Returning after two years of being online, the FUAM Graduate Art Prize is back in its physical form for its tenth year at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery! Join us on Wednesday 19 October as we reveal the winner of the FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2022 – book your free ticket now

Confronted by vibrant, punchy and bold artworks you can’t miss this celebration of artistic excellence. Four fresh-faced artists display their most recent creations after completing their BA studies in Art and Design and Fine Art at the University of Leeds this year. Plan your visit, or enjoy it from your own home with our special online exhibition.

Selected by an expert panel of judges the chosen finalists are: 

Liv Hedges (BA Art and Design)  

In the foreground a bowl of red and pink plastic fruit rests on a coffee table beside a pink sofa. In the background is a pink shopfront with three mannequins in the windows.
Liv Hedges, The Misogynarmoire, 2022. © The artist.

Arguably, the principles in which women exist today closely reflects this duality of 1960’s feminist culture. Therefore, the purpose of adopting this aesthetic is to narrate what it’s like to be female in contemporary society, through lenses of retro fashion, art and language.

Hedges’ striking installation is both colourful yet thought-provoking in its unashamed confrontation of the pressures placed on women in modern-day society. Come and take a seat in one of the luxurious pink armchairs, flick through one of Hedges’ magazines, and take it all in.  

Sunny Wong (BA Art and Design)  

Three white walls of the Gallery. On the left wall is a print in a white frame. The far wall and the right wall are covered in colourful and text-filled prints layered over one another.
Sunny Wong, Bruh… It is what it is…, 2022. © The artist.

My practice generally reflects on my relationship with tech and the digital environment and communicates my perception of the increasingly technological world that we live in. 

Wong’s amalgamation of pieces is collage-like in its final form. Mimicking the act of scrolling that we all so often find ourselves mindlessly doing, the viewer is encouraged to participate and flick through the multitude of paper works, each displaying a different image. 

Astrid Butt (BA Fine Art)  

A black room with a projection on the far wall. The projection shows a person in a bird mask skipping along a path surrounded by trees and grass.
Astrid Butt, Bird Diaries, 2022. © The artist.

My work utilises the grotesque and the surreal to express uniquely female anxieties. Particularly, I focus on generational trauma and the terrors of the body. 

Butt’s employment of the medium of film creates an uncanny and hypnotic result. This video will undoubtedly resonate with all who watch it and have you on the lookout for a mysterious figure wearing a duck mask around Leeds.  

Suman Shams (BA Fine Art) 

Five old televisions sitting on a patterned rug which hangs from the wall.
Suman Shams, But What’s in a name?, 2022. © The artist.

I employ found images and video alongside digital editing softwares to reinvent their purpose, meaning and initial intent into my own artistic purpose, oftentimes with a humorous or ironic tendency. 

What is in a name? is the key question posed in Shams’ video-work. Utilising old televisions displayed on her grandma’s gorgeous rug, she explores the connotations of a name in relation to the multiplicity of one’s identity. This compelling piece makes you think twice about how your name defines you.  

People in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
People in the FUAM Graduate Art Prize Exhibition 2022 at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

In October, the judges will return to select the overall winner of the FUAM Graduate Art Prize and award the ‘Best in Show’ graduating student artist of the year. BUT you can also have your say in the People’s Choice Award, so do make sure to cast your vote for your favourite graduate artist!  

The prizes will be awarded by FUAM in an awards ceremony on 19 October 2022. The winner will receive £250 whilst the runners-up will each receive £100 towards developing their creative practice. Don’t forget to book your place to witness and celebrate these fantastic artists in the early stages of their careers.  

The FUAM Graduate Art Prize will be on display in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery until Saturday 5 November 2022. Full information about how to visit the exhibition can be found on the Leeds University Library Galleries website.   

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