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Painting by Lydia Carter - birds eye view of two sets of hands are working with crops over a bucket
2023 Edinburgh College of Art graduates Lizzie Henson, Remi Jablecki, Lydia Carter, Eleanor Whitbread and You Liang Zhu have been selected for the New Blood Art Emerging Art Prize 2023 and will show their work at the Saatchi Gallery London.

Five recent graduates from Edinburgh College of Art have been selected for the New Blood Art Emerging Art Prize, a newly launched prize and exhibition for 2023 with an aim of platforming the most exciting emerging artists graduating from UK art institutions. 

Their work, along with work from other shortlisted artists, will be presented at the StART Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery London from Wednesday 11 October to Sunday 15 October 2023. 

The ECA graduates selected are: 

  • Lizzie Henson, BA (Hons) Painting
  • Remi Jablecki, BA (Hons) Painting
  • Lydia Carter, BA (Hons) Painting
  • Eleanor Whitbread, BA (Hons) Photography
  • You Liang Zhu, BA (Hons) Photography

They are among 35 new graduates selected from more than 100 nominees for the prize, from art institutions across the UK. 

The winner of the prize will receive an immersive four-week art residency at creative hub SPUD in the New Forest, a solo show in 2024, and one-to-one mentoring.

Introducing the artists 

Lizzie Henson describes her work: "Intangible spaces are created through tonality and surface while questioning not who you are but where you are. Practicing intuition and spontaneity requires playing with the known and the unknown. The physicality of colour, line, and materiality are explored through serene applications of colour and blocked out spaces." Lizzie's artwork selected for the exhibition was created with ink and masking fluid on canvas.

Remi Jablecki's painting Maturing was selected for the exhibition. He explained: “The architectural and sharp composition of the painting suggest the difficulties of Queer growth. The artwork introduces the nostalgic story while providing the strength and confidence gained through engagement with garden. It attempts to showcase personal narrative of growing up and maturing.” 

About her practice, Lydia Carter, said: “I am exploring reciprocity with the land, brought about by folk ritual, rural craft and land labour.  

“I am engaged with previous modes of living, delving into the making and reusing of materials, unpicking the final products that we take for granted. Through this I wish to embody speed resistance, and a relationship with the land that is akin to worship.” 

Eleanor Whitbread’s recent work was inspired by Caroline Criado-Perez’s book 'Invisible Women’. She said: “My photographic practice explores the intricate dynamic of gender within society, aiming to address the unacknowledged limitations that women face in the workplace and in society as a whole. By shining a studio light on this glaring inequality, my work seeks to empower women while sparking conversation as well as subconscious reflection. 

“Despite some progress over the last few years, women earn 14.9% less than men and occupy just 30% of management roles in the UK. Inspired by the powerful message of Caroline Criado-Perez’s book 'Invisible Women’, my recent work demonstrates that this bias is often unseen but yet has profound effects.” 

You Liang Zhu's selected work is titled Our only guidance is homesickness. She said: “The title is a quote from Der Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, the photo in the center was taken by my dad, of my mom pregnant with me.  

“The reflection of a salesman’s suit in the mirror is my faceless dad, this photo that represents the beginning of my life sits at the eye of a tornado, with images of my childhood floating around, weaving out my drifting life.” 

More about the New Blood Art Emerging Art Prize 

This annual New Blood Art Emerging Art Prize launched in 2023 and will seek to platform and celebrate the most exciting emerging artists graduating from UK art institutions each year. 

The prize’s launch in 2023 builds on the principles of the gallery’s establishment in 2004, which sought to support young artists transitioning out of art school by making gallery representation more accessible. 

New Blood Art is partnering with StART art fair to present the nominees’ work at Saatchi Gallery London. 

Find out more about the New Blood Art Emerging Art Prize. 

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