‘Smashing’ work wins Sustainability Art Prize

Published: 31 March 2017 at 15:55

Imogen Dungate and her winning video installation, Gravity

Fine Art student receives Anglia Ruskin award for hard-hitting video installation

Imogen Dungate, a third year BA (Hons) Fine Art student, was awarded the £400 Sustainability Art Prize at Anglia Ruskin University last night thanks to her “smashing” video installation entitled Gravity.

The Sustainability Art Prize was first awarded in 2012, to coincide with the launch of Anglia Ruskin’s Global Sustainability Institute, and artwork submitted to the competition is on show in the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge until Thursday, 6 April.

Gravity is a black and white video depicting the fragile Earth, made of china, being smashed to pieces and then reassembled – suggesting there might still be hope for the world.

Imogen explained:

“At present, the world appears to be falling into a pattern of slow destruction.  Our world is delicate and many elements, including environmental, natural and socio-economic, appear to be on the brink of shattering. 

“These areas are interlinked, such that when one is compromised the others may follow and collapse.  A trigger from one may be all that is needed to lead to the eventual destruction of our planet beyond repair.

“This film is my visual representation of this trigger-point and its after-effects, expressed in terms of the harsh reality of devastation and subsequent regeneration. Displayed as a sphere in an empty void, the significance of our planetary isolation is made starkly clear.

“The narrative proceeds with the demolition, sorting, and lastly with the attempt at reconstruction and rebuilding.  But can the world ever be returned to the way it once was?”

Chris Owen, Head of the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“The quality of entrants this year has been exceptional, but this work of Imogen’s really caught the eye of the judges.  

“Her video gives the planet a jewel-like quality, emphasising its fragility in the black void of space, which contrasts emphatically with the excruciating soundtrack of smashing china.” 

An additional prize of £200 was awarded this year by Stem + Glory, the vegan café in Chesterton, to ‘A home from home’ by Hannah Moshtael, an interactive installation where visitors can drink mint tea in the recreated home of an asylum seeker.

The exhibition also features work submitted for the Eaton Portrait Prize and the Searle Award for Creativity, which is awarded to the best sketchbook by a final year student.

Sam Robbins, a first year BA (Hons) Photography student, claimed this year’s Eaton Portrait Prize, while South Korean Ye-seul Cho, who graduated from the MA Children’s Book Illustration course in February, landed the Searle Award for Creativity along with a cheque for £500 and a signed Ronald Searle lithograph.

Pam Smy, Senior Lecturer in Illustration at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“Ye-seul’s sketchbook is teeming with imaginative ideas.  Her work is playful and experimental and, like so many of our past students, I am confident that Ye-seul Cho will make a very successful illustrator.”

The exhibition is open to the public and is free to attend.  The Ruskin Gallery is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-4.30pm, and more information is available at http://aru.ac.uk/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/ruskin-gallery