The VIA Arts Prize held its 2017 edition in November 2017, at the Embassy of Brazil in London. Please view the gallery below for images of the venue, the artists and the prize-winning pieces, which subsequently toured to Maddox Arts in Mayfair for the Maddox Arts Winter Show. The winners from 2016 are also featured in the slideshow.
The best 30 artworks received in last year’s strongly contested Call for Entries went on display in November 2017. The theme of the 2017 competition was ‘Dialogues with Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art’, and all of our finalists established fascinating connections with these regional art styles.
The 2017 winner was British artist Susan Philips with her porcelain sculpture entitled ‘no.42-2015’. The simple white sculpture, which draws on planar form and geometric abstraction, is inspired by Latin American Neo Concrete Art. The 1959 manifesto of this movement rejected the concept of the artwork as an ‘object’ and supported the notion that art can only be fully understood through a direct phenomenological approach. Philips looked to the work of Amilcar de Castro and Lygia Clark to explore void space in sculpture and its interaction with the environment through light.
The runner up was Brazilian artist Rafael D’Alo’s analog photograph entitled Belo Monte Incidental number 65. His evocative image features a traditional Amazonian boat, submerged in muddied waters and was taken in the Brazilian town of Altamira on the River Xingu. An area originally populated by indigenous groups, the region has recently experienced an overwhelming migration of workers due to the construction of the Belo Monte dam. D’Alo’s work seeks to analyse the relationship between man versus nature and how the environment is reshaped by the same culture it helps to produce.