Clara Durán announced as winner of the 2015 Graduate Art Prize

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Clara Durán announced as winner of the 2015 Graduate Art Prize

Clara Durán, an MA graduate from Camberwell College of Arts, has been declared the winner of the 2015 Graduate Art Prize

Clara Durán, an MA graduate from Camberwell College of Arts, has been declared the winner of the 2015 Graduate Art Prize, co-sponsored by art consultants Artiq (formerly Works in Print) with the London office of global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. Clara was awarded the £1,000 prize at a prestigious event at Herbert Smith Freehills’ offices, in the heart of the City of London.

Helen Buckley, Arts Manager at Artiq, commented: ‘The judges were extremely impressed with Clara’s representation of raw emotion and her use of luminous hues and subtle chrome colours; a view clearly shared by the general public, who voted for the winner online. Artiq’s state-of-the-art voting tool gained a lot of attention, particularly as the voting drew to a close, with thousands of people signing up to register their opinion before the deadline.’

The winning artwork, entitled ‘El vapor nace en el silencio’ (Vapour is born in silence) which you can see below, takes the theme of water as the inspiration for talking about the liquid modernity we live in - our fast and fragile society. Clara states: ‘Water is our connector to the universe, and the memory of our planet carried through our bodies. Using photography as the main medium, I push its boundaries and integrate other media such as painting, poetry and performance. Water is not merely represented, but also part of the action by having a presence in the paint on the paper.’

Through concentration and deep breathing, Clara performs the complexity of an emotion, with only the result being captured as a snapshot of the performance. The paper is then painted with a fast brushstroke, and, when dried, the photograph is printed on the painted paper, so that the photograph prevails. Poetry is subtly integrated via the title.

Having graduated from an MA in Visual Arts: Fine Art Digital from Camberwell College of Arts this year, Clara looks set for a bright career in the arts.

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She said of the award ‘I am immensely grateful to Artiq and Herbert Smith Freehills for this great support. It is essential to have an opportunity like this in an artist's career, and it has truly been a delight to get to know such a wonderful team of professionals with an incredible passion about art. Now I have more strength and eagerness to keep working hard and beautifully.’

About the Graduate Art Prize

2015 marked the third year of what is fast becoming a major event on the arts calendar for fine art graduates in the UK: The Graduate Art Prize, which is open to all final year students on BA and MA degree courses at British art colleges or universities.

To enter, artists are requested to submit examples of work, together with an artist statement, in an open period running from May through to July each year, with a shortlist of 21 artists selected in August. The shortlist is then opened to a public vote. The winning artist gets both a £1000 prize and, along with all other shortlisted artists, the chance to be represented by Artiq. The Graduate Art Prize is now growing not only in status, but also in geographical spread, with students from over 30 colleges and universities applying to enter in 2015, including, for the first time, entries from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Ian Gatt QC, Head of Advocacy at Herbert Smith Freehills, commented, ‘The Graduate Art Prize has been very successful and the quality of the works increases dramatically each year. For us, participating has been an extremely positive experience, both internally and externally. People get the chance to appreciate and buy new art and it absolutely enriches the working environment. Long may it continue.’

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