Winners of prestigious Ingram Prize 2022
, the leading annual prize for contemporary artists in the UK, have been announced and an exhibition of the winners and finalists work is on view at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop
since Thursday 24 November, and will continue until Tuesday 29 November.
Three artists scooped the top awards; Lisa-Marie Harris (The Delivery), Valerie Asiimwe Amani (Power Hungry), and Amy Beager (Bobbidi), with the Founders Choice Award going to Rosie Gibbens for their Wilhelm Scream.
Previous winners include Sin Wai Kin (FKA Victoria Sin) who is nominated for this year's prestigious Turner Prize and has since exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Frieze and British Art Show 9.
This years Ingram Prize encompassed a variety of themes, including the Ukraine war, identity and migration, with the shortlisted finalists - from countries as diverse as Tanzania, Iran and Trinidad and Tobago - entering work in a broad variety of different media, from video, ceramics and bronze, to film, sculpture made from digitally printed fabric and mattress foam, clay, concrete and acrylic on canvas.
Trinidad and Tobago-born artist Lisa-Marie Harris (b.1983, Trinidad and Tobago) now lives and works in her adopted city of London. Her sculpture, The Delivery, is a unique work combining reclaimed metal with archival leather and a hand-carved, wooden calabash, which was foraged in Trinidad & Tobago from a tree primarily grown as a host for other plants and vines. The calabash and its innards are generally left to rot, once they mature and fall off the tree. The work - resembling a loaded weapon and a body reclined, with parted legs bent in preparation to catapult another body outwards in birth - holds space for us to consider the ramifications of reproduction within our dehumanised, capitalist environment.
Harris said: The Delivery asks us: What is the target; where does the catapulted form crash-land? Who cleans up the carnage? The steel was reformed from salvaged metals, including some from my daughter's bouncy chair I used to lull her to sleep; I spent her first three years shushing her to sleep within it, after doing the same for my son in the same chair, years prior."
Valerie Asiimwe Amani (b.1991) is a Tanzanian multidisciplinary artist and writer. Her practice interrogates the ways in which body erotics, language, place and the mythical are used to situate (or isolate) the self within community.
Amani said: Food is a central part of trade - especially in informal markets in Dar es salaam. The urban poor rely heavily on small scale farming and sales outside of supermarkets. Food is also a clear identifier of class and privilege; bribery through bags of wheat and corn in small villages being a feature of national political party campaigns. Power Hungry is a reflection; focusing on the political climate in Tanzania (similar to other Global South nations) specifically focusing on the backlog of cases that involve the disappearance of public funds. The foods chosen are considered 'luxury' or special occasion foods such as chapati, mandazi (doughnuts) and wine - and speak to the social barriers of class that pertain to access of not only food but health, education and housing. Set against a backdrop of green (found in the flag) to represent agricultural abundance - food for all is not in abundance, an inequality catalysed by the growth of various multinational farms, forcing traders margins to become even smaller. Power Hungry centres the glutinous and self-serving high-table that the myth of democracy has become - a myth we continue to feed.
Amy Beager (b. 1988) lives and works from her studio in Chelmsford, UK. Bobbidi depicts a muscular male figure, reminiscent of the Greek gods in highly saturated emerald green hues. The green head, torso and right leg, curve around the right side of the canvas, whilst the rest of the figure is rendered in soft pinks and orange, dismembering the body through colour.
Beager said: Behind the shoulders of the figure are wing-like shapes which are suggestive of the supernatural and along with his stance, make him appear to be about to fall or fly. A lingering dark purple shadow and a warm orange 'sol' crown his head. With ideas of transcendence, transformation and Greek mythology the painting's title is borrowed from Disney's Cinderella.
Rosie Gibbens (b. 1993, United Kingdom) claimed the Founders Choice Award, with their Wilhelm Scream, inspired by the popular stock sound effect: Wilhelm Scream - an exaggerated cartoon scream often used in film and TV for both dramatic and comedic moments. Its unclear whether the sculpture is screaming or laughing.
Gibbens said: I want to make artwork that magnifies elements of contemporary life which seem absurd to me. In much of my work I like to draw on both grotesque and comedic references and the Wilhelm Scream captured my imagination for this reason. You can see that a hand is wrapping around the tonsils and hair is caught in the throat. I hope this nods towards a visceral discomfort.
Created in 2016, the Ingram Prize is the leading annual prize for contemporary artists in the UK and was established by The Ingram Collection to celebrate and support artists at the beginning of their professional careers. Now in its 7th year, this years award and accompanying exhibition (24-29 November at Unit 1 Gallery| Workshop, London) looks set to build upon its legacy of providing a platform for even greater success.
The Ingram Prize recognises the vital importance of practical support in the early years of an artists career. It offers opportunities to exhibit and sell work, a programme of continued professional development and the chance to develop both industry and peer-to-peer networks.
Jo Baring, Director of The Ingram Collection, and Chair of the Ingram Prize jury, said: The 2022 Ingram Prize showcases the vitality, political and extremely personal themes of contemporary art being made in the UK today. As the leading annual prize for contemporary artists in the UK, the Ingram Prize was created to support and celebrate artistic excellence and enable new talent to bring their art to the widest possible audience - and we are thrilled with the four works that will be joining The Ingram Collection.
One of the three main Ingram Prize winners will be offered a solo exhibition in 2023 at the Art Fund Prize-winning gallery and museum, the Lightbox.