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New Contemporaries opens this Friday at Camden Art Centre

Ahaad Alamoudi, The Green Light, 2021. Moving image. 5 min, 40 sec. Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Camden Art Centre, 2024. Photo by Rob Harris

New Contemporaries returns to Camden Art Centre after more than 20 years, showcasing a new generation of emerging artists in the UK. The exhibition coincides with an annual artist development programme, supporting our 2023 cohort to successfully transition from education into professional practice.

Installation views of Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Camden Art Centre, 2024. Photos by Rob Harris.
Zayd Menk, 4.3.2?_ – ?? , 2022. Mixed media. Dimensions variable. Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Camden Art Centre, 2024. Photo by Rob Harris.

New Contemporaries is thrilled to return to Camden Art Centre which shares a deep commitment to supporting emerging artists. Fifty years since our initial collaboration marks a great history of championing artists for both organisations. The cultural landscape has changed enormously in that time, and we know our platform is more vital than ever. We look forward to connecting the urgent voices of emerging artists today with new audiences in London.

Kiera Blakey, Director of New Contemporaries

Bloomberg New Contemporaries features fifty-five of the most exciting emerging and early-career artists from UK art schools and alternative peer-to-peer learning programmes, selected by internationally renowned artists Helen Cammock, Sunil Gupta and Heather Phillipson. The resulting exhibition presents an important picture of emerging artistic practices and the urgent lived concerns driving artists in the UK today.

Installation views of Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Camden Art Centre, 2024. Photos by Rob Harris

The selected artists for Bloomberg New Contemporaries are: Savanna Achampong, Bunmi Agusto, Ahaad Alamoudi, Adama Dercilia Bari, Alexandra Beteeva, Cai Arfon Bellis, Matthew Burdis, Thomas Cameron, Yingming Chen, Helen Clarke, Sarah Cleary, Alannah Cyan, Nina Davies, James Dearlove, Harriet Gillett, Haneen Hadiy, Joseph Ijoyemi, Jennifer Jones, Bessie Kirkham, Noa Klagsbald, Iga Koncka, Emily Kraus, Margaret (Weiyi) Liang, Harry Luxton,Ranny Macdonald, Jil Mandeng, Anne McCloy, Phyllis McGowan, SAM (Ayrton Mendes), Zayd Menk, Efrat Merin,Rhys Morgan, Joe Moss, Lili Murphy-Johnson, Elena Njoabuzia Onwochei-Garcia, Abi Palmer, Emerson Pullman,Harmeet Rahal, Daniel Rey, Alicja Rogalska, Luke Anthony Rooney, Jeremy Scott, Holly Sezer, Emma Sheehy,Charan Singh, Jame St Findlay, Korallia Stergides, Samuel Thompson-Plant, Jiayi Wang, Sidney Westenskow, Georg Wilson, Joshua Woolford, Hester Yang, Osman Yousefzada and Samuel Zhang.

Installation views of Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Camden Art Centre, 2024. Photos by Rob Harris

Reflecting current artistic concerns and approaches spanning a breadth of disciplines, themes explored in the exhibition include care, kinship, collectivity, climate justice, world-building, geographical borders, and identity politics.  Through costume, textiles, performance, moving image and painting, artists including Savanna Achampong, Bunmi Agusto and Jame St Findlay navigate embodied identities and reflect on their lived experience through fantasy and dream. 

Melodrama, cliché, the surreal and cinematic devices also inform many of the artists’ approaches. Fact, fiction, and memory are blurred and reinvented in the works of Jennifer Jones, Matthew Burdis and Elena Njoabuzia Onwochei-Garcia.

Identity is explored through familial, romantic and non-human relationships through various approaches by Korallia Stergides, Charan Singh and Ranny Macdonald. 

Pagan rituals and the use of sacred symbols are also enacted through the works of Iga Koncka, Osman Yousefzada and Sarah Cleary, as forms of care or protection. 

The complex matrix of geographies, borders, environmentalism, the natural environment, racialised oppression and socio-political structures intersect in many of the artists’ works, including Hester Yang, Harmeet Rahal and Samuel Zhang who each draw from archival materials and first-hand research and experiences. 

Agriculture and extractivism are interrogated through the works of Helen Clarke, Joseph Ijoyemi and Haneen Hadiy in a consideration of our dependence upon, and abuse of, the land and the planet’s resources. 

Installation views of Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Camden Art Centre, 2024. Photos by Rob Harris

We are delighted to welcome New Contemporaries back to Camden Art Centre after more than 20 years. We have been supporting and promoting young artists since the 1960s, and we hosted New Contemporaries in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s. At a time when it is harder than ever for young artists to find a platform at the start of their careers, this exhibition continues to be a vital and prestigious opportunity for a new generation of creatives to get their work out there.

Martin Clark, Director of Camden Art Centre
Installation views of Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Camden Art Centre, 2024. Photos by Rob Harris

The exhibition also coincides with a new collaboration between New Contemporaries and Gertrude that seeks to empower and support artists in the commercial sector. New Contemporaries artists are granted a unique opportunity to establish a profile on the Gertrude app that serves as a platform for artists to cultivate their audience, effectively promote and market their art and exhibitions, and attract future sales and industry interest. Our aim is to establish a formal system that equips artists for the practical realities of the art industry within the nuanced and frequently misunderstood conventions of commercial galleries.

New Contemporaries, 19th January – 14th April 2024, Camden Art Centre

New Contemporaries has also produced an online platform to complement the exhibition which features all of the artists’ works alongside newly commissioned texts by early-career writers, providing an opportunity to delve into each artist’s practice. This platform is available to view at: https://platform.newcontemporaries.org.uk

Associated Events 

A public programme that includes workshops, talks and performances will accompany the exhibition at Camden Art Centre. For more information and bookings please visit New Contemporaries and Camden Art Centre websites.

New Contemporaries Live 3 February 2024 14:00 – 18:00, Gallery Three
Experience a programme of live works by New Contemporaries artists Joe Moss, Abi Palmer, Harmeet Rahal, Korallia Stergides and Joshua Woolford. The event will includespoken word, screenings and sound performances that touch on themes of ritual, care, ecologies, hauntology and repetition.

New Contemporaries Workshops: Documenting & Distribution  9 March 2024 14:00 – 15:30, Gallery Three, Drawing Studio and Meeting Room
Engage with practical and discursive workshops informed by emerging artists’ needs and designed to develop skills and exchange ideas on distributing and documenting practice. Led by Saim Demircan (curator, writer, and PhD candidate) and Dan Mitchell (artist, editor, and co-founder of Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair).

New Contemporaries Roundtable: Exchange 9 March 2024 16:00 – 18:00, Gallery Three
Join this roundtable discussion that will explore forms of exchange and how this can create space for collectivity, empowerment, participation, shared experience and connection. Participants include Nina Davis, Mira Hirtz, Abbas Zahedi and others.

Transformative Futures Saturdays from January – June 2024
New Contemporaries artists will lead sessions for Camden Art Centre Transformative Futures – a free weekly youth collective for those aged 15–25 looking to learn about and make contemporary art together. These sessions offer the opportunity to connect with and collaborate with exhibiting artists and explore different approaches including textiles, zine making and life drawing.

Family Takeover Saturdays from January – March 2024
Camden Art Centre’s family workshops this season are led by New Contemporaries’ artists Emma Sheehy, Sarah Cleary and Iga Koncka. In the workshops, designed for children and adults working together, participants will create their own artworks inspired by themes within the show. 

The exhibition which opened at Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool continues at Camden Art Centre, London until 14 April 2024.



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