Sustainability Art Prize for Students

The Sustainability Art Prize for students Private View saw a full house at the Ruskin Gallery on Thursday 14th April.

The commended works are Roots by Cathy Faithfull, a BA Fine Art student and Not As Recycled As You Think, a compilation of posters addressing deforestation, agro-industry and its relation to carbon emissions and climate change, created by Hsiang-yu Chen, MA Illustration and Book Arts student.

The former reminds us of Deleuzian rhyzomatic connections and how sustainability is about being aware of how everything is connected and interdependent. The latter represents a wonderful example of the power that illustration and graphic design posses to convey a message as complex and multilayered as sustainability.

The 3rd Prize is Nowhere, or not quite here yet, until now…as long as it takes by Justyna Latoch , a BA(Hons) Fine Art student working in collaboration with Lucas Kreoff, BA(Hons) Graphic Design).

This work speaks of Braidotti’s Nomadic Theory and addresses the idea of movement as a strategy for survival, nomadic thinking as a new permanent state of being in a world in constant flux and issues related to the geopolitical management of the land.

The second prize was awarded to The Imagined Past and the Forgotten Future – An Archive for Orford Ness, by Vic Dawson, MA Printmaking Year 2 . This is a piece which touches in retro and subdued tones issues of history, conservation and historic collective memory. It brings together the idea that conservation is about caring rather than preserving the status quo and points out at the opportunities that can arise from social enterprises in relation to sustainability.

Scar Tissue, by MA Fine Art student Artist Activists, obtained the the first prize of the competition. This is a laboriously crafted and beautifully presented piece which shows evidence of good research and is anchored in solid and extensive investigation of its subject matter. Scar Tissue questions the interrelation of the human condition and the images we produce and access through technology. It suggests that we tend to accept the unthinkable as long as it is mediated by technology, which simultaneously brings us closer and distances us from the consequences of our actions, from what we do the planet, to ourselves and to each other. Ultimately, this work puts forward, in a compelling aesthetic gesture, the idea that governing our world though violence is unsustainable and invites us to take a closer look into uncomfortable topics, insinuating that we can only change those difficult truths by getting close to them, close enough to understand and transform them.