Winner of The Graduate Art Prize 2017 Revealed
The winner of The Graduate Art Prize 2017 is artist Charlotte Aiken with her work ‘Untitled Triptych’. Charlotte has just completed her BA at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University and her winning artwork is a large-scale, three-part abstract painting (created using acrylic paints on canvas), with each one of the three paintings measuring 2.22m x 1.4m.
Charlotte’s piece centres on the notion of infinity, as exemplified by the representation of the sky. Her overpoweringly large-scale pieces allow her to work in an aggressive, physical manner and she prefers to use decorating brushes to apply the paint to accentuate imperfection and texture, recreating an impression of the sky rather than an accurate portrayal. The precise abstract lines running across and interrupting the vastness are symbolic self-representations, inspired by electricity wires running through the sky.
The Graduate Art Prize, an increasingly influential awards programme now into its fifth year, is open to all final-year students on BA and MA degree courses at British art colleges or universities. This year saw a shortlist of 26 artists and artworks selected from an increasing pool of high-quality submissions, with an incredible 87% increase this year in overall submissions, compared to 2016. The shortlist was created by art consultants ARTIQ, who run the prize, together with event partner, law firm partner Herbert Smith Freehills, with the final winner selected by public vote.
Charlotte Aiken commented on her win: ‘I’m overwhelmed and excited to have won this award, and I’m so grateful for all the support and votes I received. This award provides me with the chance to launch my career as an artist and I feel so lucky to be given this opportunity by ARTIQ. I can’t wait to begin!’
The winning artist receives a £1000 cash prize as well as – along with all other shortlisted artists – the chance to be represented by ARTIQ in their future careers. ARTIQ works with interior designers and architects, as well as corporate and hospitality clients to promote the use of art in the workplace and in hospitality and residential environments through the curation of art collections on a sale, rental, exhibition or bespoke commission basis.
‘Signing with an art consultancy provides an entry point for young artists into the corporate art market and helps those artists get a foothold and start to build a name,’ commented ARTIQ CEO Patrick McCrae.
Last year’s winner was Marley Treloar, a Canadian artist who had just graduated from The University of Gloucestershire, before going on to do her MA. Her winning artwork ‘Gardens’ looked at ideas and themes of family bonds through an abstract gaze and has now been purchased through ARTIQ by the Principal hotel group for display at the newly-refurbished The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square hotel.