A FALMOUTH University art graduate has won £1,500 and year’s mentoring after winning over judges in the Midas Art Award.
Marc Messenger was chosen from a shortlist of five artists, who have all recently graduated from Falmouth University with a fine art degree.
He was presented with his award at the Millennium Gallery in St Ives last weektwo weeks ago during a private view which launched the start of an art exhibition showcasing the work of all the finalists.
The mentoring from an art tutor based at Falmouth will help him to stage his own solo exhibition at the Newlyn Art Gallery in Penzance next autumn.
Mr Messenger said: “I am thrilled to win this award. The thought of creating an art work to fit the gallery space at Newlyn there for my solo exhibition next autumn makes me incredibly excited.”
The installation he submitted for the Midas Art Award 2013 explores the themes of narrative and history in found or unwanted objects.
The artist said: “I am fascinated by the unknown background of the things that I find and the travels that they've been on, the people who have owned them, and the secrets that they hold.
“By subverting them, I add a surreal layer to their existence and through this, hope the viewer will consider the hidden contact held within them.”
The Midas Award Award, now in its eighth year, is a joint initiative between Cornwall-based Midas Construction, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, the Millennium Gallery in St Ives, and Falmouth University to help new and emerging artists succeed in the professional contemporary art world.
The award is sponsored by Midas Construction, a division of The Midas Group – one of the largest independent construction companies in the South West – which is committed to supporting upcoming artists across the region.
Martin Walton, business development manager for Midas Construction and one of the judges of the award, said: “Marc won over the judging panel as we were so impressed with the huge amount of work that went into his art installations, and appreciated the engaging story behind the incredibly interesting pieces he creates.”
Mr Walton was a member of the judging panel along with Midas colleague Keith Hosen, Joe Clarke, the owner of the Millennium Gallery, Blair Todd, the curator from the Newlyn Gallery, Ginny Button, the director of the fine art course at Falmouth University, and renowned Cornish artist Naomi Frears.
Marc’s work is now on show at the Millennium Gallery in St Ives, along with the work of the other four artists shortlisted for this year’s award, who were Isabella Bostock, Beatrice Brown, Sam Cotterell and Emma Ford.