The Bloomsbury Festival Art Competition 2022 invited applications from students who are studying art at university, college or attending artist development programmes. This exhibition features a variety of 2D artwork which demonstrates the wide range of talent emerging from art courses across the city, with work by students from Central St Martin’s; City Lit; Goldsmiths College, University of London; Middlesex University: SOAS; Slade School of Fine Art, UCL; and University of the Arts, London.
Bloomsbury Festival Art Competition and Group Exhibition 2022 is supported by The Bedford Estates. Artists’ prizes are offered by The Bedford Estates, Camden Together and H.I.G. Capital.
Eva is a student on the MFA Media course at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. The selected photographs are from her Flaneuse’ Diary series.
“Inspired by the notion of a ‘flaneur’, someone who aimlessly strolls through the streets taking in their surrounding, my neighbourhood-walks became part of my daily ritual, in particular during the lockdown. Equipped with a camera, I intentionally lose myself when walking in the streets of my neighbourhood. With an open mind, I allow myself to discover new interpretations of the seemingly familiar urban spaces”.
Jodie is a BA Fine Art student at Central Saint Martins. The selected work is titled Breathe.
“Breathe is an expressive painting done in oil. The concept and development of the piece was during a time where I was finding my life mentally challenging, art was how I coped. For me looking back on the experience, it’s myself releasing feelings and thoughts that I couldn’t have formed in my head and said out loud. It made more sense to me to just create the feelings through gesture movements and colour. Regarding technical details, there weren’t many. The canvas was a print that my family was throwing out – I couldn’t see it go in the bin, so I kept it. I gave it a wash of peachy pick tone, and then just let my subconscious take the lead”.
GLENDA FRIEDER (winner)
Glenda is BA Fine Art student at Goldsmiths University. Her selected work is entitled A Glimpse.. into Days of Future Past.
“My practice is material and sensory driven and the finished piece like many artists often comes from experimentation with many mediums and exploration of various themes and contexts. I am primarily concerned with space and how the body inhabits these spaces using a playful approach to serious themes to open up conversations. Through using myself as the subject, I use photography, video, and incorporate props, in particular props that seemingly have or appear to have some sort of function that the body can utilize through our senses such as sight (looking through things, the act of listening with various objects, the act of breathing or speaking etc)”.
Siqi is a Media communications student at University of the Arts London. The selected photographs are from a series entitled Here I am.
“This series of black-and-white photographs was originally called ‘Here I Am’. It is an ongoing series explores those silent natural beings surround us. Each tree, stone, flower has its own personality. I try to show their different facets (innocent, fierce, sacred, quiet, etc) in this series”.
Yasmin is an MA Fine Art student at Central St Martins. The selected works are from her series Chaos.
“Just breathe Yasmin. Clear your mind. Try not to let it stress you. You have to breathe”.
“Words my mother has frequently said to me over the years, when I call her in floods of tears, gasping for air, unable to make sense of reality. When I am overwhelmed by thoughts, situations and get unbearably frustrated, I find it hard to breathe. My practice sits at the intersection of surrealism and futurism, I use spiritual theories to influence concepts in my work where I create alternate realities to elevate and investigate ideas of self, culture and identity through film, painting and digital mediums”.
Natasha is an MA Global Creative and Cultural Industries student at SOAS. Her artwork Breathe is a large scale comic created for this exhibition.
“This large-scale comic is based on the themes of environment and well-being. It will use the same ideas and layouts of two existing comics ‘Staying Alive’ and ‘Is Everything Ok’. The comic will allow audiences to reflect on all the different worries that plague our minds. It will also emphasize the need to find ways of relaxing and show how the natural world is important in this”.
JAN PIMBLETT (winner)
Jan is an MA Fine Art student at Middlesex University. The two selected photographs are from a set of six self portraits entitled Sometimes When I Try to Speak.
“These self portraits were created using a phone camera and the Procreate programme. This series of images attempt to capture the locked in silence of grief and loss. The physical and visceral experience is presented in the tension and contortions of face and hands, the hands and fingers blocking the verbalising of feeling”.
Meha is a BA(hons) Design for Branded Spaces at the University of the Arts London. Her selected work is entitled Bloom.
“This mixed media piece explores the intersection between physical and mental wellbeing, specifically combating breathing issues that occur with panic attacks in young individuals today. I explored drug abuse, bereavement and anxiety related disorders. This piece of art was created with the invention of invoking hope among these individuals, the flower represents oxygen. Inducing the idea that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and you will continue to bloom if you just breathe. This piece includes colour pencil, photography and digital art”.
EMMA TODD (winner)
Emma is a BA Fine Art student at Central St Martins. Her selected works are entitled Fuji-San and Gigi.
“My practice explores questions of mixed cultural heritage, indigenous knowledge and the idea of ‘returning to our roots’. I employ these perspectives to comment on anthropocentric codifications of nature, using natural dyes, recycled textiles, crochet, photography and sculpture. Drawing upon my Japanese and English heritage, I turn to Shintoist thought, investigating the material and intellectual properties of Japanese cultural objects, practices and iconographies. The work seeks to promote an urgent conversation about Western perspectivism and the imminent extinction event; looking at multi-species worlds, ideas of waste and vitality, the aesthetics of care, living and non-living systems, co-existence and interconnected ecologies. My response to the theme BREATHE is a response to our environment and current climate crisis”.
Markia is a BA undergraduate at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Her selected works are drawings entitled Isle of Dogs and Rackwick Beach.
“I see the process of drawing as a parallel to breathing. In both there is a cyclical, transformative interaction between internal and external world. In drawing, the external world is taken in through sense perception and develops into a mind dependent image. The image is then translated into the physical impulse of mark making, becoming visible in the materialisation of the drawing. I believe this process developing the sensitivity of our perception, intensity of imagination and thinking through the body. This has the potential for an expansion of consciousness, allowing deep aspects of our nature to breathe more freely. In my work I wish to direct this towards regenerating our connection to nature, seeing this as vitally interlinked with our fight for clean air”.