Saturday, January 14, 2006

Brit painter wins inaugural Sovereign Art Prize

British painter Susan Gunn has beaten 30 shortlisted competitors from 22 countries to win 25,000 euros (a ton of dollars) in the first ever Sovereign Art Prize.

The prize was set up to celebrate the best in contemporary European painting and raise funds for the arts.

"This is a beginning for me... I'm not represented by a gallery yet and that's the next step," said Gunn.

Read the story here and see all thirty finalists here.

Interface opening

The opening for Interface: Art & Technology last night was very packed, and the whole performance of "Hopscotch" by Trawick prize winner David Page at 7PM was very interesting (and well-documented by the many people filming it). More later, but meanwhile here are some photos:

Hopscotch machine

Hopscotch by David Page

Kinetic sculpture by Claire Watkins
Detail of the amazing kinetic sculpture by Claire Watkins

The above is one of four magnetism-driven sculptures by recent VCU Sculpture program graduate and now New York resident Claire Watkins. In the piece, a plastic armature suspends a square magnet, tilted askew, which is then rotated slowly by a hidden motor. The needles approach the magnet from several angles throughout the corner of the gallery where the sculpture has been installed, and float towards it, attracted and suspended by the power of the magnet. And as the magnet rotates, the needles dance a sensual dance driven by the magnetic fields of the ever-moving magnet.

Sculpture by Scott Hutchison and Thomas Edwards
And the talking, moving collaboration by Thomas Edwards and Scott Hutchison

In this piece, Hutchison has created a series of oil paintings of his eyes, looking in various directions. Working with Edwards, he has then created a video of the eyes that is governed by a computer program written by Edwards, that allow the eyes to follow you as one walks in front of the piece (it has a motion detector); as the eyes follow you, a hidden voice whispers to you.

Kathryn Cornelius and Catriona Fraser
Kathryn Cornelius discusses her new video with Catriona Fraser

Kriston Capps and David Page
David Page discusses Hopscotch with Grammar.Police's Kriston Capps

David Page preparing performance
David Page preparing the first of two volunteers for his performance

David Page's volunteer
The volunteer is nearly all suited up. Page made all the outfits used in the performance

David Page's other volunteer
David Page preparing the other volunteer

Page's volunteer suited up
And the second volunteer all suited up and prepared to be "launched off"

Finishing up the 1st volunteer
David Page finishing off the first volunteer

Hanging the volunteer
And then hanging her from the machine

David Page's performance begins
And the performance begins as one volunteer is lifted while the second one is launched off beneath her

David Page's performance
The performance continues

David Page with Chawky Frenn
David Page discussing the performance with painter Chawky Frenn and soon-to-be-gallerist Zoe Myers

Claire Watkins
Claire Watkins by one of her amazing, moving magnetic sculptures

Scott Hutchison and Dean Kessman
Photographer Dean Kessman and painter and videographer Scott Hutchison

Wodzianski and Bilonick
Painter Andrew Wodzianski and DCAC gallerina Kristina Bilonick

Cornelius and Campello
The talented Kathryn Cornelius and me