An exclusive awards ceremony and exhibition opening at Exeter Phoenix last night saw US born artist Devlin Shea announced as the winner of the prestigious £1000 Overall Award for Exeter Contemporary Open 2016.
Devlin Shea said, ‘It’s been great to be part of this exhibition.The team at Exeter Phoenix have done a brilliant job, I’ve never seen my work hung in this way before. A lot of consideration has gone into how the works of the eight different artists speak with one another, and the overall effect is fantastic. I’m delighted to have won.’
The £500 Additional Award went to Cornwall-based moving image artist Naomi Frears, for her piece Study In Hindsight.
Introduced last year, the new Moving Image award was given to artist Dorine Van Meel. The artist will be given the opportunity to reach new audiences through a series of screenings in Exeter Phoenix’s independent cinema, Studio 74, as well as a special screening of her work at Exeter’s Two Short Nights Film Festival in December.
The selected artwork of the three winners is presented alongside pieces from five other shortlisted artists in a free-entry exhibition at Exeter Phoenix from 16 September to 5 November 2016.
This year’s eight finalists were selected from hundreds of entries by a judging panel made up of Birmingham’s Grand Union Director Cheryl Jones, writer and NGCA Curator George Vasey, and Exeter Phoenix’s Gallery Curator Matt Burrows.
Now celebrating its eleventh year, the Exeter Contemporary Open is supported by long-time sponsor Haines Watts Chartered Accountants and is providing an important national platform for contemporary visual artists. Ben de Cruz, Managing Partner of the firm said, 'Another fantastic exhibition of eye-opening contemporary art, Haines Watts continue to be thrilled to support this exhibition as the main sponsor.’
A further Audience Choice award, voted for by visitors to the gallery will be announced at the end of the exhibition. The Exeter Contemporary Open also received generous support from media partners Exeter Living and The Big Issue, and St Austell’s who provided wine for the exhibition opening.