Sex trafficking, child asylum seekers and detainees transferred to foreign countries for interrogation are the focus of artist Clare Walter’s work which has been selected from more than 3000 entries from across the globe and currently being exhibited in an international art show in York.
The MA Fine Art student earned her place in the Aesthetica Art Prize shortlist of eight artists with an innovative and striking piece now on display in York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space - until 28 April 2013.
Her work, titled ‘Triptych’, is made up of three pieces which map the routes taken by women and children trafficked for commercial sex exploitation, children seeking asylum on their own and flights conducted by the CIA in the process of extraordinary rendition.
After intensive research to uncover the data from international human rights organisations and government departments, Clare created the piece by mapping the routes in acrylic paint piped onto coarse linen, a material similar in appearance to sackcloth, chosen to underline the crudeness of the travellers’ experience. Each route is graphically represented by lines linking a starting point, major staging posts and a final destination. Alongside these journey networks, each of the three paintings incorporates a symbolic, blank map of the world rendered as an abstract form. The shape of the paintings is reminiscent of the departure boards in an airport or train station.
Clare’s work features alongside other international rising stars of the art world at the show organised by Aesthetica Magazine, an international art and culture publication. The shortlist includes entrants from the USA, South Korea, Australia and Denmark.
Middlesex University student, Clare Walter, who focussed the piece on human rights issues based on her personal and professional experience said: “Over the years I have worked in a variety of roles concerned with issues of human rights and social justice. As an artist, the main focus of my practice is on personal and political relationships and patterns of involvement, relating to these issues. Triptych represents three types of journey, usually conducted in secret, relating to grave abuses of human rights. It is really exciting to have been shortlisted from such a talented international field and to be able to use the exposure to bring attention to these global wrongs.”
World renowned British sculptor and Art Prize judge Kate MccGwire was impressed by the level of talent exhibited this year and is confident that we’ll be seeing more of these artists in the future: “It has been a privilege to experience the breadth of work that the contemporary art scene has to offer and I look forward to seeing the development of these gifted artists over the coming years.”
The impressive list of judges who selected Clare for this year’s shortlist includes influential art figures and curators: Cherie Federico, Editor of Aesthetica Magazine; Laura Turner, Curator at York Art Gallery; Frances Guy, Head of Collection and Exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield; Kate MccGwire, internationally renowned British Sculptor and Neeta Madahar, acclaimed British photographer represented by the Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
York St Mary’s is open from 10am-4pm and admission is free. For more information visit www.yorkstmarys.org.uk or www.aestheticamagazine.com/artprize