The London Group Open 2015: Prizewinners announced

The UK’s longest-running and most prestigious artists’ collective, The London Group, is delighted to announce the prizewinners of its 82nd London Group Open. Following a very successful exhibition held in two parts at The Cello Factory, London, ten non-member artists are presented with a generous selection of cash and material prizes. 

The Ingram Collection of Modern British & Contemporary Art purchase prize has been awarded to Karolina Magnusson- Murray for her video Commanding Content ( Recent graduate Karolina talks about the work in terms of an attempt  “to use situation as material and to actively question/confront the boundary between representation, content and experience, playing with ideas surrounding classical conditioning and commanding content.” The videowill go on show at The Lightbox, Woking, as part of an exhibition of The Ingram Collection.

Sculptors Cadi Froelich and Martin Heron, and photographer Darren Nisbett have been chosen to take part in a three-person exhibition at The Cello Factory. Cadi’s work, AQI, was made following a month’s residency in Beijing last year after she won the Red Mansion Prize: “The abundance of telecoms cables I saw there actually served to conjure feelings of disconnection and isolation. The structure of this work begins to form a representational group, whilst at the same time it resembles the Air Quality Index rating of the levels of pollution in the city.”

Martin, a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, regularly works with paint on galvanized steel: “My work is a process of combative actions, considered incidents and chance occurrences. This particular piece is part of a series that hovers on the edge of drawing, painting and sculpture, loitering with intent.”Darren’shaunting photograph is a composite digital taken this year in Southern California. “I had just driven through an area which is home to a community living off the grid, and this was partially a reflection of that. The image encapsulates the themes of isolation, stillness and melancholy which run through a lot of my work and I think if I had a place where my mind goes to escape and think, then it would look a bit like this”.

Jessie Sheffield’s Magnaparva Pair no. 3 receives the Chelsea Arts Club Trust Stan Smith Award for an artist under 35 (£1,500). “Magnaparva is an exploration of perception and our trust in our own as a subjective reading of the world. In this piece the origin of the red and orange internal colour becomes increasingly elusive the deeper you look. You can only see the colour when looking at the work from an angle; it disperses when you bend down to look more closely.”

The sculpture prize, awarded by Jeff Lowe (£500), goes to Almuth Tebbenhoff, for her wall-mounted piece Full Disclosure. The piece is carefully and meticulously cut and welded, but suggests unintentional damage. Almuth, whose work is inspired primarily by ‘process’, discusses this aspect: “Angle iron used the way I do creates a container full of emptiness. Nobody is perfect (as Osgood Fielding III said) so I lovingly construct, file and polish my distortions.” 

Eleanor Wood is offered the Winsor & Newton Materials Prizefor Painting and Drawing (£500) for Realignments #5.The horizontal bands that straddle each half of the vertically divided image, fail to line up at the expected junctures in the picture’s centre.  “The failure to align challenges what writer David Olivant aptly called ‘the gently insistent geometry”, explains Eleanor.  “The soft-edged watercolour stain bleeding out from behind makes the central image appear to float at an implied but unmeasurable distance in front of the paper surface.”

The GX Gallery Annual prize (£300) is awarded to street, travel and fine-art photographer Judith Jones, for her haunting image Rendezvous (above). The image is part of a body of photographic work exploring twilight: “this ‘blue hour’ takes us through the transition between day and night with an uncanny sense of unease”, she states.  Her images “examine the dialectic between the outside & inside, conflicts of private & public spaces & concepts of fear & uncertainty”.

Kristian Evju’s Punchcard IV receives the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers Prize for Drawing (£300). His Punchcard series of 50×50 cm circular pencil drawings illustrate human interactions with devices; they are “informed by re-contextualised photographic material in a mirroring of how we constantly reconstruct our narration of reality and sense of self.” Kristian describes how he uses his “interest in browsing-culture and social constructs to make associative assemblages as drawings”. 

£300 worth of photographic services from Patrick Gorman are awarded to Sue Ridge. Her piece for the Open, Rudolph Nureyev’s Hat with toy on a chair, is a digital X-Ray image of Nureyev’s velvet hat, “sitting on a chair like a ghost. The X-Ray exposes a child’s toy hidden under the hat – when switched on the toy lights up, plays strange music and dances around. I created the work as part of a commission for Northwick Park Hospital Radiology Department Waiting Areas, working with the radiographers in the hospital.”

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