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National prize selects four Norwich artists for finals

Three students and one recent graduate from Norwich University of the Arts have been named in the finals of a national prize for artists.

James Quinn and Sarah Smith, who both study MA Fine Art at the University, are both in the five-strong shortlist in the Photography & Film category, which puts them in contention for a cash prize of £1,000, plus representation with DegreeArt.com and inclusion in a month long exhibition at DegreeArt gallery in London. Student Greg Hayman and recent graduate Sarah Foyster (also both MA Fine Art) have been named in the longlist for The People’s Choice Award. The announcements will be made at a gala show in London on 19 March.

Paul Fieldsend-Danks, MA Leader at NUA, says: “We are delighted by our students’ and graduate’s inclusion in the Signature finals. It is extraordinary for an institution to be so well represented in a national open submission competition such as this, which is indicative of the strength of the programme of study on MA Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts.”

James Quinn

sky waterfall by James Quinn

James’s piece sky waterfall is a short video of surreal imagery projected onto a wooden screen sculpture which challenges traditional perceptions of the viewing screen. He says: “NUA staff have encouraged a deeper engagement with what my practice questions and how it functions. This depth of critical rigor when developing my work has allowed me to refine experimental elements of my practice. I expect the entire experience will be hugely helpful in further developing my installation skill set for the future.”

Sarah Smith

Elsewhere by Sarah Smith

Sarah’s work Elsewhere is a photograph of Cromer pier, one of a series of six images which contemplate mortality through an exploration of infinite space. She says: “If I am lucky enough to win the prize then I’ll be absolutely delighted. Winning such a prestigious and recognised prize would reinforce my belief and investment in my continued practice. NUA has been incredibly supportive and continues to provide encouragement in all my endeavours whilst studying towards my MA.”

Greg Hayman’s film Watching incorporates footage of a North Norfolk radar station in a meditation on the watcher being watched, while Sarah Foyster’s painting The Catch is a portrait which uses the visual motif of a stick insect to examine boundaries between the self and ‘other’.

NUA offers eight Masters degree courses, covering Communication Design, Curation, Fashion, Fine Art, Games, Moving Image and Sound, Photography and Textile Design. Graduating MA students, including James, Sarah and Greg, will show their work to the public in Norwich in September as part of the MA Degree Show 2015. Dates and locations will be announced on the University’s website.

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