16mm films that include the film projectors as a central part of the work, have scooped one of the main Visual Arts awards at the Monmouthshire and District 2016 National Eisteddfod of Wales.
The selectors Rachel Conroy, Helen Sear and Anthony Shapland were unanimous in their decision to award the Gold Medal for Fine Art to artist Richard Bevan. He also receives the full monetary prize of £5,000, given by the Brecknock Art Trust
Said Helen Sear: “Through minimal gestures and the occasional coupling of images, a strange black and white world emerges; time holding itself within a physical space, something to be held fascinated in front of, rather than watching a narrative unfold. In a world where everyone can shoot and edit their own movie on portable devices, he has made the decision to work with 16mm film and include the film projector as a central part of the work when exhibited.
“We do not always need to understand in order to experience, and Richard Bevan’s work brought me to the point of thinking about what it might be that I am confronted with. This was what made it a clear winner for me, the fact that the works quietly and without distraction, drew me into their world.
Anthony Shapland added: “Richard Bevan was an immediate choice for me – these simple elegant films, verging on narrative-less contemplations, were exceptional. They are accomplished and sit as close to sculpture or poetry as they do to moving image.”
Said Richard Bevan: “The films have relatively unconventional forms - as long as two hours of a loop within a cinema, or as short as 13 seconds as the only work within a gallery. Each film has a different starting point. For instance there is a tension between the still and moving image, the films are almost closer to photographs than to traditional durational films. They have no recorded soundtracks, but are accompanied by the mechanical noises of the film.”
The artist is no stranger to the National Eisteddfod, having won the Young Artist Scholarship in Montgomeryshire 2003 and appointed Artist in Residence at the Newport festival the following year.
The artist who hails from Maesteg but is now based in London. He’s just returned from Japan where he was exhibiting in Tokyo.
Y Lle Celf Open Exhibition is realised in partnership with Arts Council of Wales