Alien Internal Organs And Kinky Road Signs In The Catlin Art Prize

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 39 months ago
Alien Internal Organs And Kinky Road Signs In The Catlin Art Prize ★★★★☆ 4
Jon Baker's photographs have an organic alien feel to them. Copyright Jon Baker.
Jon Baker's photographs have an organic alien feel to them. Copyright Jon Baker.
Paul Schneider's playful installation breaks the rules of sports. Photo: Tom Carter
Paul Schneider's playful installation breaks the rules of sports. Photo: Tom Carter
Felicity Hammond's massive landscapes provide a portal through luxury living to show the ruins of industry. Photo: Tom Carter
Felicity Hammond's massive landscapes provide a portal through luxury living to show the ruins of industry. Photo: Tom Carter
Lexi Strauss tackles the politically charged issue of leaving babies to be cared for by others. Photo: Tom Carter
Lexi Strauss tackles the politically charged issue of leaving babies to be cared for by others. Photo: Tom Carter
Nicholas Williams may seem like the most traditional of the artists in this show but his paintings can be overwhelming up close. Photo: Tom Carter
Nicholas Williams may seem like the most traditional of the artists in this show but his paintings can be overwhelming up close. Photo: Tom Carter
Zhu Tian's road sign reads back a kinky letter about submission and S&M. Photo: Tom Carter
Zhu Tian's road sign reads back a kinky letter about submission and S&M. Photo: Tom Carter

Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆

Every year hundreds of art students graduate from art schools across the country, but who are the ones to look out for? There are many prizes that try to help you decide, but we've always placed a lot of credence in the taste of Justin Hammond. Each year he pulls together a list of artists into the Catlin Guide before narrowing them down to a set of finalists to be displayed in an annual exhibition.

Unlike graduate shows where several works can be piled into one room, the eight finalists have each been given a large space to create some impressive installations and, much like last year, the layout is excellent — it's like seeing eight small and separate exhibitions.

There are two works with a great sense of humour. Paul Schneider has created a basketball court with an upside down net and tennis balls affixed to the walls, while Zhu Tian is even more surreal with a road sign displaying kinky text and a shutter that forces visitors to find a different route through the exhibition.

Our favourite is the photographs of Jon Baker where everyday objects are used to create what looks like the internal organs of an alien being. However, we think Lexi Strauss may be a favourite to grab the prize as she tackles the politically contentious concept of baby hatches, a place where in some countries mothers and families who feel incapable of looking after a newborn baby can safely and legitimately abandon them to be found and cared for.

Visitors are also encouraged to vote for their favourite and both the overall and visitor vote winners will be announced on 13 May. This year's exhibition is once again an excellent selection of talented graduate artists.

The Catlin Art Prize is on at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch St, E2 7DP until 30 May. Entrance is free and the exhibition is open Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm, and Sunday 12pm-4pm.

The Catlin Art Prize is one of our top 10 art exhibitions opening in May.

Last Updated 10 May 2015