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FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2019 winner announced

The prize rewards the artistic excellence of students completing BA studies in Art and Design and Fine Art at the University.

The winner is Katie Bennett-Rice, who studied Art and Design. Katie’s work, titled Holdfast, drew inspiration from the kelp found washed ashore during fieldwork on beaches across the UK. The now prize-winning works are described by the artist as critiquing “the values we impose upon the natural world” which are represented through three large scrolls. The artwork proved popular with the audience as well as with the panel, as Katie was also named as the winner of the People’s Choice Vote.

The prize is supported by the Friends of University Art & Music (FUAM) and Katie was one of four finalists selected by an expert panel of judges for the prize.

Dr Catriona McAra (Curator, Leeds Arts University), one of the judges on the panel, said:

"It was a very strong shortlist of finalists, but Katie's work stood out and was very memorable for all the judges. It is such a politically topical piece in relation to things like the extinction rebellion movement, as well as being very technically ambitious and labour intensive."

Katie said about her experience:

"'It has been brilliant having the opportunity to exhibit in a professional gallery space and especially rewarding to have won! The exhibition really felt like a celebration of the brilliant work made by students here and was a fantastic experience to finish my time studying at the University of Leeds. Looking forward, I am staying in Leeds to focus on creating even bigger and more ambitious work hopefully drawing upon scientific and archival material, and I'm excited to see where the next year takes me."

The winner, along with the shortlisted entries, can be viewed at The FUAM Graduate Art Prize Exhibition 2019 at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery until Saturday 16 November.