Witness the Future's artists

Story by Jack Foley

NOW in its third year, Beck's Futures is the UK's largest arts award offering a total of £65,000 to participants. It is open to UK-based artists of any age, working in any media, regardless of nationality. And this year's selection, currently on show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, includes four painters, three film and video artists, one photographer, one sculptor and one artist working in multimedia.

The 10 short-listed artists are: David Cotterrell, Toby Paterson, Kirsten Glass, Dan Perfect, Paul Hosking, Neil Rumming, Rachel Lowe, Hideyuki Sawayanagi, Oliver Payne & Nick Relph, and Tom Wood.

The artists were nominated by curators, critics and artists as being the most promising talent in the UK. The shortlist this year was drawn up by a selection panel which includes the curators Mark Francis and Saskia Bos (Director of the De Appel Foundation), the writer and artist Harland Miller, the recording artist Marianne Faithfull, and artist Julian Opie.

The overall winner will be announced on April 23, at a special awards night. In the meantime, members of the public can make their own judgement by visiting the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), at The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH. Tel: 020 7930 3647.

Of the three painters on show - Dan Perfect, Neil Rumming and Kirsten Glass - all make works in which borrowed graphics, images and stylistic licks are recombined and re-presented in various ways.

Rumming, for example, uses Ferrari's classic stallion marque as a major motif, while also borrowing Roy Lichtenstein's drippy brush stroke for his piece, Lichtenstein Not Frankenstein, while Glass's paintings recombine images such as girlie shots or 'souped up dominatrix bitches' to create her effects (see picture above).

Dan Perfect, meanwhile, uses patches of cartoon graphics and graffiti float against softly smeared rainbow bands of colour.

Of the other artists on show, Toby Paterson's mural sounds the most striking, running the length of the ICA concourse. It is based on a relief that decorates a wall of Lubetkin's Hallfield housing estate in Paddington.

David Cotterrell's film installation comprises footage of an approaching steam train, complete with atmospheric soundtrack, which is projected on to a cloud of dry ice, which fills the room as the train passes, while Hideyuki Sawayanagi's video pieces include a man repeatedly falling, with a sound effect, on to a black floor, as well as scuttling frenetically about.

A death in Sarajevo is the theme of Rachel Lowe's installation, while Nick Relph and Oliver Payne, who got thrown out of the fine art course at Kingston University, are showing a film called Mixtape, which is accompanied by a version of minimalist composer Terry Riley's Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band.

Finally, Tom Wood's entries feature photographs he has taken in and around Liverpool, including couples snogging in pubs, people on buses and at bus shelters, a girl alone and miserable at a wedding reception, or kids fighting.

The event is being sponsored by Face magazine and Beck's, and the winner will be announced by Bjork. The exhibition will be at ICA until May 12.

Related links: ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts website
Beck's Futures website