Each year Spike Island works with the University of the West of England and Falmouth University to provide support and opportunities for promising graduates of their BA Fine Art programmes through an open call to their students. This year we’re also working with Plymouth College of Art and are delighted to announce our new Graduate Fellows for 2014-2015.
Simon Hood and Stephanie Li have been selected as the UWE Fellows, Ed Hill as the Falmouth Fellow and Jem Williams as the Plymouth College of Art Fellow. All four will begin their residencies in October 2014, Simon Hood and Stephanie Li will receive studio space at Spike Island for a year, while Ed Hill and Jem Williams will undertake a three-month residency.
All four new fellows will present their work at a public event in the autumn. Please keep an eye on our events programme for further details.
Jem Williams (1993) was born in Dorset and moved to Plymouth to study BA (Hons) Fine Art, Critical and Curatorial Practices at the College of Arts from which she graduated with a 1st Class Honours. Two of her most recent pieces were shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014. Williams works with appropriation in post-production, photography, collage, sound and video. In her practice she explores ideas of sex, relationships and how we engage and respond to this. She utilizes her own experiences and those of others to, at first glance, present half-truths. Often her work has humorous overtones, enabling the audience to connect with her work and release the often-overlooked melancholy elements of human nature and how we relate to one another. Her curatorial practice permits her to strengthen her concepts through the format in which the work is delivered. Having collaboratively curated exhibitions for the National Trust in Saltram and for Take A Part adds to her insight. She currently works within Plymouth arts institutions such as KARST and Plymouth Arts Centre to provide support to her continuing contemporary art practice.
Ed Hill (b.1989) was born in Wiltshire and studied Fine Art at Falmouth University. He aims to make atmospheric paintings, imbued with an elusive mystery and warmth. The subject matter used to inform his paintings can vary; sketches from life, personal photographs and memories, references to cultural phenomena and painting history can all inform an idea, as well as film, music, literature and comic books. A recurring theme in his work is the allusion to far-away places, perhaps a memory from childhood, a personal depiction of a place or ‘thing’ once visited or witnessed, an experience or sensation. It could be a semi-fictional invention or a borrowed story from a relative. He is drawn to images which contain strangeness, humour and a tragi-comic element. He finds himself to be scruffy by default and instead of battling this scruffiness (wonky home-made stretchers or battered surfaces) and failing, he has embraced it fully. This mode of thought also connects to an affinity with folk culture and a desire to break rules or conventions in some way, to reject ‘correctness’.
Stephanie Li (1990) graduated from UWE’s Art and Visual Culture program in 2014. Her work explores the movement and components of slight shifts in thought - the pressures of action and re-action, the negotiation of the poetic within understanding. Her work interchanges through a wide range of mediums, all which hold a sculptural nuance. Installations are often site-specific and in response to architectural elements. The work shares an internal consistency that examines movement and the opening up of expanse or plains - a conversion of motion to form, form to motion, and repeat.
Simon Hood doesn't know who he is. He was born and raised... Yes, born first and then raised. Born second in the chronological order of his family actually, by which he means the order of his immediate siblings, and not the entire history of the family name. Simon lacks both the historical knowledge and recourse to complete the task of finding the exact number of his existence in the chronological sequence of his family tree, although it probably would give him a better sense of identity. Due to his love of silk and belief that knowledge is impossible without self revelation, Simon believes that he might be of Huguenot decent. But he is not sure if ideas can live for that long. Living in the part of Britain nearest to Gaul, Simon might share similar facial features to the Gauls. However, historians would call this a vast oversimplification. Regardless of this area of doubt cast over himself, Simon has found time away from the crisis to do some things. Having said this though, he has not in fact, done everything. Simon is alright with this though, as if he had done everything, there would not be enough time left in the day to do anything. Currently he is a magician. More than that; currently he is a ritual magician. More than that; currently he is a ritual magician, practising the art of ritual magic. He has taken a vow to himself to make no more art, but would probably reform if the money was right.