BA Fine Art alumna Zoë Carlon wins the FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2017

BA Fine Art alumna Zoë Carlon wins the FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2017

The 2017 Friends of University Art & Music (FUAM) Graduate Art Prize winner is Zoë Carlon, a recent BA Fine Art graduate from the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies.

Now in its fifth year, the FUAM Graduate Art Prize annually rewards the artistic excellence of students completing studies in Design and Fine Art at the University of Leeds.

After visiting the degree shows of the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies and School of Design which took place around campus in June, a panel of three judges from across the Yorkshire region selected four graduating students as finalists for The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery’s increasingly prestigious FUAM Graduate Art Prize Exhibition 2017.

The artists chosen as finalists were: Zoë Carlon and Olivia Loker (School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies); Lucy Davidson and Miranda Jones (School of Design).

Make up fix, (c) Olivia Loker, 2017The judging panel was made up of Nathalie Levi (Head of Programme ― Curator of Exhibitions at the RWA Bristol), David Salinger (chair of FUAM (Leeds) and former member of staff of the School of Mathematics) and Jane Winfrey (Picture Specialist at Bonhams).

The winner of this year’s prize was announced at a ceremony at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery on 27 September. BA Fine Art graduate Zoë Carlon received an award of £250 for her series of oil paintings and charcoal drawings which explore transitory spaces and states of being, typical of the ‘non-place’.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award was won by Olivia Loker, who also graduated with a BA in Fine Art this year. Her work consists of a set of digital prints and explores the use of collage and visual connections to comment on contemporary issues.

Waiting Room, 2017, (c) Zoe CarlonZoë Carlon said of winning this year’s FUAM Graduate Art Prize:

“It has been a brilliant experience to be nominated for the FUAM prize. The opportunity to exhibit my work in a gallery space and work with the Curator Layla Bloom and the installation team, who have been very supportive, has given me valuable insight into professional practice.

“I have also really enjoyed showing my work to a new audience and receiving responses and feedback.

“Going on to win the prize has given me a real confidence boost and a spring board into continuing my practice post-university. I am very grateful for the prize money which will enable me to buy new materials to create a new series of works.”

FUAM judge Nathalie Levi said about Zoë work, shining light on why she was selected as this year’s winner:

“Zoë demonstrated a clarity in thinking that is rarely seen in a recent graduate. She has developed a mature vision accompanied with a professional level of execution and is exploring an original, pertinent subject.

“Zoë has impressive confidence that transcends her years and we look forward to seeing her practice develop.”

Jane Winfrey, another of this year’s judges, added:

“I think the whole event is a wonderful vehicle for the students to take the next step into the world of practice combined with commerce and the University’s support is vital to this.”

Professor Abigail Harrison Moore, Head of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, said:

“Zoe Carlon with her work at the FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2017 exhibitionEveryone in the School is delighted for Zoë winning the FUAM Graduate Art Prize and Olivia winning the popular vote.

“Zoë’s talk on receipt of the prize beautifully articulated her journey from student in the School to professional artist. She outlined how important it had been to be able to apply her learning in her art history and cultural studies modules to her practice, and vice versa. This is key to our vision and success in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

“Our students benefit from the combination of studies in the seminar group and lecture theatre, and the chance to explore their learning and thinking in the studio ― producing critical, curious thinkers and practitioners, ready to take on the world post-graduation.

“Zoë is an excellent example of the success of this approach. We look forward to celebrating her inevitable achievements as an artist, including her upcoming residencies at the Art House Wakefield and Dumfries House.”

“We are very grateful to the Friends of University Art & Music and The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery for continuing to provide our graduates with this exciting and very valuable opportunity.”

Zoë Carlon’s work, and that of Olivia Loker and the runners-up, will be displayed at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery until 4 November.