With less than a month to enter the Aesthetica Art Prize, we’re continuing our countdown to 31 August with a run down of artists longlisted for last year’s Prize. Today we’re focusing on 2013 Student Prize Winner, Slade School of Fine Art graduate Poppy Whatmore, who fought off competition from thousands of entries, 100 longlisted artists and finally the remaining 8 shortlisted works to claim her coveted title with her instillation piece The Family Meal.
In her monumental structure, Poppy re-appropriates functional, domestic objects to subvert their meaning, exploring anthropological themes and our personal relationships with each other. Aesthetica Art Prize judges were particularly impressed with Poppy’s bold use of space, and her ability to evoke nostalgia through careful assemblage of otherwise mundane household items.
Poppy uses assemblage to re-imagine conventional forms in surprising and playful arrangements, portraying the flaws and failures of the human condition. The Family Meal is a consolidation of disfigured and re-configured objects composed in a skeletal and structured kitchen/ living room space. DIY methods were employed by the artist with an alternative slant, for example using absurd mechanisms for fixing and means of construction. Consequently her works juxtapose a practical process against deconstruction. Each piece of furniture explodes out of or cuts through a catalogued setting, displacing the viewer from the original sense of order and composition of objects. The piece plays with memory, projecting broken fragments of past events into reality with a physical presence, exploring to the extreme our relationships with each other and our expression of physical action in relation to the domestic setting, which has a certain preconceived meaning.
Poppy’s work has also been exhibited in New Contemporaries 2011 – 2012 (works chosen for Saatchi Gallery’s Public Collection), academy noW and London Art Fair in 2013 and has won an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
To enter your work into this year’s Art Prize before 31 August, visit www.aestheticamagazine.com/artprize