Premiums: Interim Projects 2016 at the Royal Academy, London

Premiums Interim Projects at the Royal Academy provides an opportunity to view new work by 17 emerging artists at the interim point of their postgraduate study at the UK’s longest established art school, the RA Schools. The exhibition presents a wide range of work, reflecting the diversity of the students’ individual practices, from hand-made objects and wallpaper installations to paintings and trompe l’oeil, as well as film, woodcuts, photography and sound. Themes explored include social situations, Elvis Presley, ambiguous environments, fictional worlds, armchair travel, Paleolithic art and science fiction. The only free three-year postgraduate course in the UK, the RA Schools programme is tailor-made to the individual student, affording each artist the space and flexibility to develop work across a broad array of media.

Contributors to the programme are leading figures in the art world, including Royal Academicians such as Michael Landy (Professor of Drawing) and Chantal Joffe (Professor of Painting). The following artists will be exhibiting: Sam Austen, Josephine Baker-Heaslip, Gabriella Boyd, Jack Burton, Dmitri Galitzine, Martin Groß, Lewis Hammond, Sebastian Jefford, Jessy Jetpacks, Jonathan Kelly, Anikό Kuikka, Katya Lewis, India Mackie, Zsόfia Margit, Richie Moment, Fani Parali and Adam Shield. Many works in the exhibition are for sale, to directly support the development of the students and the production of new work at the RA Schools. We speak with two of the exhibiting artists, Adam Shield and Richie Moment.

A: Could you discuss the inspiration behind your work and how the RA has helped you develop as artists?
AS + RM: The inspiration for the zine as an artwork came from wanting to produce a publication that ran alongside the show, that showed behind the scenes of our practices. Keeping it as an artwork meant we as artists had more control over the outcome. We wanted it to be fun, fresh and really importantly, personal. We didn’t want it to be diluted by external pressures of branding and advertising. We wanted it to be a reflection of us as a new group of artists, making work and cohabiting the year at the RA Schools. Richie has been taking polaroids throughout his time at the RA, they are instant and direct. They gave the zine a feeling of self-reliance and a personal accessibility that most exhibition publications don’t have.

A: Do you feel that the opportunity to exhibit is an important component of your studies?
AS + RM: Yes certainly. After getting into the RA and having to take a strong stand point on your work, it’s vital to have another opportunity to solidify your practice temporarily, even if this gets broken down later.

A: The exhibition marks the halfway point of your time at the RA Schools, how do you feel your practice has progressed since the start of the course?
AS + RM: The progression is hard to measure as at the moment we are in the eye of the storm. I’m sure once we have left the course, the stages of our personal progression will become clearer.

A: What can we expect to see from the other exhibiting artists? Since you’re all on the same course, has there been any mutual inspiration?
AS + RM: You can expect diverse ideas getting tested out across a broad range of mediums. Within the course at the RA Schools there’s a constant dialogue around your work and everyone else’s.

Premiums: Interim Projects 2016, until 21 February, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD.

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1. Installation view of Premiums: Interim Projects 2016. Courtesy of the Royal Academy © Andy Keate.