Meet the winners of the Fine Art, Photography and Craft categories

In the ARTSTHREAD global design graduate show 2020.

by i-D Staff
|
29 October 2020, 10:27pm

The results for the Fine Art, Photoraphy and Craft categories are finally in, and we’re sharing the winners on i-D. The winners are Kate Awalt-Conley for Fine Art, Kevin Moore for Photography, Malin Ida Eriksson for Sculpture, Reema Abu Hassan for Contemporary Craft, Sian Fan for Digital Arts and Yoojung Kim for Jewellery. Congratulations to all!

See more of their work, and meet all of the winners, below.

Fine Art 

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Kate Awalt-Conley, 22, Art Studio, Wesleyan University

Project Name: Empty Space Is More Concrete Than Solid

How did you get into your creative field - tell us about your background?
I first got into art through drawing when I was really young. I was obsessed with cartoons and wanted to make my own, so I created my own characters and developed stories around them. I loved being creative in other ways too, like making my own jewelry or clothes, but I was really interested in biology for a long time and was planning on pursuing that, so I didn’t think of art as something I’d invest a lot of time into. When I was 17, however, I painted with oils for the first time. I immediately thought “I’m going to do this for the rest of my life”. Something really clicked with that medium and I felt like I was finally done loading. Painting pushes me forward in a way that I don’t think any other form could. I don’t think painting is necessarily the best way to explore the ideas I’m interested in, but it’s definitely what makes me motivated and inspired every day. I haven’t really considered myself an artist until recently though. It took me a long time to feel confident enough in my work to see it as a part of myself and to be able to express that to others. 

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What motivates you creatively?
I’m very motivated by intimacy, connection, and the ways that we navigate our relationships with each other. I’m interested in the messiness, weirdness, and discomfort in sex, intimacy, and recently cyberspace. I examine both the anxiety and pleasure around losing control in these physical, mental, and virtual spaces. I am fascinated with how intimacy is manipulated, reduced, or expanded upon in digital spaces, and I often create my references on the computer and then translate them into the physical and transform them with paint, which feels like an intimate act itself. You can look at my paintings and see the brushstrokes, or a fingerprint, or a smudge I never corrected. It becomes the ultimate control over what might seem out of control--our emotions, intimacy, cyberspace.

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What’s next?
I know that I’ll always paint. I feel like I’ve finally become confident enough in myself as an artist to push myself more and more every time I’m working. I’m constantly playing with size, subject, and style to try and find the most exciting ways to depict what I’m interested in. I would love to start collaborating more with other artists, or really anybody else who believes that painting is a powerful medium. I think my biggest dream right now is to create more collective spaces for artists to show their work and collaborate together outside of museums and galleries. Everything I want to do involves working with people, because connection is what drives my work.

Photography

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Kevin Moore, 24, Photography BFA, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Project Name: George

How did you get into your creative field - tell us about your background?
I was introduced to photography through the work of William Eggleston. Growing up in my nana's home, I began to archive her photographs from the 1950s and 60s. Acquiring my first 35mm in high school, photography became about making work that looked and felt like those of the past. I started looking at other works and expanded my knowledge in the field by attending MassArt. By this time I realized that I could create my own rendition of the past, which is where I feel like the work lies now. 

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What motivates you creatively?
I'm motivated by a number of things. I would say the process of making pictures, in general, motivates me. I've always been inspired by film so the more I watch, the more I feel the need to make work. In my day-to-day life, I stumble upon "characters" and "scenes" that inspire me to reinterpret my own experiences into pictures. And lastly, I would say politics keeps me motivated to make work that touches on disagreements in the political sphere, pictures that test our perception. 

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What would winning this award mean to you?
Winning this award would be such an honor because it would allow me to share my work with more people.

What’s next?
Although the pandemic makes the future uncertain, it has allowed me a lot of free time at home to make work. Moving forward, I hope to continue to make work.

Sculpture

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Photograph Marie Eriksson

Malin Ida Eriksson, 28, Craft MA, Konstfack University College Of Arts Crafts and Design

Project Name: When Time Becomes Form - The Monuments

How did you get into the creative field?
I have always been a creative person, at first I thought I would become a musician since that’s what I had been doing since I was really young; although, I never felt free, or completely honest when practicing it. I took a general art course to get my mind some place else and it turned out that I really enjoyed it! During the sculpture classes I got introduced to the material clay and I completely fell in love with it; it was so full of possibilities and I believe that the material was my way into the field of art. I was completely amazed by how something could take shape with only my hands and something that is so easily found in nature.

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What motivates you creatively?
I get motivated by being challenged and I find the challenge I need in the material in which I work. Even though I think I know how to process it fully, it constantly reminds me to stay focused and not take anything for granted. I usually describe my practice as a kind of collaboration between me and the clay. Instead of picturing my practice as a monologue I think of it as a dialogue; I need the material to react to my actions as well as me reacting to the material. This is the foundation of my practice and I firmly believe that this is why I am never bored of it - it is never about me solely - I am in constant need of response.

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What’s next?
Right now I have been lucky enough to quit my part time job and work full time in my studio, and for that I am forever grateful. Hopefully I will manage to keep going this working full time with art. I am right now a part of a duo-exhibition together with an American artist called Sarah McNulty at this amazing gallery space called Stereo Exchange in Copenhagen. It is an artist-driven platform where Owen Armour and Kristine Tillge Lund curate exhibitions with two artists working in different materials, where the two practices meet and are being combined in the most brilliant of ways - if you don’t know about them, you should check them out, they are such a great inspiration!

In the future, I’m interested in getting a PhD in the field of contemporary crafts, more specifically in ceramics in the expanded field. So I guess that’s the plan and the answer to the question - to keep on working, exhibiting, researching and maybe most important of all: to keep on arguing for the immense importance of art and craft practices in today’s society.

Contemporary Craft

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Reema Abu Hassan, 27, Design MFA, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar

Project Name: Monumentalizing Rituals Of The Palestinian Diaspora

How did you get into your creative field - tell us about your background?
I am an architect and a designer. I have practiced as an architect at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in both their Dubai and Rotterdam offices. I am also the founding director of the Clay Encounters Ceramics Design Studio in Qatar. Drawing from my background in architecture, digital fabrication, theory, design and ceramics, I have developed a hybridity to my work that fosters the power of interdisciplinarity. Through Clay Encounters, I have positioned collaboration, participation and teaching as core components to the way in which I practice and conduct research. My current work integrates digital tools into the analogue processes of traditional modes of making within crafts and specifically within ceramics. My current research is focused on the monumentalisation of rituals. 

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 What would winning this award mean to you?
The project that I submitted and that got shortlisted is a very important project to me. I used my personal Palestinian-ness and that of others that I had interviewed to drive many of the decisions within the project. It looks at the monumentalisation of Palestinian rituals in a world where diasporic Palestinians are constantly trying to hold on to their rituals as a means to connect back to Palestine as their homeland. Winning this award would help the project reach a wider audience and shed a light on the value of Palestinian rituals. 

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What’s next?
I am currently expanding my research into monuments and rituals within different contexts. I am also expanding my design studio to allow for further exploration into combining traditional crafts with digital tools. I plan to continue to further explore community engagement and participation as modes of research within my design work. 

Digital Arts

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Sian Fan, 28, Fine Art MA, Central Saint Martins UAL

Project Name: Conduit

How did you get into your creative field - tell us about your background?
I’ve always been interested in drawing and being creative, but my background in terms of training is actually in performance art. For my BA I studied Performance and Visual Art - Dance at the University of Brighton, where I got interested in combining digital projection with the body. I started working with video to replicate the body, creating non-physical performers. After graduating this interest developed into digital media, using 3D animation, photogrammetry and game design to create avatars and objects that I could augment and interrupt reality with. I discovered VR and AR and got really interested in how digital media affects our human experience. Whilst studying at Central Saint Martins I started experimenting with the Xbox Kinect, hacking it to create glitchy motion capture. It was this co-dependant tension between human vs digital that inspired my final work, ‘Conduit’.

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What motivates you creatively?
Concept is really important to my creative practice. Most of the time when I’m creating, I’m trying to process complex, messy and entangled ideas, exploring the interconnections and the acrimony between things. For me, creating is just an extension of thinking, it’s how I reflect and understand things, but in an unrestricted and multi-faceted way. My own curiosity keeps me inspired, there’s always more questions to ask, more ideas to explore…

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What’s next?
I’m moving into a studio at the Sarabande Foundation, which I think will be a really exciting and nurturing environment for my practice. I’m also working on two big commissions, one with Essex Cultural Diversity Projects and Essex County Council to create a digital work exploring local waterways and another with Site Gallery creating motion capture performances within gaming environments.

Jewellery

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Yoojung Kim, 29, Jewellery & Metal MA, Royal College of Art

Project Name: Shadow Jewellery

How did you get into your creative field - tell us about your background?I am a South Korean jeweller and metalworker. I graduated from the Seoul National University College of Fine Art, Craft and Design department, in 2015 and completed a Masters at the same university in 2018. I came to the Jewellery & Metal programme at the Royal College of Art for a new experience and showed my art jewellery pieces inspired by two years of London life, based on a study of transparency and translucency, on the RCA2020 platform and Global Design Graduate Show 2020.

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What motivates you creatively?
By taking time to meditate alone I observe my emotional boundaries every day. The process of perceiving all the small emotional changes helps me understand myself, and the world around me. My works aim to heal personal heartache through a deeper understanding of personal space and interpersonal relationships. My thoughts and feelings in daily life are recorded by making them visible and tangible. 

Material in my artworks is also one of my important sources of inspiration and it means more than a simple means of expression. My recent project about windows has explored transparent and translucent materials as the main source of my inspiration. Processes of finding new possibilities in materials, and expressing it eloquently, are important parts of my approach. The core of my practice is to look at interesting characteristics of materials and explore their expressive potential.  There are no restrictions on the use of industrial processes in my work, these include 3D printing, CNC milling and laser cutting, but the detailing of my works stem from traditional craftsmanship.

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What would winning this award mean to you?
It means a lot to me since I was working on a somewhat experimental theme that not only the headpiece itself but also the colour shadow of the headpiece becomes a decorative element on the body. I was curious and worried about the reaction and feedback to my work. I’m glad that I’ve received positive answers and this will give me the courage to challenge what I want to express in the future.

What’s next?
I hope to keep all possibilities on the table and work in various ways as I’ve been trying to do. 

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ARTSTHREAD