Blog: Winner of The Title Art Prize announced


Posted by: Laura Maley

on November 15, 2011 00:09

The first Title Art Prize has been awarded to Joe Doldon at BLANKSPACE in Manchester. Announced with three runners up and a People’s Choice Award, the awards celebrate Blank Media Collective’s fifth year of supporting emerging artists and showcase a great selection of contemporary art practice.

Winner Joe Doldon seemed suitably gobsmacked by the announcement. His winning work Contortion #11 an unobtrusive piece; a book skewered and twisted, barely recognisable as a collection of pages but with the beauty of hand carved furniture.

As a winner, I think it’s great. It’s such a humble and unassuming piece poking out on spindly ‘legs’ from the corner of the gallery. It’s a piece which makes me want to know how and why the artist did it, whether the book was specially selected and just how did he know he had contorted the book enough? As part of his prize, Doldon wins a solo show supported and curated by Blank Media Collective.

I was really pleased with the announcement of People’s Choice Award winner David Ogle for 08010. I’d given my own vote to Ami Kanki’s playful (but confrontational) exploration of public art – but it was a toss-up between Kanki, Ogle and Liz West’s yellow-saturated treasure trove. Ogle’s linear use of colour and light makes the viewer question their perception of what they are looking at, he makes you wonder what is flat and what is three dimensional – what’s in the air and what’s solid, even when you can see the reality.

Three runners up Rowena Harris, Christopher Bethell and Kit Mead also impressed the judges from the 25-strong shortlist. With Klien Blue Ant, Bravia, Phenolic Harris appears to have fun ambiguously juxtaposing real and fake, ironic and serious in her sculptures by mixing found and new items and incorporating the stands she shows her work on, into the piece.

Bethell’s haunting photograph Kingsway Hospital explores disused urban spaces, notably a derelict asylum which has a sense of being only recently vacated; he explores our understanding of what we think of as beautiful, the silence in the photographed room is palpable. Mead’s large-scale photographic piece Hulme Street feels cinematic; its pixelated figure running through the deserted street the gallery sits on blurs the lines between fiction and reality.

The Title Art Prize exhibition, with all 25 of the shortlisted artists, continues until 27 November at BLANKSPACE 43 Hulme Street, Manchester.

Laura Maley blogs on arts and culture at Cultural Shenanigans

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