Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2016
14 April – 29 May 2016, York St Mary’s
A platform for innovation and originality, the Aesthetica Art Prize welcomed an international community to its 2016 exhibition. To mark its 9th year, the award invited audiences to engage with some of today’s key cultural, social, political, environmental and economic themes through a selection of shortlisted works in the following categories: Photographic & Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture; Painting & Drawing; and Video, Installation & Performance.
From ecological concerns to transitions in urbanisation and developments in technology, the 2016 presentation instigated a cohesive commentary on the way we inhabit the earth. Questions of material and personal value align with definitions of virtual and physical realms; depictions of natural landscapes defy tangible realities; and an awareness of time is envisaged in elements of light and sound.
Incorporating the projects of 10 shortlisted artists, with a further 90 pieces displayed on monitors, the 2016 edition was the award’s largest exhibition to date and welcomed practitioners from Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, the UK and the USA. Ranging from site-specific installations to new experiments with light and digital technologies, the showcase was an inspiring example of the calibre of works submitted to the Prize.
The 2016 Aesthetica Art Prize Winners
Main Prize Winner
Student Prize Winner
Free Lunchtime Talks at York St Mary’s
These talks presented an opportunity for visitors to further their appreciation of contemporary art and enhance their experience of the Aesthetica Art Prize by hearing directly from artists, curators and university lecturers.
Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Shortlist
Thursday 14 April
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 practices, which utilise the disciplines of sculpture and installation to address a range of contemporary themes from urbanisation to technological advancement.
Composing Time & Space: Photographic & Sculptural Practice
Thursday 21 April
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
The team behind the Aesthetica Art Prize offers an insight into the selection process and provides attendees with an opportunity to learn more about the 2016 artists. A celebration of excellence in art from across the world, the award showcases the work of emerging and established practitioners. This session highlights Aesthetica’s role in supporting talent and connecting artists with new audiences.
Navigating the Contemporary Art Exhibition
Thursday 5 May
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
Sarah Brown, Curator of Exhibitions, Leeds Art Gallery, examines the connections and disparities between works influenced by real and virtual spheres. Drawing on themes from British Art Show 8, Brown reflects on artists’ engagement with the material world and its relationship to digital cultures.
Exhibition Practices: Sculpture and the Site-Specific
Thursday 19 May
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.