Chudamani Clowes has been named as the winner of the Griffin Art Prize 2014. Chudamani is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, and competed against nine other shortlisted artists for the prize, which includes use of an exclusive studio space in West London. For over 20 years, Chudamani has worked as a teacher, before studying fine art at both Central St. Martins – and most recently graduating with an MA from the Royal College of Art in 2014. The artist’s working practice spans media from textile and sculpture to etchings and typography, developing an original alphabet using Victorian imagery and taking inspiration from the official language of flags, semaphore and the maritime alphabet.
Chudamani was inspired by her research into the ethnographic archive at the British Museum, the artist works with artefacts to form fictional narratives of a colonial past. She describes herself as a ‘post-colonial subject’, informing her reclamation and reappropriation of objects from her family history to shape her identity through a process of translation. ‘Using the imagery and language of her chosen objects, Clowes enacts a retelling of her own historical past, exploring issues of immigration, race and diaspora today’ – according to a press statement.
Chudamani has been awarded the one-off opportunity to take up a six-month residency; and will also be given the opportunity to exhibit new work in a solo show in September 2015.
The judging panel based their decision on innovation and potential of these promising artists,the panel was composed of Alastair Smart, chief art critic for The Telegraph; Gordon Cheung, internationally acclaimed contemporary artist; Anj Smith, whose paintings have been exhibited worldwide, with a solo exhibition opening at Hauser & Wirth in autumn 2015; Jenni Lomax OBE, director of the Camden Arts Centre; and Jenny Lindén Urnes, Owner and Chairman of Lindéngruppen, a family business based in Sweden, focusing on long-term development of industrial companies, including Winsor & Newton, Cont&ea cute; à Paris and Liquitex.
The prize is an independent annual award aimed at supporting the UK’s most talented emerging artists and is open to anyone who has graduated from a recognised UK art education institution within the last five years. The work from the ten shortlisted artists is on display in the Griffin Gallery until 19 December.
The shortlisted artist’s were; Jennifer Campbell, Elisha Enfield, Yvonne Feng, Evy Jokhova, Matthew Krishanu, Sarah Lederman, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Alexandra Sinopoulou, and Jinge Zhao.