects related to mental health and children; much of SAGG NAPOLI’s eponymous, semi-autobiographical research project turns performative practice into a universal instagram language taking her hometown of Naples as a starting point; a finalist for the second year running, Ima-Abasi Okon’s practice involves both print, sculpture and moving image. She works with everyday objects and systems, often removing their function to raise questions about value, productivity and excess.
The judges for this year’s award were artist Gavin Turk, Zoe Whitley, senior Curator at the Hayward Gallery and director of Goldsmiths CCA, Sarah McCrory who said, “from an incredibly strong list we managed to somehow select four incredible artists who represent such different practices, backgrounds and ideologies. It was a pleasure to be a part of this process.”
Image above by AFFA finalist Emily Hesse: New Linthorpe, Common Ground, 2015