• 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.

  • 18-11-2015
  • Arabic, Spanish and Korean translators in the shortlist for the 2016 Arts Foundation Literary Translation Fellowship.

  • Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Rosalind Harvey, Sophie Hughes, and Deborah Smith have been shortlisted for the £10,000 award which will be announced on the 28th January 2016 at the Arts Foundation Awards.
    Judges for this award were Paul Blezard, writer and broadcaster, Amanda Hopkinson, writer, translator and founder of the annual Translation Day and Sebald Lectures, alongside Meike Ziervogel, writer and founder of Peirene Press. They selected the four writers from a longlist of UK-based translators of fiction who had been nominated by literary experts acrosst the translation genre.

    This is the second time the Foundation has focused on this important artform as one of their chosen fellowships. As Amanda Hopkinson describes, ‘Only 3% of books sold in either the UK or the US are in translation compared to 30-50% in continental Europe. Yet, at a time when people appear to trust politicians less than ever, reading books in translation can help us understand other cultures from the inside, through the creativity of individual authors and translators. In Britain the whole literary translation sector has been transformed over the past 15 years, new literary awards, including the Arts Foundation, acknowledge the significance of cultural exchange and the role of the literary translator. ‘

    As noted by the judges each finalist had strategically selected their language of translation and was to some extent self-taught. Deborah Smith is the sole translator of Korean literature in the UK. Her most recent works, translations of contemporary female Korean author Han Kang, The Vegetarian (Portobello Books, 2015) received rave reviews and Human Acts, to be published in 2016 by Portobello Books. Sophie Hughes translates from Spanish with a particular focus on Mexican literature, a country in which she has spent time to understand and promote its rich literary culture. Her most recent translation is the critically acclaimed Ivan Repila’s The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse (Pushkin Press 2015). Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a multi-lingual translator with a focus on contemporary Arabic literature. Her translation of the controversial Bride of Amman by Fadi Zaghmout (Signal 8 Press, 2015) was noted of for its groundbreaking feminist and civil rights text representing LGBT an women's sexual freedoms and body rights for the first time in Arabic Literature in a positive light. Co-founder of the Emerging Translators Network Rosalind Harvey translates from Spanish, and has worked extensively with Mexican writer Juan Pablo Villabolos whose latest work includes Quesadillas (And Other Stories, 2013). Her best known work Down the Rabbit Hole (And Other Stories, 2011) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

    A noticeable trait among all the shortlist was made by judge Meike Ziervogel who said; ‘What excited me most was to see how many translators extend their role beyond the creation of a workable English text. For them that’s only the beginning. In order to ensure that foreign fiction becomes part of our culture they realise that they must perform, blog and organize events. Because there is no better advocator than the translator.’

    The recipient of the award will be announced at a special ceremony on Thursday 28th January in London at the Arts Foundation Awards 2016 when £78,000 of awards will be announced across the Arts, with each of the runners up receiving £1000.