Frame; Inspiring Creativity, Providing Opportunity

By Jo Phillips

So far, it’s been a year to celebrate for female artists. Last month, the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, Helen Cammock became the seventh winner of the competition. She works across moving image, photography, writing, poetry, spoken word, song, performance, printmaking and installation.

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Her work refers to social and political notions through, the combination of art forms framing civilisation in diverse ways. In no way does this make the different types of exhibition disparate; the work encourages comparison and discussion of, for example, how the spoken word, the poetic word, conjures a different feeling to an installation when representing a story.

Furthermore, Jennifer Lee was chosen as the winning entry from 30 finalists in the 2018 LOEWE Craft Prize, and was presented the award by academy award winner Helen Mirren! In her piece, Pale, Shadowed Speckled Traces, Fading Elipse, Bronze Specks, Tilted Shelf (2017) Lee uses ancient techniques of pinching and coiling, Lee mixes clay with natural oxides to create coloured vessels.


Slightly different, though keeping with the theme of corporations celebrating art forms, the Lexus design award has chosen its 2018 winner. Testing Hypotheticals is a collaboratively imagined test site that explores speculative relationships between society, technology and the environment.  Rising above a record 1,319 entries for this year’s award, it is a new concept that helps people understand and explore new ways of living and working. The honour for Testing Hypotheticals was presented to the design research studio Extrapolation Factory at the opening reception for the Lexus Design Event at Milan Design Week, which you can read about in our issue!

The sixth year of the competition took the theme of “CO-“, the Latin prefix meaning “with” or “together”. Lexus believes that great design can secure the harmonious coexistence of nature and society, and essentially, in celebrating art, this is what all these companies are doing. The Max Mara, LOEWE and Lexus prizes represent that no matter how large the business, their aims, innovation is something that people thrive on anywhere and everywhere. In encouraging different art forms to emerge, they bring people together, separating themselves from the consumerist market. Their movements not only inspire creative and fresh work but more importantly, provide an opportunity.

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