Film and Video Umbrella and Jerwood Charitable Foundation have announced that artists Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett are the winners of the second edition of the Jerwood/FVU Awards. Both have been selected to receive commissions of £20,000, to allow them to work on major new moving-image projects. These new works will premiere at Jerwood Space, London and CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow in 2015. Looking forward to seeing what comes of this fantastic opportunity – building on the successes of all four artists up to this stage in the awards. Below are some clues of which direction they might take their work in. And for background on their projects, re-read my interviews with Lucy and Marianna on this blog.
In her new commission, Lucy Clout will continue her focus on the background noise of everyday life, moving beyond the background voices of the TV extras who were the subject of her first-stage project, The Extra’s Ever-Moving Lips, to the thoughts that lurk at the back of people’s minds. Casting her eye over an online world where private lives (and private parts) are increasingly on public display, she will look at acts of self-exposure, such the case of US politician Anthony Weiner, not for what they reveal in a shocking or scandalised way but for what they lay bare about the mundane complications that occur when words refuse to disappear.
In Marianna Simnett’s The Udder, the purity of milk and the struggle to keep it free from outside contamination are symbols of other forms of pristine innocence, and the wider threat of corruption. Further developing the central themes of her original work, Simnett will broaden her focus from the farmyard to more far-flung, mythological horizons – from the ‘sworn virgins’ of the mountains of Albania (and their esoteric oaths of chastity), to the figures of medieval saints as embodiments of female virtue.