Transformative Environments

Transformative Environments

Installation art is a multilayered genre. These works alter their surroundings and take audiences on a sensory journey. The Aesthetica Art Prize champions artists who bring thought-provoking ideas to life through inventive visuals. Our longlist features over 250 names whose complex pieces articulate the power of imagination and originality. The following creative practitioners examine themes including animal rights, industrialisation and land ownership through digital, large-scale and organic installations.

Theresa Schubert

Dr. Theresa Schubert is a Berlin-based artist, researcher and curator exploring unconventional visions of nature, technology and the self. She holds a PhD in Media Art from Bauhaus-University Weimar. Her conceptual practice combines audiovisual media to create immersive installations and performances. Schubert’s aesthetic lies between alchemy and science fiction, and her multi-award-winning works question anthropocentrism whilst enabling alternative visions and/or new sensory experiences. She creates “techno-organic” installations, but also argues for animal ethics and trans species encounters.

Dawn Felicia Knox

Dawn Felicia Knox explores toxicity, remediation and transformation through interventions and multimedia installations. She often works collaboratively with scientists, community members and fellow artists to collectively learn from the dynamic ecosystems in which we live. Through a 2022 BALTIC commission, and further research at ASCUS laboratories Edinburgh, she has been able to explore the way plants and fungi work together to undo the toxic residue of industrialisation.

Louise Beer

New Zealand artist and curator Louise Beer uses installation, moving- image, photography, writing, participatory works and sound to explore humanity’s evolving understanding of Earth’s environments and the cosmos. Beer questions how living under dark skies or in a light polluted environment can change our perception of grief, the climate crisis and Earth’s deep time history and future. She currently lives in Margate, Kent.

Franziska Bernadette

Franziska Bernadette, a contemporary basketry and light artist, imparts a new perspective on traditional weaving. Breaking free from conventional, rigid weaving techniques, she strives for reinterpretation. Her intuitive weaving approach results in spontaneous and organic artworks. This creates an interplay between art, craft and design, which is a harmonious interface that combines modern wickerwork with unique light art. The installation titled Inside Out metaphorically symbolises three self-confident and empowered women. Utilising shadow projections, these sculptures emerge, adopting diverse forms and aesthetics. The shadow images seamlessly blend and continually transform, accentuating the ongoing evolution. They mirror the ever-changing nature of femininity.

Louise Stevens

Louise Stevens makes films and immersive artworks that are as much about rhythm and timing as they are about (social) politics and the innate humour found in life. In 3% – The Art of Trespass, Stevens plays with the semiotics of land ownership by inviting us to trespass a post-digital river using depth sensors, multi-screen video installation and multi-channel spatial audio.

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

The Aesthetica Art Prize is Open For Entries | Submit Now

Click here to discover the longlist »

Image credits:

1. Franziska Bernadette, Inside Out (2023)

2. Theresa Schubert, The Glacier Trilogy (2022)

3. Dawn Felicia Knox, The Felling (2012-2022)

4. Louise Beer, Gathering Light (2023)

5. Franziska Bernadette, Inside Out (2023)

6. Louise Stevens 3% – The Art of Trespass (2023)