The winner of this years's Catlin Art Prize is due to be announced on Wednesday. Now in it's 6th year, the Catlin Art Prize showcases the most promising art graduates in the UK, one year on from their degree shows. Previous winners of the prize include Adam Dix who has gone on to have a large solo show at Haunch of Venison and Sarah Lederman who has since had her work exhibited alongside Tracey Emin and Cecily Brown. This years shortlist features the work of ten graduates, who have been asked to create a new collection for the award, allowing the judges to assess their progress over the last 12 months. The shortlisted artists are: Greta Alfaro, Gabriella Boyd, Poppy Brisdee, Jonny Briggs, Max Dovey, Tom Howse, Ali Kazim, Adeline de Monseignat, Soheila Sokhanvari and Julia Vogl. The winner of this years award will receive a £5,000 prize from the panel.
Moje Sabz by shortlisted artist Soheila Sokhanvari
For the first time this year, the shortlist are not just battling it out for the main award, but also for a the viewer's vote, which gives visitors to the exhibition a chance to have their say about the most promising new talent, and carries with it a prize of £2,000. The exhibition for the awards is taking place at the Londonewcastle Project Space on Redchurch Street in London's Shoreditch.
We spoke to curator, Justin Hammond about the new location and his thoughts behind the introduction of the viewer's vote.
RA:This year, you have decided to allow visitors to vote for their favourite artist. How important is it to allow a level of participation and direct feedback from viewers, alongside the main award?
JH: The Visitor Vote seems to have captured the imagination – we've had queues at the venue – so it will be interesting to see if the result mirrors the judges' choice. There's obviously an argument against the competitive element, but if it encourages visitors to really consider each work (while also providing much-needed financial help to the artist) then it has to be a positive thing. It democratises the process; each ballot must be validated with a comment, so the voters have the opportunity to articulate an opinion, while the artists get to keep a stack of feedback.
Justin Hammond, curator of the Catlin Art Prize
RA: Considering that you have used a number of different locations, how integral is finding new spaces to the evolution of the awards and in order to showcase the work of the shortlisted artists?
JH: It keeps things interesting for me and I ask certain artists to make work in direct response to the space. It also makes the awards night more exciting for our guests – it's important to throw a decent party. The Londonewcastle Project Space is great and they've give us free rein, so I've taken advantage of that and smashed a big hole in the wall to double the size of the bar.
The Catlin Art Prize Exhibition is taking place from 03 May - 25 May 2012 at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DP.
The prize is to be awarded on the evening of Wednesday 16th May.
For further details see the Rise Art events page.