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Delamore Arts Prize Winner 2018 - Becky Elia

Delamore Arts Prize Winner 2018 - Becky Elia

Artist Becky Elia has always been fascinated by colours. But it’s not just the colours in themselves that interest her, it’s the science of colours and how our perceptions of them change depending on how they are presented to us.

Currently, Becky’s colour-of-choice is Ultramarine blue. It was her blue-inspired installation that caught the eye of the judges of the 2018 Delamore Arts Prize, awarded each year to the most promising artist to graduate from the Plymouth College of Art Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Course. The award is judged on the work shown at the college’s end-of-course exhibition. For Becky’s exhibit, she created a blue room with blue resin lenses for the ceiling light source and three white plinths. Each plinth had a small pile of colour pigment sitting on the top – one yellow, one blue and one red.

Becky has recreated the installation for Delamore Arts – by taking over a potting shed at the house: “They’ve given me full reign over the shed, so with some help I’ve been able to give it a complete makeover,” said Becky. “The shed isn’t as big as the room at the college, so there will be one large plinth rather than three, to allow visitors the space to move around the exhibit.”

“I was looking into the value of blue,” she explained, “because centuries ago the pigment used to create blue paint, Lapis Lazuli, was more expensive than gold.  That’s why the Renaissance artists used blue very sparingly – it had to be for something special, like Mary’s cloak. I was fascinated by how unobtainable the colour blue was in any raw form, so I created a lens, by filling a mould with resin and adding thin blue pigments into the resin, as a way to preserve and possess the precious colour and make it obtainable forever.  I then project light though the lens, which fills the surrounding space with an immersive, ethereal blue hue. By doing this, I make the colour unobtainable again - this is my way of performing a kind of alchemy using science, art and nature.  I am encouraging participation from the viewer so they can move around the room and get in touch with the colour blue, almost like they are floating in a void. And there is an opportunity within the installation for the audience to get involved and to question what we think we know about colours, for example, if we perceive colours differently depending on the surrounding environment. Does that change the reality of the colours - by altering our understanding and therefore definition of what we see? Do colours exist just because we perceive them?  Do we all see colour the same way? What is colour?”

Becky will also be exhibiting some of her paintings, which continue the blue theme and will also include gold leaf – “but used differently to how gold leaf is traditionally used in art”.

Previous Winners:

2016 Oona Wagstaff
2017 Merryl Hopper

27th March 2019

Delamore Arts Prize Winner 2017 - Meryl Hopper

Delamore Arts Prize Winner 2017 - Meryl Hopper

The Trustees of Delamore Arts are delighted to award a prize to the most promising artist to graduate from the Plymouth College of Art Painting Drawing and Printmaking course each year.  The prize includes a cash sum to help the artist set up their business or to finance a specific art project and invites the artists to exhibit with Delamore Art the following May during our annual exhibition.

The winner of the prize for 2017 and exhibiting with us at Delamore Art 2018 is Meryl Hopper.  Meryl's practice revolves around people - personal and political - and identity - group and individual.  Her work has moved through the encapsulation of world issues in the personal; portraiture - including self-portraiture - as a means of exploring identity; a study of the facets and structures of identity itself; and the effect of experience on outlook and presentation as we interact with the world around us, particularly seen in how the unconscious affects our artistic expression.  She has recently transitioned from a love of painting with oils and a more considered output, to a desire for the immediacy of expression that drawing alone allows, together with a more intuitive, holistic approach where the whole body and psyche are one in the production of the work.

The previous Winner was Oona Wagstaff.

26th February 2018

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