New Emergence Arts Prize 2021
My field of practice link, Shanna Lennon, particularly recommended the Arts Council England as a source of job news, opportunities, funding and guidance about working in creative fields. I look at the website and, although I have not yet seen any appropriate jobs at my entry-level it does illustrate the sort of roles I can aspire to.
The site does however also offer other opportunities such as paid collaborations, commissions and competitions. Some of these are location-specific, mainly London based, but I will check this site regularly for opportunities. It was from this site that I found the New Emergence Arts Prize 2021. This offers a £500 cash prize and a permanent feature in their online gallery. The winner will be announced on 22 February 2021
Competitions in my fields of work are limited and, as I have not had the opportunity to enter the usual Christmas window dressing competitions, I decided to at least enter this competition. My preferred medium for personal use is yarn work, but my recent projects have focused on sellable items or community arts. I am passionate about the undervaluing of yarn work as craft not art and therefore decided to submit my previous mental health themed art piece from our group mindflow exhibition. This entry gave me experience of completing the entry application and pushed my confidence boundaries to accept that I was good enough to enter. It also helped me confirm my decision that my final project will focus on my personal art, producing a piece of art then developing the commercial potential of this.
My artist’s statement included with the entry was-
‘Our mind is often a jumble of mental health issues. This hand-knitted sculpture explores how, through various methods, the confusion can be unwound and given structure. While the issues may still persist inside your mind, they are being managed and no longer overwhelming. The piece investigates a broad variety of areas, the technique, the words chosen, art versus craft, creative outlets for mental health, my growth as a person and an artist, women’s art and even just the display method. My artwork challenges the derision of craft, especially stitch craft, which is often seen as a women’s activity and is actively devalued. However this piece is not questioning knitting or women’s work; it is focused on mental health and the importance that there is a real need for this topic and area to be explored more and open up communication and conversations.’
Only 1 image could be entered and I used the one below. I realise that future art pieces I produced should be photographed as a standalone work and not just in the display context.