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AND THE WINNERS ARE..

News from our Private View and Prize-Giving Evening Wed 12th August

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On Wednesday 12th August 2015, Lacey Contemporary’s quaint space was filled with an energetic buzz which created an exhilarating atmosphere for our finalists exhibition and prize-giving for the inaugural Connect2Colour Summer Arts Prize. Although it was a competition, there was no animosity to be found. Artists, their friends and family, collectors, critics, journalists and art enthusiasts alike bonded and discussed the some 50+ pieces dispersed around the gallery.

acey Contemporary was proud to present the 2015 Summer Arts Prize in partnership with Connect2Colour, a relationship that we hope to continue for many future prizes to come. Connect2Colour is an organisation aimed at inspiring individuals of all backgrounds to explore their creative side and to learn and develop the skills to do so. Founder Sally Webb has no art training, but she has worked with children, primarily with disabled children, for 20 years and understands that developing creativity is an imperative aspect in not only a child’s life, but to everyone’s lives. Connect2Colour, based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, works with children, businesses and charities and ensures the learning of new creative skills.

Connect2Colour founder Sally Webb.

Connect2Colour founder Sally Webb.

When it came time for the speeches and announcement of the winners, there was a hush over the crowd as Andrew Lacey, director of Lacey Contemporary introduced the 4 judges: Paul Carey-Kent, Tabish Khan, Rebecca Pelly-Fry and Sally Webb.

From L-R: Tabish Khan, Andrew Lacey, Tessa Yee (Associate Director of Lacey Contemporary), Sally Webb, Rebecca Pelly-Fry.

From L-R: Tabish Khan, Andrew Lacey, Tessa Yee (Associate Director of Lacey Contemporary), Sally Webb, Rebecca Pelly-Fry.

Tabish Khan, writer and critic for the Londonist and Rebecca Pelly-Fry, director of Griffin Gallery, were in charge of explaining the judges’ procedure as well as presenting the much anticipated awards. Rebecca explained that since there were no restrictions in terms of theme or medium, the works had to stand on their own individual merit, therefore highlighting the extra special qualities that each of the winning works had to possess.

Judge Rebecca Pelly-Fry, director of Griffin Gallery.

Judge Rebecca Pelly-Fry, director of Griffin Gallery.

THE WINNERS:
Receiving the £350 voucher from MOO, was chosen because the work expressed an organic and natural quality. Andrew Hladky’s work, entitled It Aint Us Yet Its In Us, is made of cocktail sticks and oil paint on board. It is full of colour and texture and literally stands out from the wall. Well done Andrew!

Andrew Lacey, director of Lacey Contemporary, with prize winner Andrew Hladky.

Andrew Lacey, director of Lacey Contemporary, with prize winner Andrew Hladky.

Receiving a mentoring package worth over £500 from Be Smart About Art was chosen for its strong individual as well as its political expression. Kiran Tasneem’s digital photographic series Identity, features striking photographs showing the artist herself transitioning from being fully identifiable to being anonymous. It speaks widely on a number of different cultural and political discussions occurring both in the UK and around the world. Congratulations Kiran!

Prize winner Kiran Tasneem.

Prize winner Kiran Tasneem.

Receiving a £500 voucher for Great Art online art supplies store, was chosen for the artist’s impeccable technique and craftsmanship. Olivia Kemp’s Cast To The Eastern Edge is simply pen on paper. With dimensions of 84x119cm however, it is anything but simple. The viewer is bound to be mesmerised by the impeccable detailing. The amount of patience and tenacity needed to create such a work is just as important as the skill itself. Great job Olivia!

Tessa Yee with prize winner Olivia Kemp.

Tessa Yee with prize winner Olivia Kemp.

When it came time for presenting the winner of the £1000 cash prize (donated generously by Connect2Colour), Rebecca read out judge Paul Carey-Kent’s (absent on the night) notes on the work. Paul is an esteemed writer, art critic and curator so his words were the perfect choice for describing the winning work.

Claire Macdonald’s ‘Launderette’ is a simple film: ten men talk for a couple of minutes each as their washing is done. Yet it draws you in with considerable art. The edits between watching, clothes-handling, machines and talking heads generate an appropriate rhythm. The setting is old-fashioned and the customers – in a less than traditional male role – have more regrets than wealth. But they speak with straightforward dignity, and cover many bases: birth, childhood, love, money, class, race, disability, mental illness, war. ‘Life’, the last speaker concludes, ‘is a funny thing, but also the best thing in the world – there’s nothing else, as far as I know’. And, although what the men say is pretty much clichés, the cumulative effect is to remind us why such statements became clichés in the first place – their repeated relevance to human concerns. Something of life’s essential cycles enters the commonplace of the spin cycle.”

FIRST PLACE: Claire Macdonald with her winning work "Launderette"

FIRST PLACE: Claire Macdonald with her winning work “Launderette”

All in all, the Connect2Colour Summer Arts Prize of 2015 was an absolute triumph. Considering this was the inaugural event for Lacey Contemporary, imaginably next year will be even more exciting. From receiving the initial 600+ entries to the selection of the 48 finalists, to the winners being announced, has been a challenging yet rewarding process. The opening night party on 12 August was without a doubt a celebration of everyone’s hard work. The night was filled with an overwhelming amount of love, support and positivity.

The staff at Lacey Contemporary would like to thank everyone involved in the making of this Prize; all the talented artists who entered, the fabulous judges, and the outstanding sponsors: Connect2Colour, Great Art UK, MOO and Be Smart About Art. Cheers everyone and see you all again next year!

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Lacey Contemporary Gallery | 8 Clarendon Cross | W11 4AP

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