Refresh Art Award 2019 – The Manifesto
I have been shortlisted for the Refresh Art Award and I am so excited. I really wanted to share their manifesto, as it was the reason why I applied. I’ve had a great experience working with them and I can’t wait to meet the other shortlisted artists and organisers on the 6th June 2019 at 5th Base Gallery, London.
If you would like to support me and buy my book ‘Dream Dissociation Two’ you can purchase it here.
‘The Refresh Art Award was founded in 2018 as an independent prize to take the temperature of the unrepresented art world, which makes up the majority of artists producing work at any given time. What were these artists who don’t have gallery representation or a platform actually saying?
A year later, on the eve of the first show, the strongest emerging themes are women, from body positivity to lack of shame in the female form, to sexual abuse and date rape mixed with environmentalism, climate change and eco feminism.
When we started the Refresh Art Award we wondered why there was no movement in contemporary art tackling the structural change and turmoil of our day? Where was the faith that art could have agency and bring change, rather than just reflecting nostalgia for the depiction of wistful landscapes or a beautifully drawn horse that most inner city dwellers may never see? The first step was to ban fruit bowls and hyperreal iPhone portraiture from our call-out.
Our show is from Thursday 6th – Tuesday 11th of June and showcases 24 wonderful contemporary artists hitherto unrepresented.
Like the derided Impressionists this work is fresh and urgent, yet not getting validation from the established art competition circuit. With the creative end of the art world broken down by impossible household economics, the dominance of design and a lack of ability in the art establishment to promote a narrative that doesn’t hang easily in office board rooms, is it any wonder that artists are not able to organise themselves in to the strong factions we saw responding to the troubled politics of the early 20th Century?
The economic model of the Refresh Art Award is also all-new and enabled by the other huge structural change of our times, the Internet. Working from mainly digital platforms we have been able to reach a worldwide audience and run a fully independent campaign without institutional funding, brand sponsorship, external financial backing or gallery support. Using a commercial model, not relying on patronage, we have earned the money needed to run the award. We also have a strict policy of no unpaid internships, and we give all entrants representation, so every artist entering gets some value for their entry fee.
Come to the private view from 6pm on Thursday the 6th of June to see the prize winners announced, and as a counterpoint to the coinciding official state visit to the UK of the President of the United States.
Buy work from our artists to give a platform to what is really going on in the world in 2019. Help us to remember that art is not just about escape to greener pastures but that we still have agency.
“I don’t even wait, And when you’re a star they let you do it, You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” –
The President of the United States of America.’
I look forward to seeing everyone on the 6th of June at 5th Base Gallery, London.