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Andrew Morris, What's Left Behind

 

Andrew Morris, a recent graduate of University of Wales Trinity St David (formerly Swansea Metropolitan University), has just won the inaugural Wales International Young Artist Award, with a body of photographs that look at absence and loss through the documentation of the houses that come on to the market, following the death of their owners.

Judges Marc Rees, Hannah Firth and Melissa Hinkin, who had whittled the shortlist down to five candidates, selected Morris for the painterly quality and the sense of absence in his work. Hannah Firth said, "It's really important to support artists who have just graduated to continue to live and work in Wales". Morris receives500 and the opportunity to show his work through the international network of 500 British Council offices.

Simon Dancey, Director of the British Council, Wales, said that the British Council were looking to expand this scheme across the UK, which will allow artists to engage internationally, but was proud that Wales had done it first.

This scheme is not the only one to focus on emerging artists working internationally as the Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International this week launched Igniting Potential, which will enable young artists to make overseas visits to build their networks internationally.

The Arts Councils' chief Executive, Nick Capaldi congratulated the British Council on launching the new award scheme, adding that he was pleased that there was a pool of talent to draw on and that it was important that up and coming artists could have their skill and talents recognised. "I believe that everyone is creative but not everyone is an artist", Capaldi commented, using the analogy that not everyone who can hold a frying pan is a chef. Artists are, in Capaldi's view, "Special people who have the ability to look at the world and understand things that are outside the purview of other people".

The winner was visibly moved as he accepted his award, while family members jumped for joy as the announcement was made.

You can read more about Andrew Morris in Issue 2 of CCQ Magazine, out early January 2014.