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'...i've a feeling that we're not in Kansas anymore' by Suzanne de Emmony

...i've a feeling that we're not in Kansas anymore by Artist Suzanne de Emmony

Judges Comments

We arrived at this winner after a very stimulating discussion that was a credit to the work. It made us think, discuss collectively and look beyond its initial beauty to its considerable poetic depths. This was the stand out piece in a unified body of work that was consistently aesthetically satisfying. It was also mysterious with, I thought, the balance and joy of Richard Hamilton's late work. There is a fine sense of colour throughout with an understanding of colour tension, light and mystery. Part of its strength was that we all bought our own responses to it. The artist is completely in charge of her materials, and not over influenced by them - hard to do with projection and space.

She is a story telling artist that also makes us see something 'all at once'. I believe this is called Gestalt. I would love to see more of her work. Jan Woolf

I love the voyeuristic nature of Suzannes work. Each piece creates a sense of wonder and intrigue. I've a feeling that we're not in Kansas anymore, part 2 like much of this series focuses on a central projection but what fascinates me most is the outside scene where the story is set. Ryan Stanier.

The three prints submitted to this women artists competition caught my attention as images from a very deep and yet playful subconscious, as cinematic memories of a child used to construct a solitary game with whatever she had at hand. Looking closer at Suzanne's body of work, we can also discover her brilliant use of light, her ability to compose complex and uncompromising narratives with very minimal references and her rapid and confident strokes. But the most subtle element which, to make my decision, overcame all her skills, is the approach to the invisible, to the hidden, to the dusty floor of our fragile lives. Montse Gallego

Very Highly Commended - Our Land: Sample Square of Common Land Grass

Our Land. Sample square of Common Land Grass - Jill Eastland Artist Jill Eastland

'Our Land: Sample square of Common Land Grass' was a very close runner-up, for me it showed the importance of outside spaces for those living in urban areas. The painting has a wild and untamed nature with each blade of grass bursting through trying to create it's own space. The painting is beautifully executed and I look forward to seeing more of Jill's work. Ryan Stanier.

An exceptional piece in a body of work that didn't quite reveal the maturity of 'Our Land..' What at first could seem like photography or painted verisimilitude revealed in fact a delightful strength through skilful naturalism that works for, and not against it (important in a contemporary piece). The aesthetically unifying device of the grid is satisfying too. It is a work of love through seeing - with great style and vision. It's also subtly political in its subject matter, ie in showing the beauty (but not shallow charm) of a little patch of nature that we might think is negligible - passionately seen and committed. Shame we didn't know the size but I'd love to see how she develops. Jan Woolf

Jill's work is based mainly in her experience as a big city citizen oppressed by the brutality of the environment. Her need of connecting with patches of nature or with the beauty of the debris lifts her work to a political dimension so much appreciated today. Her piece "Our Land Sample Square of Common Land Grass" is a beautiful crafted painting which could be mistaken for a photograph if not seen with attention...or with intention... Jill Eastland's presence, as an artist combining skills with social purpose, makes me take her as Highly Recommended. Montse Gallego


Judges Personal Favorites

Cicada Pupil Female Japan 2011 - Liz Atkin cow - Helene Williams As Above, So Below IV - Caroline Jane Harris
'Cicada Pupil - Female, Japan 2011' By Liz Atkin

The use of the body as a medium has been widely used among women artists, a fact that also speaks of the braveness inherited by the gender. Ink, insects and calligraphy, attractive, brave and personal, are elements that, in Liz's case, seem to carve on their journey her own skin, producing a body of work which is more risky for its impermanence, like a "happening" experienced and photographed for the records. It is quite obvious that her Japanese residency made a mark in her work. Delicate, spiritual, boundary breaking; but the challenge that is in front of Liz is again her own body, her own exposure, the use of it as part of her signature...

I wish for Liz to confront the challenge and keep taking her actions to an higher level whose records would be difficult to appreciate in a competition like this, but whose presence would also challenge the competition itself.

Montse Gallego London December 2012.

'Cow' By Helene Williams

I enjoyed her pieces very much, but it was 'Cow' that caught my eye. That posture - and heft. I loved Cow's lopsided stance, heaving its meat around with an odd fusion of clumsiness and grace with the limited intelligence of its species. Her pieces have sexual energy and the blend of fragility and strength that can be thrillingly confusing - especially 'Cow'. Seemingly influenced by the work of Louise Borgeous, she extends it in the way she sees her subjects. Sexy and a bit scary, leaving room for the imagination (ie not didactic), which makes these pieces good art. I enjoyed them very much and she has good command of and interesting choice of materials.

Jan Woolf

'As Above, So Below IV' by Caroline Jane Harris

Caroline has this fantastically intricate approach which I look at in amazement. I take great pleasure in looking at her works and discovering what's before me, common images that appear are a spiders web, the bodies circulatory system or a river network.

Ryan Stanier

 Prize giving at Blacks, Soho, London Winners British Women Artists 2012

From left to right:-

Caroline Jane Harris (judge's favorite)

Jill Eastland (second place/very highly commended)

Liz Atkin (a Judge's favorite)

Suzanne de Emmony (Winner)

Helene Williams (a judge's favorite)

The Prize-giving was held at Blacks Club, Soho, London on the 20th December 2013.

2011 Competition Winner   2010 Competition Winner   2009 Competition Winner

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