The Aesthetica Art Prize 2016: Free Lunchtime Talks

Running alongside the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition is a dynamic series of lunchtime talks, which are open to the public and free to attend. Taking place in the gallery at York St Mary’s, the talks are led by industry experts, including curators and artists. The talks take place every Thursday, from 14 April to 19 May, starting at 12.30pm. We list the talk speakers below.

Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Shortlist
Thursday 14 April 12:30 & 14:30
12:30 (Liz West, David Hochgatterer and Rachel Ara)
14:30 (James Winter, Jennifer Ayala López and Henry Driver)
The 2016 finalists shed light on their individual practices, which utilise the disciplines of sculpture and installation to address a wide range of contemporary themes.

Composing Time & Space: Photographic & Sculptural Practice
Thursday 21 April 12:30
Dr Christina Kolaiti, Photography Lecturer, and Desmond Brett, Fine Art Lecturer at York St John University, use their expertise to explore the photographic and sculptural works exhibited in this year’s Art Prize Exhibition. This talk will assess the potential that these mediums have to instil sentiments of time and space in the viewer.

Connecting Audiences with Artistic Talent
Thursday 28 April 12:30
The team behind the Aesthetica Art Prize offers an insight into the selection process for the Prize and provides attendees with an opportunity to learn more about this year’s shortlist and longlist. A celebration of excellence in art from across the world, the award showcases the work of both emerging and established artists. This session will highlight Aesthetica’s role in supporting talent and connecting practitioners with new audiences.

Navigating the Contemporary Art Exhibition
Thursday 5 May 12:30
Dr Sam Lackey, Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield, leads an engaging tour around this year’s Art Prize selection, identifying the various themes and techniques utilised in the 2016 shortlisted works. Lackey will highlight the various modes of representation and interpretation used in the show.

Bridging the Real and Virtual Spheres
Thursday 12 May 12:30
Sarah Brown, Curator of Exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery, examines the connections and disparities between works influenced by real and virtual spheres. Drawing on prominent themes from Hayward Gallery’s touring exhibition, British Art Show 8, Brown will reflect on artists’ continued engagement with the material world, and its relationship to increasing digital cultures.

Exhibition Practices: Sculpture and the Site-Specific
Thursday 19 May 12:30
Sophie Raikes, Assistant Curator at Henry Moore Institute, discusses ways of exhibiting temporary and site-specific sculpture and installation, identifying how three-dimensional works within the Art Prize Exhibition interact with each other as well as the unique architecture of York St Mary’s.

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, York St Mary’s, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN. 14 April – 29 May, Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm-4pm. Free Admission. More details at:

To enter the Aesthetica Art Prize, visit

1. Anna Tihanyi, Crystal night (2014). Courtesy of the artist.