The Griffin Art Prize is a chance to celebrate the talent of emerging artists working in a variety of media, meaning that the work and the artists shortlisted make for an intriguing exhibition.
What is astonishing walking around all these different pieces of art is how there seems to one thing that they all have in common: transporting the viewer into some kind of parallel universe which challenges our perception of reality and fantasy.
Pallas Citroen’s colourful and psychedelic pieces including Garden of Unearthly Delights and Flowers of Romance particularly emphasise the points and it would have been great to have some idea of how these pieces were created and what the idea behind them were – something that is lacking throughout the display.
In contrast to this, Cynthia Cruz’s work on display here is certainly is more confrontational and topical, but no less other worldly. Her piece Replica certainly makes a statement about the morbid and disturbing images that emerge from the news and how everything in the world is replicated from previous mistakes.
Emma Papworth and Uesung Lee’s pieces on display here, somehow don’t quite fit in with everything that has been seen so far, the lack of context or form and description hindering our understanding of the piece and the meaning behind it.
But there is much to be admired in Olivia’s Kemp’s detailed drawings, depicting the way in which the conflict between the natural environment and man made structures can have an impact on the way in which we see the world. This is particularly seen when looking at Planted at the Brink, showing the devastation that we can heap on our own world in immense detail.
At last night’s private preview of the exhibition, the winner of the Griffin prize was announced as being Serbian Fine Art graduate Ana Milenkovic, whose work combines assemblage, collage and photography, often creating chaotic and disturbing images in the process. In particular, Warrior and Backslick show extraordinary imagination and creativity that stand out from the crowd – a worthy winner.
Overall, it is a very strong display of work by artists who have already got a very clear idea of which direction that they want to focus their art in and it will be interesting to see exactly where they will be in a few years time. If you love discovering new artists then head to the Griffin Gallery.
The Griffin Art Prize Exhibition will be on display at the Griffin Gallery until the 23rd December. For more information visit: http://griffingallery.co.uk/exhibitions/griffin-art-prize-2016.