Artist Award Scheme in focus: Aaron McPeake, Alberta Whittle, Alexander Duncan and Alex Frost
Recently, the Henry Moore Foundation awarded more than £60,000 of funding to directly assist 40 artists in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Each week will be focusing on a selection of those artists and celebrating the work that they do.
Aaron McPeake, Integrity, 2019, interactive sound sculpture
Image courtesy the artist
“Receiving this has not only been an incredible practical boost that will enable me to realise new work, but also after months of fear and uncertainty has been genuinely psychologically uplifting. ”
Aaron McPeake is a visually impaired artist who makes multi-sensory sculptures, interactive by design - most of his work can be touched, chimed or rung, providing unique experiences.
McPeake works with numerous media from wood, metal and ceramics to film, photography and sound sculpture. Describing his process of working as 'akin to writing poetry', he stresses the importance of the interaction between physical encounter and visual imagination. Weaving tactile experiences into works also incorporating sound, smell and movement, McPeake's works are deeply experiential; but rather than using these elements to replace the visual, they instead work in harmony with it, working together to provide a more complete experience.
Find out more: aaronmcpeake.com
Alberta Whittle, installation view of How flexible can we make the mouth at Dundee Contemporary Art
Photo: Ruth Clark
“It is both a joy and an honour to receive my award from the Henry Moore Foundation. I look forward to building on my research and expanding on the affective potential for sculpture to implicate as well as care-take audiences.”
Alberta Whittle's interdisciplinary practice spans film, sculpture, performance, poetry, photography, and digital collage, often incorporating numerous of these elements into interactive installations that champion self-compassion and collective care as key methods in battling anti-blackness.
Her work reflects on memory and trauma, and questions the legacy and authority of postcolonial power. Connecting negative physical, emotional and mental health with black oppression, she champions healing and radical self love as a way of liberation.
Find out more: albertawhittle.com
Alexander Duncan, like swimming, 2015, concrete, pigment
Image courtesy the artist
“I am truly humbled to receive a nomination for this prestigious award. As a sculptor who alongside their practice runs ArtLacuna, a not-for-profit gallery and studio space in South London; I fully appreciate the current pressures on artists and creative institutions to provide support for those around them in their community and to continue to rise to the extraordinary challenges ahead. This Grant will provide immense support to several projects I am working towards in the near future, enabling me to push the scale of the work to its fullest potential.”
Bringing together sculpture, film, print, photography and more, Alexander Duncan's work frequently blurs the lines between reality and illusion; a visual experience of his work is shifts dramatically once an object is touched and its material nature uncovered. He often makes use of found objects, presenting them in ways that recontextualise their former lives. No object is innocent or devoid of meaning for Duncan, and once stumbled across, they become vessels for intricate and playful narratives.
Find out more: alexanderduncan.com
Alex Frost, Smoked Salmon and Soft Cream Cheese on Brown Bread, No Mayo (Waitrose)/ Prawn Mayonnaise on Brown Bread (Tesco), 2017, ClearCast polyester resin, sandwiches and mirrored acrylic sheet
Photo: Olli Mammick
“I've already experienced a significant loss of income through cancelled jobs and future projects. Henry Moore Foundation’s Artists Award will be a huge help in getting me through this particularly challenging time. ”
Humorous and tongue in cheek, Alex Frost's work seeks to encapsulate the contemporary phenomena of 'life on-the-go', reflecting on the rapid transitions in daily life and super-convenience products. He carefully selects moments within this transitory, transactional lifestyle and captures them though film and sculpture; his YouTube series of Wet Unboxings parodies the popular 'unboxing' trend, slowly unpacking otherwise mundane items underwater to mesmerising effect, while his series of resin-encased works strips away the function of convenience foods, giving them permanence and an almost futuristic quality.
Find out more: alexfrost.com