BETTY LEUNG CROWNED WINNER OF THE GRADUATE ART PRIZE 2019

A cutting-edge artificial intelligence-generated artwork exploring the themes of culture and identity has scooped the seventh edition of The Graduate Art Prize, following this year’s search to find the nation’s most exciting graduate artists.

Leung was named this year’s winner at a private viewing event, hosted at The Graduate Art Prize sponsor Herbert Smith Freehills’ London HQ, which saw all 22 shortlisted entries exhibited. Over 150 attendees, including corporate collectors, art patrons, journalists and buyers, were in attendance.

‘Interpreter IV’ Betty Leung

A twisting, contorted representation of Leung’s identity, Interpreter IV comprises of images generated using a style-transfer AI powered tool printed onto fabric; the AI tool works by taking two existing images and combines them to generate the third new printed image.

Through the piece, Leung – a Chinese-born émigré who emigrated to first Australia and then Britain – seeks to highlight the interconnected themes of human behaviour, personality traits, culture and the story of the self.

(L-R) ARTIQ CEO, Patrick McCrae, GAP19 Winner, Betty Leung, HSF Partner, John Corrie

Alice Kelly, a BA Textile Design graduate of Chelsea College of Arts, secured the runner up place with The Dorothy Rug – a luminous, textured yarn rug inspired by her grandmother and constructed with a tufting gun.

As the winner, Leung has signed with ARTIQ and received a £2,000 cash prize courtesy of sponsor Herbert Smith Freehills, a £500 art materials voucher courtesy of art materials supplier GreatArt and 10 hours of mentorship from ARTIQ experts. By signing with ARTIQ, Leung’s work will be represented to ARTIQ’s client-base of international corporates, hotels and residential projects. As runner up, Kelly has been awarded a £500 art materials voucher as well as the opportunity to also sign with the consultancy.

Guests enjoying artwork. Photography by Tess Mickleburgh

Established in 2013, The Graduate Art Prize – which is designed to offer much-needed support for artists at the beginning of their careers – is open to all final year students on BA and MA degree courses at British art colleges or universities. The twenty-six shortlisted pieces were considered by a panel of judges from ARTIQ and sponsor Herbert Smith Freehills.

Patrick McCrae, founder of ARTIQ, said:

“We are delighted to be hosting The Graduate Art Prize again this year as ARTIQ continue to contribute to a sustainable arts economy and the connection of arts and business. It is fantastic to be partnering with Herbert Smith Freehills for the 7th year running and a big congratulations to Betty on her fabulous win.”

The Graduate Art Prize will return for its eighth year in 2020. Keep those eyes peeled! https://www.graduateartprize.com/