Alec von Bargen
A stroll through the clouds with Elgar is part of a series of 12 photography-based, portraits of marginalised women titled Veritas Feminae.
Selecting works for the Aesthetica Art Prize is an inspirational and enlightening experience. There are so many artists worldwide creating pieces that need to be seen. Below is a short synopsis from each 2014 longlisted artist, providing insight into their practice.
A stroll through the clouds with Elgar is part of a series of 12 photography-based, portraits of marginalised women titled Veritas Feminae.
Named for its complex aesthetic, Tapestry invites us to explore the mystery set out before us: uncertain light that could be dawn or dusk.
In a time where how we live is urban, digital and nostalgically analogue, LIFE / FILE breaks down the opposition between the two.
André Lichtenberg’s Within Series II – London offers a rare opportunity to study the metropolis under a very different analytical light.
Set in the wilderness forests of western Sweden, Anna Lilleengen’s work creates an affective folkloric world, considering the ambivalence of feeling.
Representing planets and atoms, Bones, enables the viewer to visualise the macrocosm and the microcosm of life as we know it.
Pursuing beauty, rhythm and neatness, Barbara Ceriani Basilico & Alessandro Mancassola’s Castle #4 recounts the emotion of a whole journey.
I Know That These Will All Be Stories Some Day, attempts to depict the process of human memory to the viewer.
Anesthetic explores the border between nostalgia and nature, exploring a place that keeps its stories hidden, forgotten, or buried under dust and decay.
Out of the complex mass of visual information, Which Winch makes is a departure from the usual approach of extracting order from chaos.
Charred captures the disappointment and sense of abandonment that accompanies a gathering suddenly and unexpectedly ended.
Drape (BF1) uses two erotic photographs as source material. Backdrops usually render the model more visible; here, that function is reversed.
In a digital age where the boundaries between the virtual and the physical blend,Triangular Hall highlights the interaction between light and shadow.
The A Place to Go – sites of mountain misadventure series finds new ways of exploring and examining the upland and wilderness environment.
In 541 días, Inés Molina Navea’s digital portrait is a reminder that many of stripped of their humanity by social and economic forces.
Using photography in conjunction with urban exploration, School 2 Pripyat looks at abandoned and derelict metropolitan spaces.
Easily assumed to be Photoshopped or faked, upon closer inspection the images are often revealed to be more real than first expected.
The ongoing project Out West, documents small rural communities (1,000 or less) in the Canadian West, exploring a perceived lack of imagery.
The Messenger sets out to explore the power of hype, storytelling and persuasion, examining the respective roles of leaders and followers.
Portrait III was the culmination of Megan Kellythorn’s experimentation with fashion photography and her research into gender representation.
The challenge was simple, drive the iconic Route 66 in one day, but the payoff for the 435-mile traverse was a pure desert Americana series.
For No night, no light (village #0.1), Miriam Donkers noticed that between small villages the boundaries of light and darkness in the night are very clear.
Au bord de la Mer, aims to synthesise interpretation of a built environment, exploring the nature of the photographic still image.
In an age where branding and the “icon” has an importance that outweighs the actual substance, the need for personal confirmation grows.
The focus of Nina Röder’s Determinism is the friend not the foe, lies in exposing the hidden structures of biographical stories.
Same Scene, Different Day, aka SSDD, is Pamela Z. Daum’s ongoing black and white infrared series of the view of West Twin Lake.
Frozen Bubbles #2, from the Ice Formation series highlights the formations on lakes and rivers in Alaska, United States of America.
Sam Heydt’s Chrysanthemums conveys the idea of freedom from media-constructed destinies and from definitions of beauty.
Oscillating between the immediate, transitory nature of photography as an art form, Gida strives to find a moment in between stillness and movement.
In the series, Fowl, Steve Hoskins demonstrates his passion for nature with portraits of animals in carefully choreographed contexts.
Set within the Australian landscape, Centre of the Universe from my Only Human series depicts our fragility and vulnerability.
Teri Havens’ began exploring night photography and in Jack’s Place reveals a lonely yet enduring portrait of a nearly forgotten America.
Attempting to reinterpret financial data graphically, Milk gives a year-long record of the growth and recession of each stock market throughout 2012.
Situated in a grove of 36 palm trees, Perennial mimics the proportions of a tree and acts as a subtle but powerful memorial to three Stanford graduates.
A Room of One’s Own III is part of a multi-sculpture installation presented at law firm Clifford Chance’s reception in London.
Seams (Expanding Body) explores the idea of a shy human figure which has been enabled to inflate in fully space, or withdraw itself by collapsing.
Through the Centre stemmed from fascination with fluid, dynamic motion, witnessed in nature, human motion and computer-aided visualisations.
When viewing Vidal’s Untitled from the front, the viewer experiences a painting. When looking at perspective, one experiences depth.
Aiming to generate ideas that expand on a language that often goes beyond logic, Head Over Heels uses humour to evokes various narratives.
The temporal structure for The Ephemeral Mind, is an impetus for viewers to further meditate and consider their minds and memories.
Responding to the constantly changing interrelation between the human body and place, 12 Corners of a Room explores one’s perception of particular rooms.
*Student Prize Winner*
Frustum Super Planum Cum Filia Lyrae explores the possibilities of cross-disciplinary art objects, drawing on examples from the 21st Century.
Body considers the limitations of the human form by its own morality, requiring many elements to live in each moment.
Each tier of Longplayer, contains 39 bowls positioned sequentially, corresponding to one of the six concentric rings.
Interested in the relationship between action and phenomenon, Upside-down Goblet is a work that refers to the traditions of goblet-making.
In the style of Renaissance/Greek representations of the Madonna & Child, Mother & Child symbolises the connection between parent and child.
Created exclusively during long daily commutes into central London, Dial M for Monument is inspired by train carriage restraints.
Consisting of 13 text fragments, printed on individual sheets of paper, Exit Through Entrance and Reverse invites visitors to tear from each of five stacks.
Meditating on diverse themes of disillusionment and despair, Fragments Shored Against the Ruins addresses the collapse of recognisable structures.
Revolving around the duality of permanence and impermanence, Sintered Books embodies the ideas of fragility, trace and time.
It’s All Up in the Air is a graphic emblem of misery and pessimism, this temporary sculpture is in a constant unstable and precarious state.
Crafted from maple and nickel-plated steel, Ceci n’est pas une table is based upon the imagined response of an item of furniture to an external force.
Referencing the undisclosed detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Camp 7 focuses on a dialogue between the individual and the state.
Sheffield Park is an example of human error and methodology. The structure, its scaffolding, is led by the nature of the material, oak felled in 1776.
Using everyday situations as sources, Bibliography questions the notion of identity and what it means to be human in a globalised society.
Landscape with the Child takes viewers on a journey through the many layers of meaning in life, explaining secretive places, where reality melts down.
In Redshift, Amir Guberstein reacts to a site-specific installation, YSVYPTTSIAY, which took place on premises prior to their demolition.
Working within the vernacular of painting but using materials in alternative ways, Lunatus pushes the perceived boundaries of painting.
The portrait Father & Daughter is part of a series inspired by physical resemblances and emotional connections.
Mining for Lemons reflects frustration with the impatient bombardment of over-stimulating, throw-away imagery dominating popular culture.
The unknown was a common theme for Take Flight. Believing in leaps of faith, the project produces a glimpse of joyous schizophrenia.
Fired by childhood memories, framed within a Catholic upbringing, Emblem fuelled an interest in portraying symbolism in a de-contextualised way.
Refinery 1 is one of two large paintings that, through the drips and spills, questions the thinking behind the global oil industry.
Black and White Paintings illustrate concern with bringing a form into being by exploring the material and sculptural potential of acrylic paint.
Draw a Line Somewhere is a reflection upon the many facets of human nature, revealing a certain softness, brightness and darkness, all compressed into one.
Focusing on the expressive potential of an act of formal reduction, Marginal Composition n.47 investigates the aesthetic qualities of a marginal space.
Arab Spring #2 represents the ever-present images of explosions seen as a backdrop to news reports on Middle Eastern conflicts.
As a deaf artist, Jamal de Jong’s Explode helps viewers see a variety of movements from white paint, as lights and shadows play an important role.
Combining oil paint with acrylics, James De Vere’s Moon, demonstrates the possibility of new and exciting art material blends.
The passage of time and the fragility of life are key conceptual motifs in Waves, which beautifully expresses the struggle to hold on to the present.
Sculpting visions on a large two-dimensional surface, Kelly Blevins’ work creates intimate and dynamic experiences.
The Portrait of Flowers series IV is a memorial portrait of the elderly, allowing the viewer to re-examine the values of life.
Investigating the imaginary in space and the surrounding environment, Working Space R. and L explores the sense of alienation and suspense.
Created with acrylic and ink on traditional Chinese wooden panels, The Bund series depicts a veiled, mist-like curtain of rain across Shanghai.
Revolving around the human form, Martha Zmpounou’s Hut, explores themes of self-identity which may usually be hidden or absent in portraits.
The use of private and personal images in Intimate Strangers: Marianne, conflates the idea of the personal with that of the iconic.
Positioned around the themes of history and politics, Philip Gurrey pays homage to specific historical movements and occurrences.
Concerned with trying to transpose realities on a two-dimensional surface, Fleuve annihilates the distance between viewers and the depicted image.
Partition, Three reflects the desire to reclaim a cultural identity and interest in the questions around adaptation and recognition.
In Tectonica, Reardon attempts to reveal the organic patterns and textures of the natural world, exposing an underlying structure of reality.
Belfast Road Closed (Cities Interpreted [Road Closed] series) is a cross-cultural project combining photo montages, paintings and audiovisual techniques.
Outside In evokes the way time and memory move and distort and how this process might be affected by incarceration.
When presented alongside, Vivre sa vie and Bu alo ’66, Laisse Tomber Les Filles (Leave the girls alone) becomes a play of seduction for the audience.
Self-portraits became a form of therapy for Nuñez as an attempt to over come personal problems. La Vie en Rose, is the result of Nuñez’s present state.
Through performance and film, Be the Inside of the Vase explores the complex relationship between violence, beauty and vulnerability.
Fictional narrative Monday Monday is a portrait of a character who exists in reality and has chosen to live a life of anonymity but within a public sphere.
A vision of the world of schizophrenia, Split is a mixture of contortion, dislocation, butoh, break dance and music produced by analogue oscillators.
Re:****Sitruuna ja medusa explores the capacity of the spectator to create relationships – to build worlds – from multiple forms of sensory information.
Train Hypnotics aims to express one’s feelings and experience when on a long train journey, capturing the soporific and hypnotic qualities of the trip.
A visit to Iceland formed Julia Weißenberg’s artistic vision, in response to the discovery of a 5,300-year old tree.
Piano Migrations, aims to create art that generates a poetic and reflective audience experience that enriches an appreciation of the everyday.
Deliberate Digression creates a non-logical set and non-logical bodies; exploring the reversing reality that surrounds us.
Civvy Street portrays a man battling the trauma of surviving war and struggling to resume normal civilian life after leaving the military.
Referencing the rhythm and routine of day-to-day life, Acte de présence depicts a woman sitting at a table in a room, cutting out frames from playing cards.
Dancing with Monk, centres on a performance by jazz musician Thelonius Monk, exploring the “gaze” and the aspect of looking.
De Coloribus relates to an early literary text on the subject of colour, and the viewers perceptions and wider understanding.
Net is part of a body of work based on research into Nottingham’s historic lace trade and Palmer’s own ancestral connections to lace design.
*Main Prize Winner*
Aiming to investigate the relationship between humans and nature, Song for the Last Queen refers to the endangerment of bees.
The immersive, all-encompassing, sensory experience of zeph.yr is an exploration of movement, sound and colour within an interactive realm.
Video and sound installation Entrapment of the o/Other, aims to give the viewer an emotive experience through sensory engagement.