New Contemporaries, a celebration of exciting new artistic talent in the UK, returns to Camden Art Centre.
Camden Art Centre is delighted to welcome New Contemporaries back to its galleries after more than 20 years. Bloomberg New Contemporaries features 55 of the most exciting artists emerging 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 offers a distinctive snapshot of current artistic concerns and approaches spanning a breadth of disciplines and presents an important picture of emerging artistic practices: taking the pulse of contemporary art and the urgent lived concerns that are driving artists in the UK today. It is a unique platform that provides emerging artists, many of whom live outside London, the opportunity to present their work to a wider audience, alongside a programme of artist development opportunities to support the growth of their practice.
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 while identity is explored through familial, romantic, and non-human relationships and systemic ableism is probed at in various approaches by Korallia Stergides, Charan Singh and Ranny Macdonald. Pagan rituals and the use of sacred symbols are 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 that draw from archival materials and first-hand research and experience. 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.
New Contemporaries has been supporting emerging and early-career artists from established and alternative art programmes since 1949. It has provided development opportunities for artists, helping them to successfully transition from education into more established pathways.