Exhibitions & Projects

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FIRST@108: Public Art Award 2017 Finalists Exhibition

9 March 2017 - 5 May 2017
Wednesday – Friday 12.30 – 5.30pm (or by appointment)

108 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3RA

Supporting excellence and innovation, the Royal British Society of Sculptors is pleased to announce the FIRST@108: Public Art Award 2017 Finalists’ Exhibition, presenting responses from five artists on the theme The Poetics of Structure. Open to multiple interpretations and approaches, artists were invited to submit proposals that either communicated an emotive or poetic expression through sculpture; the association between language and its structural relationship; a philosophical notion; or simply the intrinsic beauty and purity of structure or engineered form. 

From increasingly numerous expressions of interest, five talented sculptors were selected by an eminent jury made up of art and engineering professionals to develop scale maquettes and detailed proposals. Congratulations to Graham Guy-Robinson MRBS, Beatrice Haines MRBS, Evy Jokhova (2016 Bursary), Rupert Norfolk and Ana Catarina Pereira MRBS who now compete for this rare and unique opportunity to realise their ideas for the RBS forecourt early next year, accompanied by a supporting solo exhibition of their work in the RBS Gallery.  This exhibition will give viewers an insight into the artists’ varied approaches to concept, material and form, and what is involved to bring a sculptural idea into reality.

Working predominantly in painted steel, Guy-Robinson uses industrial surface to form dialogues with the moving body, enquiring into how materiality changes the way we navigate familiar territories. Also dealing with notions of illusion, Norfolk uses a wide range of media to reinvent familiar objects, structurally altering the viewer’s relation to tangible things and often eliciting a kind of double take to engage the spectator physically and psychologically. Haines’ practice on the other hand is a blend of science and philosophy; inspired by encounters between forensic science and the domestic environment, whereby she explores our relationship with everyday objects and the insight these give into human desire, fear and mortality. Addressing a more obviously structural approach, Jokhova’s multidisciplinary practice engages with dialogue and relationships between social anthropology, architecture, philosophy and art, creating structures which are simultaneously very simple in form yet incredibly complex in engineering and function. Also combining the philosophical with the structural, Pereira believes that materials determine the way humanity operates. Working predominantly in steel, her work is centred on their composition and behaviour and the impact their existence has in our society, in particular architecture, politics and gender roles.

Visitors to the exhibition will be encouraged to comment on their favourite proposal and the winner will be announced at the end of March 2017.

The exhibition of the Finalists’ maquettes and proposals will open at the RBS on Wednesday 8 March from 6.30 – 8.30pm, accompanied by digitalrendition in the adjoining gallery and the RBS forecourt, a solo exhibition by successful public art practitioner Joseph Hillier FRBS, whose digitally inspired figurative sculptures resonate with the FIRST@108 theme.

For more information about the award please visit our website or contact Julie Beech, Award Manager by emailing firstat108@rbs.org.uk.

The RBS would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Mirisch & Lebenheim Charitable Foundation for making this award possible.