Photo by David Severn.

Photo by David Severn.

UK Young Artists is delighted to announce Sam Baker as the winner of the Mark Devereux Prize 2016. As the recipient of the award, Sam will receive mentoring from Mark Devereux to support the development of his practice. 

Mark Devereux Projects (MDP) works with artists to advance their respective practices and careers by providing high-quality, tailored professional development. Investing in a reactive and responsive approach to each artist’s requirements, this provision includes mentoring, production and presentation opportunities aimed at assisting practitioners as they work towards the next stage of their careers. Our objective is to provide long-term support for artists, underpinned by meaningful collaboration.

Mark Devereux

Mark Devereux

Mark Devereux and Liz West of MDP attended UKYA's National Festival in Derby, Nov 2016 to view and select work for the prize. Mark said of his experience:

I am delighted to be working with UKYA to offer a professional development bursary to artist Sam Baker. After visiting all of the exhibitions as part of last year's festival and researching the artists and their work online, Sam's work stood out, showcasing a high level of skill and conceptual awareness. I am looking forward to working with Sam over the next 3-months to support his flourishing practice.

At UKYA National Festival: Derby 2016, Sam exhibited Ich komm zum glück aus Osnabrück, a site-specific sculpture that pushed the ideas of alliance not just nationally but internationally. In creating the work, Sam embarked on a research trip to Derby’s twinned city: Osnabrück. Here, he explored common materials, structures and the city’s architecture to build a relationship through sculpture that was reconstructed in Derby; fusing a new material link between the two cities.

Sam said, 

These works relate to a new direction and momentary shift in scale in my work. By deliberately twisting, bending and pinching linear forms I am creating a new physical act of communication. The works stand as sites of a past performance where I have laboriously cut into materials creating conversation about production, finesse and technical virtuosity. 

I would like to thank Mark Devereux and Liz West for selecting my work but also for their insightful and intuitive contribution to the festival. I would also like to extend that gratitude to UKYA for organising a brilliant long weekend in Derby where I got to meet a plethora of engaging artists at the forefront of their respective disciplines. I am looking forward to working with Mark and this award is really going to benefit my future professional development as a sculptor.

Sam is currently working towards his work in progress Show at the Royal College of Art which takes place 19th - 22nd Jan, and a future project in Edinburgh at the beginning of February.

Laura Evans