Welsh artist and Cardiff Metropolitan University graduate Eluned Glyn has been selected to represent UK Young Artists at the Mediterranea 17 Young Artists Biennale in Milan from 22-25 October 2015.
UK Young Artists showcases young creative practitioners aged 18-30 whose work spans all creative disciplines, from visual arts to music, performance, and literature, through national festivals every two years in Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester. Eluned and 14 other artists were selected following their participation in the UK Young Artists Leicester Festival 2014 because their work was deemed to be particularly outstanding.
Eluned graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a first-class BA (Hons) in Ceramics in 2012, after achieving a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Coleg Sir Gâr in 2009. Inspired by the Cubist, Modernist, and Deconstructivist movements, she creates her ceramic works by breaking up and rebuilding existing vessels sourced from charity shops, creating pieces that represent the distortion of familiar objects, and which question the relationship between form and function. Speaking of the opportunity to exhibit her current collection, Minimus Maximus, at the Mediterranea 17 Young Artists Biennale, she said:
"I'm really excited to exhibit in Milan as it's the first time that my work will be shown outside of the UK. UK Young Artists has given me optimism for the future and helped me gain contacts, networks and most importantly, friends. It can be quite daunting after graduating and the Festival has helped bridge the gap between being a student and an independent artist."
The artists were selected by a panel of UK Young Artists Ambassadors, all award-winning and internationally-recognised creative practitioners in their own right. Mandy Barker is an internationally-published photographer who has achieved The Royal Photographic Society's Environmental Bursary (2012), the LensCulture Earth Award (2015), and multiple nominations for the Prix Pictet. Marcus Coates is a contemporary artist who has been awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists (2008) and the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize (2009), and was shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth commission in 2013. Anna Williams is a dancer and choreographer who has been awarded the Prix Individuel (ADAMI) performance award (1996) and nominated for a South Bank Show award. Tom Roden is one half of comedy, dance, and theatre company New Art Club, which has toured internationally, been a Place Prize finalist (2004), and won the Edinburgh Spotlight Best Comedy Award (2010), and is currently an Associate Artist at Cambridge Junction and Curve Theatre in Leicester.
For most of these artists the event will be the first time their work has been exhibited outside of the UK. Taking part will therefore offer a vital opportunity to share their work in a global context and make key international connections. Since 2010, UK Young Artists has supported emerging creative practitioners in exhibiting their work at BJCEM Biennales in Thessaloniki and Rome (2011), Skopje (2009), and Bari (2008), and in 2012 hosted World Event Young Artists (WEYA); a project that brought together 1,000 young artists from over 100 nations. Rob Brannen, chair of the board for UK Young Artists, explains why opportunities to exhibit before international audiences are so important:
"Building a career as an independent artist can be challenging at first. UK Young Artists supports young creatives at a crucial time in their career to establish contacts and exhibit their work professionally. By participating in Mediterrenea 17, the young artists are able to do this on an international scale. The cross-cultural dialogues and creative exchanges they experience in Milan will help to develop and shape their artistic practices and provide them with valuable international recognition for their work."
The presence of UK Young Artists at the Mediterranea 17 Young Artists Biennale will be supported by funding from Arts Council England (ACE). In June 2015, UK Young Artists received £200,000 of ACE funding to support an expanded and enhanced programme of activity. This will include its attendance at the BJCEM Biennales both in October 2015 and again in 2017 with a new group of artists, who will be selected from the participants in the UK Young Artists Derby Festival 2016.
The ACE funding will also be used in the creation of Artist Development Platforms that will take place in Loughborough every other year. The first will take place in 2015, and will include a programme of residencies, commissions, talks, workshops, and structured feedback from UK Young Artists alumni. These Artist Development Platforms will support UK Young Artists' core values of encouraging dialogue between different art forms and supporting early-career artists in expanding their practice and critical engagement.
For further information, imagery and interview requests please contact Sophie Evingar, Marketing and Communications Officer, UK Young Artists via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +44 (0)1509 222948 (Thursdays only).