Written by Claire Michel, Wimbledon Post-Grad Community Ambassador (MFA Fine Art)
In the Summer of 2019, Claire won the The Ivan Juritz Prize. The winners were each awarded £1,000 and will be going to Cove Part in September to collaborate on making a new work of art.
I would like to spread the word about a great prize that I won in June. Last year, I randomly came across the Ivan Juritz Prize, whilst searching for open calls online. I liked the sound of this prize, which rewards experimentation, play and art that seeks to « make it new ». I decided to apply because it was free to enter (I don’t really support open calls with entry fees), and the application was very straightforward.
The prize is organised by both the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture at King’s College London and Cove Park, Scotland’s International Artist Residency Centre. Entrants must be postgraduate students currently enrolled on a course or programme of study in a European country. It was established in 2014 and it perpetuates the memory of the ﬁrst winner of the prize, Ivan Juritz, who tragically passed away shortly after winning the prize.
Last year, thanks to more private fundings, they expended the prize, which now allow one artist to win in each category: Litterature, Music and Visual Arts (there was only one winner in the previous years). You can send texts, images, ﬁlms or excerpts of moving images, sound recordings, proposals or documentation of installation and performance, as well as musical compositions. Entrants can also submit their work to multiples categories. For my part, I applied in the Visual Arts section and submitted Suspended, a video I made in September 2017, along with a short statement (150 words).
I didn’t tell anyone that I had applied because I never thought I would even be long-listed! (self conﬁdence, here you come...), only to ﬁnd out a month later that I had made the long-list, amongst seven other visual artists. I had to wait another month to ﬁnd out whether I would be shortlisted. The email arrived when I least expected it… on a Sunday morning. Needless to say that I was over the moon. I had never really applied for open calls before and had never won anything, so this was new to me. It was a month later, during the prize-giving ceremony, held at King’s College, that I found out I had won. It was a great event, where I got to meet the other shortlisted artists in all the different categories, as well as the judges and the organisers. We watched and listened to all the shortlisted pieces and the announcement was made shortly afterwards. I was of course delighted when they announced my name.
Each winner won £1000 and a week’s residency at Cove Park, which took place on the second week of September. There, I got to work on a collaborative project with the two other winners, Kathryn Maris (poet) and Manos Charalabopoulos (musician). We had a meeting on the ﬁrst day of our residency and we found that the three of us being foreigners - Manos is Greek, Kathryn American and I am French - gave us some common ground.
After discussing about the place, and that I mentioned that the smell here reminded me of my family's mountain house where I spent all my summers until I was 18, Kathryn suggested that we could reclaim 'nostalgia', a concept that has become conﬂated with nationalistic politics. We wondered how three foreigners might attempt to return the idea to its neutral position.
Over the past few months, I had wrote thoughts and feelings in my notebook regarding my time spent in this holiday house and Manos had wrote poems about his own childhood memories when he was a child in his grandmother's house in Greece. We translated them in English and passed them on to Kathryn, who transformed and fragmented them even more.
We expanded beyond our group of three, enlisting the performance poet and writer Lisette Auton, an other artist in residence for help reading the texts.
Manos, as part of his 'acousmatic' project recored sounds of the surroundings and of artists working in his studio. We also ﬁlmed fragmented bodies in the nature as part of our ﬁnal piece.
It has been a wonderful experience and this residency allowed me to feel more at ease with the idea of collaboration. I also met wonderful artists and writers. It was amazing to share different skills to create a new piece of artwork. We are now to meet again in order to put the sounds, the texts and the moving images together.
To ﬁnd out more and apply, follow this link. You have until the 29th of March to apply. Good luck!