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The touring exhibition has showcased emerging talent since 1949 and in that time has provided a springboard for some of the biggest names in British art. There were nearly 1,400 entries this year, which were whittled down to 55 exhibitors.
We spoke to panellist and Turner Prize-nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and BNC director Kirsty Ogg about the daunting selection process. We also talked to some of the chosen artists about their work, what the competition means to them and their hopes for the future.
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd
Turner Prize-nominee Marvin Gaye Chetwynd is one of the panellists for this year’s Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Drawing on both art history and popular culture for inspiration, her own practice is largely performance based, often involving a carnivalesque collection of handmade costumes and a cast of extras. Chetwynd is also known for changing her name; formerly calling herself Spartacus, a name she felt was an appropriate nom de guerre. We spoke to Chetwynd about the selection process behind this year’s BNC exhibition and the surprising ways in which such a high-profile prize can affect an artist’s career.
On the opening night of British New Contemporaries at the Institute of Contemporary Art, we spoke to the competition’s director and former curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, Kirsty Ogg, about curating this year’s exhibition in London, the selection process and how BNC acts as a barometer for contemporary art.
Recent Slade graduate Charles Richardson has hit the ground running. This year, in addition to his inclusion in Bloomberg New Contemporaries, he won the coveted New Sensations prize. Richardson’s work is an intricate mix of mediums and ideas and has recently culminated in a project that sees his own likeness digitally rendered in 3D. The eerie result resembles a hollow, rotating death mask, melded with the detritus of everyday life. We spoke to Richardson about his artistic processes, the concepts behind his work, and how he hopes to continue experimenting.
Emerging artist Matt Copson’s alter ego is a vengeful fox named Reynard. Using ancient European folklore as inspiration, Copson has created a character that is both hateful and pitiful. Reynard has many manifestations, but at this year’s Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition he takes the form of a stylised drawing that changes colour hypnotically, accompanied by a voice-altered diatribe performed by Copson himself. With Reynard growling menacingly in the background, we spoke to Copson about his work and influences.
Milou van der Maaden
Dutch artist Milou van der Maaden graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art this year and instantly caught the attention of the panellists selecting for Bloomberg New Contemporaries with her entry From A Head to A Head, a video piece exploring a range of cultural and social issues centring on the complexities of colonial history, repatriation and diplomatic relations. We spoke to Van der Maaden about her work and what it means for an emerging artist to be included in such a high-profile, highly selective exhibition.
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
26 November 2014 – 25 January 2015
Interviews by Emily Spicer
Filmed by Martin Kennedy