Posted on 20 November 2013
Andrew Morris, Photo: Simon Ridgway
Photographer and University of Wales Alumnus Andrew Morris has been announced as the winner of the first annual Wales International Young Artist Award (WIYAA).
Run by the British Council Wales, Andrew, who recently graduated with a BA in Photography and the Arts from Swansea Metropolitan University (now the University of Wales Trinity Saint David), was one of five young artists shortlisted for the award with entries drawing on a range of creative backgrounds including ceramics, film, photography and sculpture. In order to compete, artists must have been born in Wales, or be resident here, and aged between 17 and 25.
At the awards ceremony in Cardiff, guests were given the opportunity to view the pieces of art and discuss their submissions with the artists which centred on the theme – ‘Wales and the World’.
The pieces were judged by renowned Welsh artist and ambassador for WIYAA Marc Rees, Director of Visual Arts and Programme Development for Chapter Arts Centre Hannah Firth, and Melissa Hinkin from Artes Mundi.
The judges said Andrew's work, showing the interiors of homes that had been repossessed or whose owners had died, had conveyed "absence, presence and loss".
As well as a £500 prize, Andrew will get the opportunity for his work to have an international platform by displaying his work throughout the British Council’s network of offices in six continents and over 100 countries. He also received an award designed by Welsh graphic designer Adam Chard.
Speaking about why the award had been created, Simon Dancey, Director British Council Wales said:
“It’s so important to recognise and celebrate emerging talent from Wales. Through this award, we will tap into a wide network of the Wales’s finest young artists and help open doors for the most talented to develop professionally and creatively while making lasting international connections that will inform their work for years to come.
Giving these artists an opportunity to exhibit their work not just in Wales, but internationally, will be invaluable for them at this stage in their careers and lives, and I’m delighted that we will have crucial part in making that happen.”
Judge and WIYAA ambassador Marc Rees added:
“The winner has a great opportunity ahead to really develop their work, capitalise on the exposure, build their profile and absorb new influences in order to take their practise to the next level.”
For more information about the British Council Wales and the WIYAA, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org/wales