“A fantastic opportunity for recent graduates and an exhibition of a high standard of both work and curation. Anna Bromwich
'Opportunities such as this for new and recent graduates are crucial. The Collyer Bristow Award is an enlightened initiative Martin Caiger-Smith
It's exciting to see what the new generation of graduates are producing right now.” Robert Priseman, Priseman Seabrook Collection
The artists were selected from three leading art schools; Goldsmiths, Middlesex and City & Guilds of London Art School, graduating from their BA, MA &Post Graduate Diplomaprogrammes between 2015 and 2017.
The guest judges for 2018 were:
Robert Priseman, Priseman Seabrook Collection
Anna Bromwich, Curator and Consultant, The Mall Galleries
Martin Caiger-Smith, Head of MA in curating at the Courtauld Gallery
Rosalind Davis, Collyer Bristow Gallery Curator, artist and writer
Steven Heffer, Head of the Gallery Committee and artist.
The Collyer Bristow Gallery, the firm’s in-house art gallery* has now been championing emerging talent in contemporary art for twenty-five years. This award and exhibition opportunity is aimed at supporting recent graduate artists in the challenging period post-graduation. Rosalind Davis, the Collyer Bristow Gallery’s independent curator and graduate of the RCA, explains: “It can be difficult for new graduates to find a platform for their work, but this Award creates an environment where support is made available to emerging artists in the precarious initial years after graduation. It brings their work to new audiences, raising their profiles and helping them to create new professional networks.”
Rosalind Davis’ curatorial overview: “the works in Exceptional 2018 are both diverse and divergent, however, the one thing that clearly links all these works together is a particular obsession; the way in which these 16 artists pore over their subject matter. There are works that are autobiographical, whether drawing on the everyday and transforming it into social and psychological narratives, others looking at historical and cultural biographies that are linked to identity. There are works about eradication –whether through the lens of colonialism and subsequent re-appropriation or the re-presentation of a bathroom where we cleanse and purify ourselves in daily ritual. There are constructions that refer to materiality or the body, the representation of re-imagined spaces, emotional terrain, spatial investigations, gravestones and climbing walls are also countenanced. Given such wide-ranging and layered themes Exceptional presents much to be considered from this promising group of recent graduate artists.”