Tihanyi creates contemporary tales about the human consciousness, producing narratives that are concentrated into one single frame.
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 2016 longlisted artist, providing insight into their practice.
Tihanyi creates contemporary tales about the human consciousness, producing narratives that are concentrated into one single frame.
After the city council’s decision to close the Moseley Road Baths, Fuimarella wanted to claim the importance of this facility for the local community.
Galloway’s series of portraits are of people who live nearby him. He notes: “Jack was a submariner during the war and was decorated several times.”
Artifact provokes the viewer to ask questions – the small size of the images reminding the viewer of postcards, and their eternal idea of a perfect world.
Referencing Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Fantastical Feast is a collection of photographs that depicts live animals around banquet tables.
Cormorant emphasises the elegance of the bird by using a minimalist design vocabulary, focusing solely on the natural aesthetics.
Nomad Spirit, the plain of Helusion is a photographic-based montage that creates a dreamlike sense of space and loneliness, using a stark arid desert.
As an artist who approaches photography as an art form, Jantzen is interested in states of reality and the ephemeral nature of sacred realms.
The series considers the fragility of our relationship with the natural world, and the temporal and finite nature of landscape as a human construct.
The act of gathering and reordering images serves to generate new associations, new figurative and conceptual realities.
Since 2010, Fens has been reconstructing workspaces of writers, composers and visual artists, enabling him to create virtual residencies.
Fallswater Drive – Openshaw Drive is from a series of photographs of dustbin lids that share titles with streets in both Belfast and Blackburn.
Lund is a nature and landscape photographer from the west coast of Sweden. Into the mist captures a moment of peace and tranquillity.
Landscape Study No. 7, part of the series Prospect Poem, is a landscape photograph shot on film in South Africa, playing with the idea of longing.
For Walsh, photography is a means through to express oneself. The Downward Spiral is an image that delves into the deep realm of self-portraiture.
The Untimely Apparatus of Two Amateur Photographers is an attempt to deconstruct and rethink the fundamental elements of photography.
As a reflection upon life’s fragile ambitions, the series entitled House of Cards portrays young people in front of lifestyle billboards.
Lyon’s artworks draw on a mix of the real and the imagined as the images weave dynamic patterns of movement across the canvas of the stage.
Electro deals specifically with old electronic waste by photographing each piece and then putting them together into a circular composition.
Humphreys explores the histories of the technologies that we use to document life, fascinated with the everyday routines that we engage with.
I canna believe it’s Scotland is the artist’s take on the Highlands, Europe’s last wilderness, where nature prevails and fragile man lives under its authority.
Kinetic is a body of work, comprising 16 black and white photographs, that seeks to explore the notion of energy, both its containment and its release.
Copper Mine No.2 is formed from fragile scraps of material collected along the Strand line: the line that marks the last high tide, and its flotsam and jetsam.
Drawing on trauma and periods of grave illness, the works are as much a catharsis as a study in powerlessness, and the instinctive need to survive.
China Commodity City depicts the largest wholesale small-commodity market, adopting the production methods of an assembly line.
That love is complex is no revelation, it can be found in so many places. This Love is Silent is the artist’s attempt to embody this complexity.
Since 2010, Walker has utilised a reduced palette and understated composition to look at surroundings in a considered way.
Cern is a Lithuanian artist, who decided to stop being an architect and to try photography – resulting in projects including the depicted Comfort Zone .
Through the use of the photographic image, Maj employs a self-confessional approach to conjure both the physical and psychological.
Kushwah’s photography is informed by the theory of “the uncanny” and by the Surrealists, who were masters of illustrating the subconscious.
State of Limbo, Sovereign House addresses the long-abandoned building of Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, which shaped the city of Norwich.
Rowe often juxtaposes an industrial sci-fi aesthetic with organic structures. Unobtainable Power represents an inaccessible central power source.
The Traces project explores the concept of programming everyday materials, a form of physical programming where objects are “made to act.”
In Ralston’s work in stone, including Granite Spiral, the artist explores concepts of latency, relative time and the realignment of nature.
Inspired by the Walt Whitman poem I Hear America Singing, Bloomfield’s work references a frontier past and the optimism of that time.
Tueri Terram is a rare Egyptian stone resembling a human head. On its Facebook page the “like” button has been turned into a trigger.
The modular potential of Spatial Light Constructs allows the works to take on a parasitic nature, feeding upon their architectural hosts.
Leighton believes that objects can trigger more than memories. The subject of his work, Burden, derives not from theories, but from experiences.
Voss-Andreae’s scientific training has enabled the artist to take advantage of the latest technologies to achieve his artistic visions.
In Universale, Renes has explored not only purely sculptural issues, such as form, synthesis and spatiality, but also used anthropological research.
Auriga is part of an ongoing series called the Star Series, based on the stars and constellations and referring to cosmic myths from many ages and traditions.
Escalator 0.3 is a free-standing sculpture. The form, far removed from a real escalator, is designed to evoke the idea of movement whilst being static.
Steam Specs, curate the audience’s view. The lenses are clear when looked at straight; however, they become frosted when viewed from an angle.
The whole world has now been discovered is inspired by the age of heroes, notably the explorers of Antarctica, and is based on a traditional Inuit pattern.
Tacky Red Cameras subverts a traditional mode of collection by presenting cameras of a single primary colour in varying conditions.
53:10 is a hanging of 53 doorframes, multiplied in 10 wall-mounted mirrors, forming a meshwork of ever-narrowing and widening passageways.
Feather is the sculpture of a young woman on the brink of maturity, asking viewers to recognise the wonder of the self that Feather may become.
Phillips is interested in the way in which a model or plan can simplify our perception, and can evoke a sense of potential and possibility.
Reflections in Blue explores the impact of the elements on an abandoned linen mill. Puddled rain reflects the leaking northlights and sky beyond.
Influenced by Dutch architecture and formalistic, abstract painting, Mullen explores our perception of reality, space and emptiness.
Daniel Rich’s paintings point to the shifting of the significance and meaning not only in images of places but the places themselves.
Exploration has always been Borowa’s source of inspiration, looking for a place between reality and abstraction, between accident and design.
For Sailor Girl II, Cadwallader’s point of departure was an image from a box of salad showing a smartly dressed man transfixed by a cherry tomato.
The featured image is a portrait of Lybomir, one of the invisible workforce who carries out the destruction that goes with urban renewal.
Chamberlain’s work takes reference from technology and architecture, including structures from industry, agriculture, science and the military.
Robinson’s work is influenced by researching in museums and finding objects that portray hidden aspects of the collector’s self-identity.
López Ayala investigates the gap between the composition and decomposition of pictures, which results in extraordinary transformations.
Brennan is a London-based British artist whose practice explores the representation of places through drawing and dialogue.
McGonigal addresses how the compositional and material components of painting affect the experiential basis of the viewer.
Interested in contemporary simulacra, Rowell has become increasingly concerned with the internet age, exploring the loss of physical reality.
Inspired by the patterns we see in our surroundings, from the molecular to the universal scale, Rose creates complex weaving and interlocking shapes.
Experiences of metaphorical Northern places, and of gradual movements and shifts have permeated much of Punton’s working process.
Transamerica aims to create a credible and convincing space which, while making reference to our world, displays its own distinct logic.
Page 80 belongs to the Transcriptions series and presents a form of non-language through tri-dimensional abstract writing.
Illingworth’s work frequently (occasionally with tongue-in-cheek) refers to art history: here referencing Van Dyck’s Charles I in three positions.
They Came By Sea investigates relationships between a physical skin scratched away, and the idea of the displacement of people through history.
Johnston likes to explore the relationship between everyday objects and the figure, which comes to fruition in the self-portrait The Artist.
Rather than one single working style, Wecerka’s practice covers an entire spectrum of topics and forms, from figurative to abstract and ornamental.
What characterises Nam’s series of drawings titled Fensterbilder (Windows) is the sterile depiction of destruction and violence.
For Beneath the Flow, de Neige sank artworks within waterproof boxes and extracted the same amount of sea water as the volume of the cases.
Moving Plant #32 is made from a fallen bamboo branch, which is placed in the gallery and re-animated through external, low-tech mechanisms.
Piccadilly Circus and Williamsburg Bridge uses opposing digital and film projectors to create moving image loops on freestanding central screens.
Luka Zimmerman uses fiction and documentary devices to challenge official histories and political, social and economic violence.
The Conversation is part of Brodie’s Dead Mother project, making visible the silent, long-term implications of one’s mother’s death.
Neunundneunzig (99) consists of 99 balloons, which pays tribute to the anti-nuclear song 99 Luftballons and reflects on post-Cold War Europe.
*Student Prize Winner*
Hochgatterer’s audio installation TIME TO X transforms the fourth dimension, time, into a geometrical expanse.
In Fiori and Phankova’s film, the nature of the image is questioned. This work is a tribute and simultaneously a contestation of Jean Cocteau.
Nomatei is an installation of “minumental”, representational portraits capturing body language and a monument to unacknowledged people.
Franko B’s Milk & Blood appropriates the aesthetics of boxing, exploring themes of pain, eroticism, revulsion, ecstasy and masculinity.
Filmed from a balcony in Bogotá and assembled over the internet, Sonabend’s footage documents a view over a few weeks.
Working both visually and sonically, Hamilton creates at the intersection of interactive computer programming, visual art and sound.
Odyssey is an interactive installation which questions the definitions of virtual space and the illusory aspects of choice and action within this.
A Fly Caught in the Eye… is one product of a long, multi-site journey dedicated to the unravelling of Malaise, and its architectural / operative inversion.
Choi’s film, Light House, addresses the fact that human beings exist as individuals but cannot survive if they are entirely isolated.
Nkiru’s work focuses on the stories of socially marginalised people, offering a glimpse into worlds and experiences which are not often celebrated.
Form of Memory of Place represents the process of a place which has been listening, memorising and recalling the sound of its own environment.
Experimenting with projection, Cooper seeks to open up the conversation around our identity, from the body to the spaces we choose as individuals.
Working across a various mediums, West creates environments that mix luminous colour and light, provoking a heightened sensory awareness.
Sight Reading Redux evokes a strange, dream-like sensation of synesthesia through collaging re-enactments of experiments in paroptic vision.
Desert Miracles meditates upon Nevada’s wedding chapels, considering how the excessive scenery constitutes a cultural organisation of “love”.
Saboury’s work investigates the impact of the built environment on the human body. In Stumbling Block, the artist and environment consume each other.
Taking the smallest measurable value of energy, as a conceptual basis, frequencies (light quanta) works with the smallness of matter, sound and light.
*Main Prize Winner*
This Much I’m Worth is a self-evaluating artwork that continually displays its own sale value, seeking to question the values we place on objects and people.
van Leer is fascinated with the idea of living in a world where human emotions are expressed as dancing geometric structures.
Muller creates erased photographs, installations and sound-installations, objects and light-objects that address contemporary social issues.
Using video, sculpture, sound and their combined associations, Mullan often exercises disruptive processes to generate a form of focus.
Squidsoup are an international group of artists, researchers and designers working with digital and interactive media experiences.
Inspired by existing facts of past folk practices, Buskova’s work is an exploration of the feelings and fantasies bound up in festive celebrations.
Chang’s installations challenge the conventional notion of the role of machines in our world, creating a metaphor for a society.
Pentatono is a kinetic sculpture, where harmony and periodicity are the fundamental elements, forming visual travelling waves and quasi-chaos.