Twins' gruesome scenes win award

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The Independent Online
AFTER Damien Hirst's rotting cow's head in a pool of blood and Marc Quinn's sculpture with nine pints of his own frozen blood - at the Saatchi Gallery next week - another bloody work by young hands has been hailed as great.

Enlarged photographs of delapidated interiors, in which an arrangement of stained materials is meant to suggest the gruesome scene of a murder or suicide, have won the artists an award of pounds 10,000 - from Barclays Bank. The images - a stained sleeping-bag, a broken chair, a mass of tangled, dangled cassette tape - were set up and shot by Louise and Jane Wilson, 25-year-old identical twins.

The prize is the ninth in the annual Barclays Young Artist award, presented yesterday at the Serpentine Gallery in London, where the work of the twins and eight runners-up is on display for a month. All are Master of Arts students who graduated last year.

At the other end of the gallery was the work of Renato Niemis, of Chelsea College of Art and Design. He builds rooms designed to 'recall the anonymity of public spaces'; his Serpentine exhibits are two walk-in white boxes, one carpeted, the other with pine flooring and four household spotlights. 'Is that a work of art?' asked one visitor.

The artist invited me in. 'Tell you about it?' he said. 'Just experience it.' He did explain, however, that he was exploring views of reality and the relationship between art and technology.

Elsewhere, Siobhan Hapaska, a Goldsmith's graduate, was showing a couple of diverse works - a group of sinister mannequins and an abstract in granulated sugar and perspex sheets. She said that she got strange looks at her local supermarket checkout when she bought 35kg of sugar. 'People think you've got a weird fetish.'

Although the walls allotted to Georgina Starr, from the Slade School of Art, are blank, they were meant to be that way. Her work is a sound piece - a continuous tape of conversations. 'Sounds like a couple of pub bores,' whispered one person. Somewhat disconcertingly, the voices follow visitors into the lavatories.

(Photograph omitted)