Maya Ramsay has been announced as the winner of the prestigious biennial open submission competition EMERGENCY at Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth. More than 375 entries were received from emerging artists around the world and a shortlist of ten artists were selected by the panel, which comprised artist Suki Chan; Karen MacKinnon, Director and Curator of Artes Mundi; Kwong Lee, Director of Castlefield Gallery; and Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex.
Maya Ramsay’s winning submission Wall of Sound is a series of graphite wall rubbings on blank manuscript paper, taken from the woodchip wallpaper In Jimi Hendrix’s London home. The resulting rubbings look remarkably like musical notation, creating a beautiful and arresting piece of work that invites the viewer to imagine the sound Hendrix’s walls might make. The five sections of Maya Ramsay’s work, which form a ‘suite’ of music, have been performed as part of the London Jazz festival and at The Southbank Centre.
Compositions based on the wallpaper score will also be performed at the opening of the Hendrix museum on 13 February 2016 by actress Jessica Hynes and musician-composers Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Chris Montague and Calum Gourlay.
Maya Ramsay wins a prize of £1000, and a solo exhibition at the gallery in 2017. Accepting her award, she said: ‘I am very delighted to be the winner of EMERGENCY 2015/16 and look forward to following in the footsteps of the internationally-acclaimed artists who have been supported by Aspex during the early stages of their careers.’
Emergency is a key element of National portfolio organisation Aspex’s programme, providing early career artists with an opportunity to bring their work to wider attention.
Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex, said: ‘The work of all ten artists included within the group emergency exhibition is of an exceptionally high standard, and therefore it was very difficult to come to a final decision.
‘But Maya’s approach to exploring the history and nature of spaces is incredibly interesting and we are excited to see what she might do next, and help her to achieve her ambitions.’
The other artists with shortlisted work appearing in the exhibition are Alison Carlier, Rita Evans, Euan Gray, Chris Shaw Hughes, Caroline King, Jane Lawson, Laura Malacart, Steve Moberly and Tim Simmons.