New Designers, 'the exhibition for emerging design' , has recently wrapped up its 2017 show at the Business Design Centre, London. Following our visit to the show in 2016 where we were incredibly impressed at the level of skill and talent on show, UK Young Artists decided to present an Associate Prize at the 2017 exhibition.
The prize for the selected artist would be a place on UKYA's upcoming trip to South Korea, where they would exhibit their work alongside 10 UK and 10 Korean artists, and participate in a range of creative development and collaborative activities.
To judge the prize UKYA enlisted the help of international jewellery artist Norman Cherry who visited the show with our Director, Michelle Bowen and Marketing Director, Laura Evans. We spent the morning exploring the exhibition, talking to artists and finding out more about their work. Over lunch we drew up a shortlist (which took some deliberating as there was so much fantastic work!).
We took another visit to our shortlisted artists and were delighted to select Lena Peters as the prize winner, who was exhibiting her collection, Secrets of the Hidden North.
Graduating from Central St Martins, Lena Peters is a London-based storyteller whose Sheffield upbringing nurtured her passion for history and nature. These elements combined with her interest in folklore and mythology mean that her work dances between the real and the unreal, creating illustrative objects which work to embody a narrative.
On winning the prize, Lena said:
This prize is an amazing opportunity; the chance to work with artists from both the UK and Korea is unbelievable, as well as the chance to visit and exhibit in a brand new country.
Norman Cherry, one of UKYA's judges said:
We were very impressed by the quality and making of the work and her strong concept. We particularly enjoyed Lena's artist construct around the idea of art archaeological discovery. The panel felt that Lena would truly benefit from participating in the South Korea opportunity.
Secrets of the Hidden North
'The objects were discovered in 2015 in the woods of Northumberland National Park, just above Hadrian's Wall, in the remains of a small settlement. According to archaeologists, they date from a period just previous to the construction of this wall; a time when the conflict between the invading Romans and the native Celtic Britons was at its peak. They are unique in terms of style, motif and decoration, but have clear Roman influences in some of the stories as well as in the form and design, whilst being simultaneously stylistically different enough for it to be obvious they were made by a different people. The objects in the images seem to be related to pagan rituals and worships, with an emphasis on nature and animals. Specifically, each image portrays the same woman in a variety of animal guises. Historians posit the theory that these objects were made by a group of combined Romans and Celtic Britons who chose to live outside of the conflict, living hidden just above the Roman territories until the fighting forced them to abandon their settlement. In this collection, we see their gods, their myths and their history for the first time.'