The Catlin Art Prize only started in 2007 but in that time it’s built a reputation for being an excellent talent spotter for emerging artists. Each year the organisers produce a guide, which is then whittled down to the finalists who are presented to us in an exhibition.
This year’s guide includes a diverse range of painting, photography, sculpture, video and performance art; with all these media represented in the exhibition. The strength of the field is evident in the artists who made the guide but didn’t make it through to the final nine, including Geoff Litherland and Nicolas Feldmeyer — winner of this year’s Saatchi New Sensations prize.
The exhibition ranges from Fatma Bucak’s meditative video on rebirth, in which she plants chicken eggs into spaces within a pile of rubble, to Nikki Deeley’s creepy performance work where she changes costumes, creates sketches and crawls beneath a purpose-built stage. Other highlights include David Ogle’s neon fishing line installation and Terry Ryu Kim’s disturbing mix of mirrors and cameras.
One of the strongest competitors is Juno Calypso’s photographic series exploring the nature of beauty. She adopts an alter-ego whose face is often covered as she poses in ‘picture perfect’ living rooms with a retro feel to them. The serene and non-threatening backdrops contrast with the ominous poses she adopts within each image.
Our pick for the prize is Conall McAteer with his surreal pixelated sculptures. A barrel stands next to a pillar but only a closer look reveals that it’s made up of pixels, mimicking an explosive barrel from a video game. He has also created a seemingly opaque roundel, yet a light manages to shine through it and project on the floor, casting a stained-glass shadow which seems to contradict the appearance of the sculpture.
This exhibition features some strong contenders for the prize and is a great sample of emerging art in the UK.
The Catlin Art Prize 2013 exhibition is on display at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP until 26 May. Admission is free.