Anti-sensation! Artist's 'discreet and quiet' work wins £26,000 Beck's Futures Prize

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A pear-shaped sculpture bearing a floral motif and a crystal orb at its centre created by the artist Christina Mackie has won the Beck's Futures Prize for contemporary art.

A pear-shaped sculpture bearing a floral motif and a crystal orb at its centre created by the artist Christina Mackie has won the Beck's Futures Prize for contemporary art.

Mackie, 48,collected the award and a prize of £26,666 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London for her workVersion 2: Part 1.

Originally entitled My Depression, her sculptural installation consisted of a form reminiscent of a flower bud and a huge wooden shelter looming above it. A soundtrack accompanies the work, as well as a slide show bearing images of flower petals in various stages of being stripped.

Mackie said: "I am so thrilled to have received this award, which enables me to continue my practice and complete several new works."

The sculpture was praised by the ICA and judging panel for spearheading a new era of quiet, "anti-sensationalist" art. Jens Hoffmann, the ICA's director of exhibitions, said the curious piece, which was chosen ahead of works from five other shortlisted artists, was picked for its engaging, yet quiet, quality. "The jury saw the way in which there was a particular subtlety and subjectivity that set this work apart from all of the other works that are much more in your face," he said. "It is more discreet and quiet. The point is that it is anti-sensational."

Wolfgang Tillmans, who was on the jury panel of five artists, curators or critics, said the short-listed works all showed a move towards quieter, more mature work, which is in contrast to the often shocking work of the Young British Artists which dominated the art scene in the 1990s.

"The general observation this year was that all the artists were following a much more quiet practice but not less interesting.

"We cannot knock the YBA generation and this is not seen as a statement against what has gone before it, but what we have is a group of artists who are much more self-assured and playing it real. The prize reflects that the art world can produce great exciting works without shock tactics," he said.

He added that this could be as a result of the growth of the contemporary arts scene - 15 years ago, there were only five galleries in London which showcased avant-garde international art.

Mackie was born in Oxford before moving to Canada, where she spent her childhood. Her work is characterised by an interest in the connection between objects, and her works use a number of materials. Through layering different elements, her art aims to translate abstract emotions into concrete forms.

The other shortlisted artists were Lali Chetwynd, 31, Luke Fowler, 26, Ryan Gander, 28, Daria Martin, 31, and Donald Urquhart, 41, who will receive more than £6,000 each.

The shortlisted and winning works will be on display at the Beck's Futures 2005 Exhibition, at the ICA until 15 May, before travelling to the CCA in Glasgow on 28 May.

Comments