New Art West Midlands is back for 2017 with an exciting new haul of artists waiting to be discovered and we’ve put together a special culture edition of our sister publication Area Guide to celebrate!
Now in its fifth year, New Art West Midlands is the region’s largest showcase of contemporary art, with exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, mac Birmingham, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and this year, for the first time, Worcester City Art Gallery. If you fancy a jaunt around the region taking in the latest trends in art, New Art West Midlands is for you.
All of the artists showing their work have recently graduated from one of the West Midlands’ six art schools: Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Worcester, University of Wolverhampton, Hereford College of Arts and Staffordshire University.
Being selected for New Art West Midlands is no easy feat: of 180 applications, only 31 artists made it through to the final selection. Together they offer a heady mix of painting, installation, sculpture, drawing, photography, video, animation and digital art. In this special edition of AREA, we show you the names to look out for and pick our favourite artworks from New Art West Midlands 2017.
HIGHLIGHTS – 6 artists to look our for…
LISA NASH (pictured top): Look out for Lisa Nash’s unsettling sculpture of a woman cradling a baby rabbit in her arms, with a larger rabbit watching on. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Lisa’s work explores the relationship between humans and animals – but she cunningly leaves it up to the viewer to decide what they think will happen to the baby rabbit.
POPPY TWIST: When she’s not performing in her band Table Scraps, Poppy Twist creates artworks inspired by the world of performance and pop culture. Nostalgia-fiends will love Poppy’s installation of retro pop memorabilia from the likes of Ozzy Osborne, Blondie and Elvis Presley.
LORNA BROWN: Lorna Brown has poured a lifetime’s experience into her photography. As a person of colour growing up in a rural area, she was subjected to subtle forms of racism – one teacher suggested that she straighten her hair to make it look tidier. Motivated by the desire to explore the role of race within beauty, she set out to make manipulated portraits of her own body. The results are outstanding and a must-see.
MEGAN EVANS: Make-up features in most women’s lives, but is less commonly seen on an artist’s palette. Megan Evans uses lipstick, powder and highlighter to make her striking images of cosmetic surgery, which she hopes will both intrigue and disgust her viewer. The images are undeniably visceral, yet compelling.
HALINA DOMINSKA: Halina Dominska is proof that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. The 42-year-old worked at a building society for 18 years before chucking it in to go to art school. The risk has paid off, and she fills a corner of mac’s gallery with her hanging interactive sculpture. Skin-like cocoons hang from the ceiling and as you walk towards them, they begin to breathe. We can only describe it as brilliantly weird.
SARAH ZACHAREK: Sarah Zacharek’s moving installation (pictured left) tells the story of how, as an adult, she retraced the steps of her deceased father back to his ancestral village in Poland. Sarah recreated a journey made by her Dad in the 1980s, taking pictures as she went, in order to feel a connection to the man who died when she was still a baby. She brings her experience together with video, photography and sound.
Saturday 18 February to Sunday 14 May 2017