Radiant Scenes

Radiant Scenes

The Aesthetica Art Prize champions artists who bring thought-provoking ideas to life through inventive visuals. Our longlist features over 250 names, working with media including film, installation, mixed-media, photography and sculpture to articulate the power of imagination and originality. Here we highlight a selection of creative practitioners who explore the world around them through the camera lens. These series touch on personal and universal themes such as intimacy, identity, loss and solitude.

Pavlo Fyshar

Ukranian-born Pavlo Fyshar’s work is about “the desire to reveal the great through the small; the human through the inhuman; the living through the non-living, the new through the old.” Colour, delicate materials, balanced shapes, rhythms, insects and people are key characters, occupying photographs that are imbued with tender pastel palettes and, at the same time, demonstrate compositional rigour.

Ali Farouk Saloum

Ali Farouk Saloum is an Arab-American lens-based artist creating surreal works that explore inner conflict. Saloum started his career in fashion and editorial, but transitioned towards personal work in 2019 after his father passed away suddenly. In the aftermath, art became a therapeutic way of making sense of a new reality. “Trauma can be a powerful creative force, and, in grief, I created my most meaningful work.” My Little Dark Age is a thought-provoking, cathartic series about the theme of loss and feeling lost.

Xiangyu Dong

Xiangyu Dong was born in Anhui, China, and grew up in a traditional Chinese family. In 2017, he moved to the USA to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Currently based in London, Dong is completing his studies at the Royal College of Art. His primary artistic medium is photography, with research interests including psychoanalysis, intimacy, Queer Theory and the therapeutic use of the camera. His works have been exhibited in China, Hungary, the USA and the UK.

Emma Hartvig

Emma Hartvig is an artist who is best known for her portraits of women. Her work is highly influenced by her desire to understand the parallels between solitude, intimacy and identity. The figurative and nude elements of her work are an ongoing study of the power and complexity in female representation, the historical and mythical image of the woman and their own self-perception. Born and raised in Sweden, Hartvig moved to London where she completed a BA in photography at the University of the Arts, London. She has lived in Berlin, Paris and Copenhagen, and now has settled in Vienna, where she works on long-term projects exploring female narratives; the stories that we make, create and tell ourselves.

Sharon Alviz

Sharon Alviz’s inspiration comes from the Swiss healer and artist Emma Kunz (b. 1892), who said: “a society can heal its wounds, starting from individual healing.” It’s Alviz’s belief that art heals, and that her lens confronts personal experiences within a society that limits individual development. As a photographer and radiesthesia practitioner, the Colombian artist focuses on how the mind affects perceptions of what it is to be human. The idea is to encourage viewers to take a more holistic view of problems, using healing pendulums to transmit high-frequency energies into the images as a response to a question.

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition | York Art Gallery | 16 February – 21 April

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Click here to discover the longlist »

Image credits:

1. Emma Hartvig, from the series: Through the Eyes of Others (2022)

2.&3. Pavlo Fyshar, from the series: Dissonance of Form and Content (2022)

4. Ali Farouk Saloum, from the series: My Little Dark Age

5.&6.Sharon Alviz, from the series: The Universal Laws of Love (2021)