• Travers Smith LLP Art Prize 2016

Travers Smith LLP Art Prize 2016

As part of Travers Smith’s ongoing project to support emerging graduates from Art Colleges, they made available a stunning site with enormous creative potential at their London offices.

This took the form of an elevation situated opposite a newly created feature staircase to the Lower Ground floor café and meeting space, which was completed in September, 2016.

The project was open to Fine Arts BA and MA graduates who had graduated within the past five years after attending a recognised College of Art in the United Kingdom for competitive selection by way of submitted proposals and visualisations.

A total commissioning prize of £5,000 was made available, including materials and production costs incurred by the artist. Furthermore, the winning artist will be invited to participate in the 2016/17 pro bono support project provided to undergraduates selected for the ongoing Travers Smith LLP Art Programme.

After receiving a large number of thought provoking and creative proposals, the Travers Smith Art Committee selected the work of James Seow, an MA Graduate from the Royal College of Art.

James often spent much of his time contemplating the garden that is his mother’s pride and joy when he visited Malaysia. Here he sees the garden as a very specific version of Nature: a visual spectacle of plants, water and space, a thing of serenity to be contemplated in peace. Perhaps one may say gardening is landscape painting, and that we learn to look at landscape in gardens as some look at landscape in painting.

The Garden Path is a body of work inspired by this contemplation. Bridging Eastern and Western aesthetics of Nature through the complex relationship between gardening and art, the complex photomontages draw references from Chinese classical ink painting, Western 19th century Romantic landscape painting and 17th century still-life painting. The digitally manipulated flora and fauna motifs were collected painstakingly from numerous online sources that reference the production, distribution and consumption of images. Exploring scale, colour and repetition, this work addresses nostalgia, history, and ultimately the way we experience Nature in the digital age.

The final piece culminated in the creation of a Light Box of 120 x 250cm which has received overwhelming praise and appreciation from both staff and visitors.

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