Thursday, 17 July 2014

Paresha Amin - Arthur Silver Award 2014 winner

As regular readers of this blog will know, this year the judges decided to share the Arthur Silver Award between two final year students at Middlesex University, Paresha Amin (BA Fine Art) and Joseph Farrow (BA Jewellery & Accessories).  Entrants to the award are required to use the MoDA collections as inspiration in the development of a piece of studio work, and both students did this in very different but equally successful ways. 

We thought we would take this opportunity to showcase both award winning entries and to share some of the reasons why they were successful. We thought we would start first with Paresha's entry to be followed in our next post with an in-depth look at Joseph's winning entry . 

Paresha created a series of collage paintings, the result of combining existing work and being inspired by seeing katagami stencils at the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture.

One of Paresha's four award winning collage paintings
One of a number of Katagami stencils that inspired Paresha.  Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (K1. xx)

All entrants must submit three A3 sized boards showing inspiration, development and finished work.  Here are Paresha's entry boards:

Entry board 1: Paresha was initially attracted to the katagami stencils because, like her own nature prints, they are made out of plant matter.  Further examination revealed that various katagami are based on geometric patterns and stylised images of plants which linked to Paresha's own interest in mathematical pattern design. Seeing the stencils led Paresha to consider other Japanese art forms including wood block prints in the collections at the British Museum.

Entry board 2: Inspired by the variety of pattern depicted in the katagami and the work of contemporary artist Jennifer Linsson, Paresha cut up photocopies of her own prints, and photos of katagami, before rearranging and assembling them to make new images.

Entry boards 3: Finally, Paresha created a series of collage paintings, combining her new pictures with paintings which were inspired by the knife-cutting strokes and subtle hues of the katagami mulberry-paper material.

The judges felt that Paresha’s entry 'represented a genuine engagement with and investigation into her subject matter, and that her translation of the material was both thoughtful and inventive'. 

Paresha receiving her certificate from Hilary Robinson, Dean of the School of Art & Design at Middlesex University
and Richard Lumb, MoDA's Learning Officer

MoDA's Learning Officer, Richard Lumb said, 'We appreciated the open-ended and explorative approach taken by Paresha, whose work demonstrated a real engagement not only with MoDA’s collection of katagami stencils, but with Japanese art and design more broadly. This resulted in her creating an exciting and innovative body of work, presented in a thoughtful and considered way.'

'I am thrilled to jointly win the Arthur Silver Award', commented Paresha.  'It was a very interesting and exciting exercise to use MoDA's collections as a starting point to arrive at the paintings.'

She intends to put the money towards the MA in Fine Art that she will be starting at the Slade School of Fine Art, University of London in September  2014.  In the meantime, Paresha will be exhibiting work at Parallax Art Fair in Chelsea at the end of July.  If you can't wait that long then you can see more of Paresha's work on her website.

For more information about the Arthur Silver Award please see previous blog posts.

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