Four of the UK’s leading galleries will host new works by 30 of the most talented emerging artists as part of the New Art West Midlands 2015 fair. All of the artists presented at the event have graduated from one of the region’s fine art degree courses in the past three years. A collaboration of five universities and four galleries, NAWM is the largest partnership of its kind in the country and the exhibition offers the exciting opportunity for postgraduate artists to exhibit their work alongside collections of national significance.
Students have been drawn from Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Worcester. This year the Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, will be joining Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and wolverhampton Art Gallery in exhibiting for 2015’s NAWM.
Sevven Kucuk’s work is among the highlights for 2015, his photographic still lifes reminiscent of 16th and 17th-century Dutch painting will be juxtaposed against the world-renowned permanent collection at the Barber Institute of Fine Art. Another work featured is Michael Carr’s exploration of migration and multiculturism using street maps of Coventry which are interrupted by images of the city’s SKA heritage, drawing on the artists own Black and Irish heritage.
Work will be selected by John Newling, Bedwyr Williams and Dr Amna Malik. Birmingham native John Newling is renowned as a pioneer of public art whose work has appeared in institutions across the country, including Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Bedwyr Williams was selected as representative for Wales for the 2013 Venice Biennale and Dr Amna Malik of the Slade School of Fine Art has authored numerous articles on contemporary art.
Previous years have proven NAWM to be an important platform for undiscovered artists, with 2013 prize winner Rafal Zar recently enjoying a solo exhibition at Eastside Projects in Birmingham. Last year previous participants Chris Clinton and Lucy Hutchinson entered the Arts Council Collection. Five of the artists this year will be awarded cash prizes of £1,000 and selected artists will have the opportunity to work with 16 partner organisations including the National Trust.
NAWM continues at certain venues until 31 May. For more information visit www.newartwestmidlands.org
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1. Chris Clinton, Nascar #29 Kevin Hardwick (2013).