Gina Soden has won the first ‘UK Artist of the Year’ award at the Rise Art Prize beating 16,000 artists


Gina Soden Klinik

Gina Soden has won the first ‘Patrón Tequila UK Artist of the Year’ award beating 16,000 artists from around the world. She was chosen by an expert judging panel including David Bailey OBE, Harland Miller, Ben Eine, Gavin Turk and Fiona Banner based on her ‘creative excellence, original ideas and technical skill.

Her photographic depiction of an abandoned asylum titled ‘Klinik’ helped her scoop the coveted prize, in addition to winning the category award for photography. Gina’s guerrilla style photography sees her shoot in some of Europe’s most intriguing abandoned locations. Described as “an exquisite observer of beautiful decay” by the judges, Gina’s award was presented on the night by Young British Artist Gavin Turk.

The inaugural Rise Art Prize, which culminated in an awards ceremony at House of Vans, London, last night, was launched by curated online art gallery Rise Art in October 2017, to unearth the most exciting contemporary artists from around the world and provide a platform for artists to gain industry recognition and boost their career.

The Patrón Tequila UK Artist of the Year, Gina Soden, comments:

“Completely overwhelmed and so happy that I’ve won not one prize but two, I can’t believe it. The quality of the artwork from all the other artists was superb, and it feels even more special because the calibre of the judges was so high. I’m also very happy because Klinik is one of my personal favourite pieces and holds a very special place in my heart as there are a lot of memories associated with creating this piece.”

Lebohang Kganye, from Johannesburg, South Africa won the ‘Global Artist of the Year Award’ based on her ‘creative excellence, original ideas and technical skill’. Her complex exploration of family history depicted through silhouette style photography was described as “a poetic manipulation” by the judges.
Lebohang will receive a £10,000 cash prize, as well as business and financial mentorship from industry experts, a short biopic around their practice, and marketing and exhibition opportunities through Rise Art.

All successful finalists will feature in a public exhibition on display at House of Vans until the 25th February 2018 and will have their work available for sale through Rise Art.

Global Artist of the Year, Lebohang Kganye, comments:

“I feel very honoured to be awarded the Global Artist of the Year for the Rise Art Prize. To not only represent myself, or the African continent but to have my vision recognised and appreciated.”

Other accolades awarded include the People’s Choice Award, presented by ambassador Oliver Proudlock and voted for entirely by the public. British sculptor Tom Waugh was named the People’s Choice award winner, and also scooped the category award for sculpture.

Individual category winners for different mediums, including Street Art, Painting, Drawing, Screen Printing, Photography and Sculpture, were also awarded, with panel judges taking the lead on the decision process for their respective field of expertise.

Three artists were also invited to create site specific installations at the venue as part of the exhibition. These ones to watch from Rise Art are neon artist Lauren Baker, street artist Marc Craig who created a live mural, and Ant Hamlyn who exhibited the Boost Project, an inflatable orb that expands when tweeted.

Speaking on the winning artists, founder of Rise Art Scott Phillips, comments:

“In a world where discovering, appreciating and owning art is becoming ever more accessible thanks to the digital revolution, it is important to be able to harness and showcase artists, both new and established, and give them the right platform to be seen. The talent that has come up through the Rise Art Prize is unprecedented and we’re delighted to be able to offer recognition, not just to UK-based artists, but on a global scale.

“We had an incredible roster of industry heavyweights on board to choose their winning artist, which is testament to the work we’ve been doing to help unearth the most exciting creative talent from across the globe.”

To view the full list of winners and find out more visit www.riseart.com

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture + art of CONVERSATION, a tri-annual broadsheet paper ....