Echeverria aims to counter the depiction of the African continent and its inhabitants through a process of collaboration with her subjects.
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 2017 longlisted artist, providing insight into their practise.
For longer artist statements, please view the Future Now Anthology 2017.
Echeverria aims to counter the depiction of the African continent and its inhabitants through a process of collaboration with her subjects.
Photography, film and interactive works are at the heart of Tricklebank’s practice, addressing questions of control, freedom and technology.
The contorted human bodies which are the signature of the Form series transform something so familiar into something unexpected and uncanny.
The physicality of photographic film is central to Courtney Ray’s approach, giving the work a physical permanence, in a word of disposable digital images.
Best Friends Forever pursues the theme of the child’s limitless imagination, creating images of the relationship between a boy and his best friend.
For Freeman, making art is a celebration of being human, and his main subject, the naked human body, is the most beautiful thing in existence.
Edgar O Kim transforms an everyday sight into something uncanny and grotesque, through photographic cropping and representation.
Film and the world of advertising inform the compositions of Harvig’s images, appearing like ambiguous stills from an unexplained narrative.
Freediving off the coast of Scotland has given Janeanne Gilchrist access to a world which few get to see, of forms in constant flux and defying gravity.
This project draws attention to the environment in Houston’s waterways through the creation of site-specific sculpture from abandoned objects.
In her Twilight series, Jones evokes the dialogue between outside and inside, evoking thoughts of exclusion, isolation and the theme of human frailty.
The ways in which we live, occupy and share the world fascinates Bittencourt, as he addresses the problem of overpopulation around the globe.
The portraits of an Orthodox Jewish family in Konowiecki’s Bei Mir Bistu Shein represent an attempt to capture the ethereal qualities of faith.
Eaglen’s work responds to science, technology and nature, using a range of processes in order to demonstrate the concepts being examined.
In Scott’s image Desolation, a barn standing alone in a November field instantly captured her eye, evoking feelings of loneliness, loss and mystery.
A graduate of the Ruskin School of Art, Kessling aims to capture subjects in a state of unreality within a genuine and unaltered moment.
Gibbons sees his whimsical images as illustrations from stories that will never be told, evoking fantastic tales of pilgrims, beasts and adventurers.
Photography becomes visual metaphor in the work of Peter Gudynas through the use of digital manipulation and post-production techniques.
A fascination with humanity and desire for empathy with others motivates Siru Wen, for whom the act of photography is one of emotional exchange.
A move to London by Tania Franco Klein led to a fascination with social behaviour and the manifestation of disconnection in crowded public spaces.
Fairytale, daydream and childhood magic mix with modernity to create a profound sense of the uncanny in Vikram Kushwah’s photography.
Self-portraits are a recurring theme for Portabales, who is fascinated with the way that different aspects of herself emerge through the shots.
Poetic, surreal, and bringing a welcome quality of satire, the images of Niklewicz aim to poke holes in the illusion of a sanitised reality.
In Genocide Specimen Samples Vallarino compares the portrayal of genocide victims to butterflies in museum cases – used as educational tools for the future.
In Shadowplay, the collective breadedEscalope investigate and make use of the physical properties of shadow and of “nothingness”.
Martinez’s fascination with the mechanisms of vision and understanding of the world stems from his experiences of colour blindness.
Through sculpture, installation and performance art, Joy questions the acts of remembering and re-imagining, confronting the boundaries of the self.
Tokyo’s infinite layers and colours formed Moureaux’s artistic vision, resulting in a process of creating 3D spaces from coloured layers.
The fundamental human need to shape our environment and landscape to suit our needs is critically examined in Jack Davis’s work, Nature Nurture.
The concept of “the machine” links the different aspects of West’s creative practice, both in the physical world of the studio and a virtual world of computer software.
The partially-submerged sculptures of deCaires Taylor address social and environmental concerns through their interactions with aquatic environments.
The mythical Golem, a figure created to protect people but which lost the ability to tell friend from foe, is the theme of Goliszewski’s 2015 installation.
Addressing whether it is possible to be alone in an interlinked & globalised world, Lee uses three dimensions to highlight the status of the individual.
For recent works including El Barrio, Hilling has made use of collages of salvaged wood, reworking floorboards, driftwood and furniture into new forms.
The workings of globalised capitalism and, in particular, its relationship to ethics are the subject of Periodic Exchange by Rachael Kelly.
Referencing composer John Cage’s interest in chance, Finch creates a dialogue between visual aesthetics, interaction & auditory perception.
The collaboration of Shuster + Moseley began while living in a treehouse on a protest site, an experience which informed their subsequent practice.
A sense of curiosity and playful spirit of invention drive Cern’s creative process. Black Balloons initially came from the simplicity of two balloons in a space.
Forging connections between cultures, and the realisation that a journey is often an end in itself form the backdrop to much of Schneider-Siemssen’s work.
The forms of Modernism and Brutalism, and their use of repetition of simple minimal shapes to produce complexity, inform the art of Braithwaite.
Armando Cabba uses the self-portrait to capture the transience of identity from moment to moment – we can never be the same person twice.
Abandoning representational content and instead focusing on line, structure and tone, Barbara Houwers shifts painting into a sculptural dimension.
Resembling unfolded boxes or origami creations, Frea Buckler’s one-off works on paper result from an intuitive use of silkscreen techniques.
Visual artist Ian Cumberland is fascinated by Guy Debord’s concept of the “Society of the Spectacle” and its contemporary implications.
An intuitive need to reveal space as an experience runs throughout the painting and sculptural work of Izabela Kowalczyk.
Influenced by Baroque and modern figures, Khushna combines traditional and digital approaches by painting from photographs rather than live subjects.
Searching through films frame by frame, split-second moments from a moving image become carefully rendered in pencil on paper in Harnett’s work.
Corfield’s work begin with a process of digital experimentation, where 3D modelling, simulations and animations are among the techniques used.
Devereux makes use of pressure dispersal techniques, where the random effects of particle interference determine the evolution of the product.
Johnston considers all still life to be concerned with death, and continues this association with his paintings of food slowly decaying in glass jars.
A2arquitectos create dream-like experiences through the play of light & reflection and have created a large-scale kaleidoscope.
Derived from the artist’s Indian heritage, the humble, disposable paper plate is the medium Abhidnya Ghuge employs to create her vast installations.
*Main Prize Winner*
Everyday electronic objects of commercial technology and communications assume new roles in the installations of Adam Basanta, taking on sculptural forms.
Creating a sense of energy and metamorphosis to bring a painting to life is Nakayama’s intention, by combining movement and vibrancy.
Alexandra Carr is fascinated by the boundary between art and technology and by the patterns which occur in natural phenomena and processes.
In Currents, Madeleine reminds the viewer of the tactile, physical infrastructure which actually underlies “wireless” internet.
The entanglement of narrative and place is at the core of Creamer’s work, in which a variety of mediums are employed to generate theatrical forms.
In a signature outdoor painting installation, Garratt responds to the landscape and history of North Wales in his work High and Low or Uchel ac Isel
Baraga’s interactive works are usually placed in public spaces and unusual contexts to explore the connections between environment, nature, technology and humans.
Immortalising a fleeting moment in time is the aim of Carl Hopgood’s multi-disciplinary sculptural practice, as seen in his Digital Taxidermy… series.
In Parallel Cipher, a two screen video work explores a forest by night, lit only by occasional camera flashes, making the urban space echo the natural one.
The concepts of energy and time and their relationship to thought and perception are key themes within Meigh-Andrews’ work.
Images of migrating birds along the Loire valley at sunset are juxtaposed with words taken from interviews with Romanian immigrants living in Paris.
The overwhelming experience of suddenly recalling the past in a rush of memory and nostalgia is transformed into tangible stories.
Like much of Harrison’s work, Illusions is inspired by the intricacy of human behaviour and the ingenuity of the solutions they can come up with.
Elizabeth Tomos takes an approach in which printmaking and performance art converge, notably in using the body as a means of image production.
Kim uses performance to explore fears and concerns relating to human rights, with Street inspired by the story of Namki Baek, who was killed by a police water cannon in 2015.
HOAX theatre collaborate with Andrea Carr and Kasia Rucinska for stuck, a performance piece using rhetoric and soft sculptures.
The constructions of HIMA see them assume an architectural mindset in order to challenge spatial & temporal boundaries, using the concept of home.
Jasmina Cibic’s art reveals the structures of “soft power” often employed as methods of psychological control by authoritarian regimes.
Jesse May Fisher explores the complex world of teenage female friendship, inspired by personal conversations and shared experiences.
Adding a comic or dramatic twist to reconstructions of everyday objects, John Trashkowsky tackles major issues in contemporary life.
Working in public spaces and engaging with society is the key to the art of Kudela as she recreates classic paintings using contemporary models.
For her digital video installation Commanding Content Magnusson Murray takes a critical look at the art industry and the production of content.
Kenta Nakagawa makes use of the structural nature of light to transform architectural spaces in significant buildings throughout the world.
The suppressed history of the Kurdish people is the point of departure for a wider examination of processes of exile and loss of identity.
Silkscreen techniques on a large scale combine with the artist’s musical performances on the harp to create multidisciplinary, immersive works.
*Emerging Prize Winner*
Combining the moving image and performance art in her video works, Maryam Tafakory is interested in womanhood and rites of passage.
In IS HERE I SHE the collective of women depicted shift from individual representation to becoming understood as the same person.
In IF a space imitating Baroque architecture uses two horizontal mirrors facing each other to create a gateway between illusion and reality.
The divorce between body and mind in an age dominated by what Debord called “the society of the spectacle” is a recurring theme for Verena Marcin.
Oren Lavie sees art as a “wormhole” – a way to access the hidden currents that are at work behind the fine membrane of culture.
Ouchhh Studio brings together expertise in animation, motion graphics and public art in order to create work inspired by current research.
Sali Muller employs reflective surfaces alongside video, light and sound installations in order to challenge issues of environmental pollution.
Assemblages of video, text, installation and performance occupy a world in a state of transition, addressing themes of gender, environment & belonging.
Samuel Weniger created this collaborative work I kissed your kiss on your girlfriend’s cheek, it was still wet, based on a poem written for him.
Sara Morawetz creates performances geared to the time scales of other planets. How The Stars Stand represents the length of the day on Mars.
In FLUX, a virtual reality world is created which generated designs of light and form that then appeared as digital prints on shirts.
Seecum Cheung directly addresses the rise of right wing nationalism in Europe through a series of video interviews which raise disparate viewpoints.
The urban landscape, surveillance culture and the impossibility of privacy in the city are recurring concerns in the work created by Stanza.
In the pragmatic art of Stefan Reiss, disparate media such as drawing, installation, projection and performance are related through an interest in the straight line.
Tasha Marks’s background as a food historian with a specialism in sugar informs her work, which tells stories through all the senses.
The collective use their corporate identity as the Institute to borrow from the language of corporate branding and the wellbeing industry.
Film director Stanley Kubrick’s trademark long zooms down corridors, notably used in Barry Lyndon, inspired The Corridor by Toby Dye.
This Brussels-based collective brings together 24 fictional personalities, allowing different collaborations and practices to develop within the group.
VOID is a group of visual and sound artists based in Brussels. They are concerned with sound as a material and the ways it interacts with our lives.
British/Canadian duo Webb-Ellis work in film, installation and performance to tell stories with images and sounds in their multi-disciplinary environments.
In his two channel video work Para, Matheson explores the many unsettling connotations of that prefix – including paranormal, paranoia and parasite.
The nonsensical actions depicted in Yoshinori Niwa’s works raise questions of the relationship between the individual and the collective.
Documenting ritualistic moments of urbanity, Zhou rearranges images of midtown Manhattan into a metaphorical collage of the metropolis.