Hurrah for the Young Turks!
The next time you come across these promising modern artists and designers, they could be famous
Paul Bignell is an Assistant News Editor at The Independent. He has previously been the acting News Editor of the i Paper, a home news reporter for The Independent for one year and a reporter for the Independent on Sunday for six years.
Sunday 20 November 2011
Take a close look at the works on these pages. There's a good chance that the next time you hear the names of their creators, they will be spoken of as among the best young designers and performers on the UK's contemporary arts scene.
For 150 years, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design has produced some of the nation's most distinguished creative talents – from the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen to painter Frank Auerbach, designer Sir Terence Conran and Pulp front man Jarvis Cocker. Now, a new arts prize, sponsored by the advertising agency Lowe, is to be awarded to foster future talent at the college.
Contenders for the Nova prize, and £6,000 in cash – to be presented on Tuesday – include students from different disciplines, whose work will be brought together under one roof for the first time. The judges will select one winner from the fields of fine art, industrial design and fashion. His or her name will be announced at the college's new site in north London.
The dean of art, Mark Dunhill, said: "Coming to this new building, here in King's Cross, was a great opportunity to bring together all these different disciplines so people could get to know one another."
Here, the The Independent on Sunday takes an exclusive look at eight contenders for the prize.
Pip Jolley, 22
Joanne (Electroplated Vintage Rollers), BA Jewellery Design
Pip Jolley was inspired by 1940s style. She says she was impressed by women's "make do and mend" attitude at a time when money and resources were limited – her grandmother used to "tan" her legs with gravy browning and then use an eye pencil to draw a seam up the back to make it look as if she was wearing stockings. With her electroplated rollers, Jolley wanted to create nostalgic pieces.
Raluca Popa, 30
The Sublime Trip, MA Fine Art
Popa's work – over 20 metres in length – is a sequence of drawings and texts based on a chapter from Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain. Only part of the work is visible at any one time. Over the course of 10 minutes, the drawings are slowly revealed to the viewer while the text is read by a narrator.
Ryohei Kawanishi, 24
Untitled, BA Fashion
Kawanishi's huge garments took hundreds of hours to create, and the designer claims his work is anything but simply "fashion". He says it deals with international politics, terrorism, the role of the media in representing images of war and conflict, as well as the role of the internet.
Oleg Mikrofanou, 27
Untitled, BA Fashion
At first appearance, this huge stack of tarot cards may look underwhelming, but look closer. Each card features a different model who had to be commissioned, dressed, designed and photographed. A wide variety of models were used, including Lucian Freud's muse, Sue Tilly, and the body builder Arthur Tainsh-Griffiths. The idea is to look at how fashion allows people to change their character each day.
Jan Rose, 27
The Knitting Craftsman, MA Industrial Design
Rose describes his project as a response to the ongoing boom in amateur craft-making and the rapid expansion of the professional industry. His project was to produce a large pouffe made out of high-tension stainless steel thread on a loom made by hand out of reclaimed wood.
Isak Akerlund, 28
The Art of Darkness, Postgraduate Diploma, Character Animation
In this animated film, a black-and-white striped tiger leaps from the canvas of a painting and enters the streets of London. Inspired by the 1891 Henri Rousseau painting Surprised!, the three-minute film, similar to the Pixar animated films, is about the culture clash between the urban jungle and the real jungle, and between the tiger's spirit and human nature.
Natasha Farrar, 22
Home, BA Graphic Design
Farrar began taking portraits of young people in London after she read that 1.4 million children live in bad housing. Farrar says she began to see the link between housing problems and wider social issues. As well as taking the photos, she asked her subjects to write candidly about their lives.
Shaun Samson, 30
Untitled, MA Fashion Menswear
Shaun Samson, an American-born menswear designer, has launched his own label this year and was awarded Fashion Collection of the Year at a show in Italy. He says his approach comes from growing up in the laid-back suburbs of San Diego, California, and describes his designs as "masculine, relaxed and with an essence of the sartorial".
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