Artist Award Scheme in focus: Becky Beasley, Charlotte Dawson, David Kefford and Dominique White
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.
Becky Beasley, installation view of A Gentle Man, 80WSE Gallery, NYU, New York
Courtesy the artist, Plan B Gallery & Francesca Minini Gallery
“The award was unexpected and allows me support for my practice and to continue voluntary work I have been doing locally in my area to support the Black Lives Matter movement, through free mentoring young black creatives in the area and acting as an advisor on a steering group.”
Working across sculpture, installation, video and photography, Becky Beasley's enigmatic works speak to the ambiguities of human experiences. Quietly thoughtful, they touch on diverse themes: nature, family, death, friendship.
Her works are often influenced by literature; A Gentle Man portrays the imaginary life of its title character from birth to the present day, inspired by Bernard Malamud's short story 'Spring Rain'. Other literary touchstones in her work include Herman Melville's 'Bartleby the Scrivener', William Faulkner’s 'As I Lay Dying', and Thomas Bernhard’s 'Der Untergeher' ('The Loser').
It is rare for Beasley's works to offer any definitive conclusions. Rather, audiences are allowed to immerse themselves in the narrative strands, weaving their own experiences and meaning into her artwork.
Find out more: beckybeasley.com
Charlotte Dawson, Under-side, Under-stood, 2020, MDF, Jesmonite, textured wallpaper, spray paint, printed matter
Image courtesy the artist
“It is such an honour to have been nominated and receive the Henry Moore Foundation award, not only because of the work that it will enable me to sustain and produce in the future but also because of the huge sense of encouragement it has given me.”
With an interest in collecting as a form of 'memory making', Charlotte Dawson explores the storytelling possibilities of matter and material, with objects at the centre as communicative devices. Her work tackles themes of industrialisation, landscape, and our connection to nature - or lack thereof.
Deliberately obscuring purpose and meaning, Dawson wants us to re-investigate our understanding of objects: their use, their restrictions and their worth.
Find out more: charlotte-dawson.co.uk
David Kefford, Personal Artifact, 2019, mixed media / plaster casts, found objects, household paint, varnish
Photo: David Kefford
“I am delighted to receive this Award from the Henry Moore Foundation. In what has been such an uncertain time for everyone recently this Award is very timely and will really enable me to focus on a larger-scale (bodily) series of sculptures over the summer when I have some dedicated time and space in the studio away from teaching. It also means that I can purchase some extra materials and equipment, which I would not have been able to otherwise.”
Through simple actions and playful gestures, David Kefford's work engages with man-made objects, the human body, and its physical location.
Part sculpture and part performative action, Kefford liberates and subverts common objects, materials and found images from the everyday environment and transforms these into new sculptural scenarios, suggestive of elusive, emotional and psychological narratives.
Find out more: davidkefford.com
Dominique White, Fugitive of the State(less), 2019
Courtesy VEDA Firenze and the artist. Photo: Jacopo Menzani
“I am humbled to receive the Henry Moore Foundation’s Artists Award at such a volatile moment in my life and career. I look forward to seeing how this award will be reflected in the near-future of my practice.”
Dominique White weaves together the theories of Black Subjectivity, Afro-pessimism and Hydrarchy with the nautical myths of Black Diaspora into a term she defines as the Shipwreck(ed); a reflexive verb and state of being.
Her sculptures demonstrate how Black life could extend beyond its own subjective limits and act as beacons or vessels of an ignored civilisation defined as the Stateless; a realm in which the past, present and future have converged into a Black Future.
Find out more: blackdominique.com