On Friday 1st April 2016, 19 Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) students set up work in the Sculpture Court for this year’s Astaire Art Prize. They had been shortlisted from an original list of 68 entries, and they all stood a chance of winning the £3,000 prize, or one of the £750 runner-up prizes.
This is the third year of the prize being offered to ECA students. It was founded by Mark Astaire, a University of Edinburgh Politics graduate and investment banking professional.
Chiara von Puttkamer (Painting – BA [Hons]) was selected as the winner of the 2016 Astaire Art Prize. The runners-up were Troy Holmes (Fine Art – MA), Innes Hermione Mulford (Painting - BA [Hons]), and Alice Lazurus (Painting - BA [Hons]).
“I work quite often from photographs – photographs of close-ups of fruit. So this work was a close-up of an open fig,” said Chiara, “I was really interested in all of the texture and detail, and from far away you get a better idea of what it’s a painting of.”
“It’s amazing – I can’t believe it!” she said of winning the prize, “When I got to university, I didn’t do any painting in first year because I wanted to try different styles and techniques. But when I arrived in third year I knew I wanted to paint in colours and oil, and found what I wanted to do. The guidance I’ve had from my tutors has helped a lot.”
“I was a student at Edinburgh University myself, and I always thought the Art College was an amazing place,” said Mark, “I think we benefit a lot from the creative people in our world.”
“There was so much good work, it was incredibly varied, and enormously difficult to choose the winners."
This article was published on 05/04/2016