The Latitude Contemporary Art Prize (LCA) runs alongside Latitude Festival – a three-day celebration of music, literature, performance and art.
Eschewing the usual warm-lager-and-lad-rock festival connotations in favour of something a little higher-browed, the festival is strengthening its visual arm with another site-specific exhibition in the woodland Iris Gallery.
Alongside this, The Big Screen in the Woods will be showing a programme of artists’ films, VJ and DJ sets. This year, it will feature a selection of 14 short films commissioned by the wonderful Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, with an all-star cast featuring Bobby Gillespie, Suicide’s Alan Vega, Simon Reynolds, Nick Zinner, Dave Gahan and Martin Creed.
The LCA is curated by Latitude founder Melvin Benn; Arts Mundi chief executive Ben Borthwick; Lavish Design managing director Ami Jade Cadillac; freelance arts critic Louise Gray, and Anne Hilde Neset, artistic director at Ny Musikk and contributing editor at The Wire.
Confirmed judges for this year are Melvin Benn, Lizzie Carey-Thomas, curator of contemporary British art at Tate Britain, and BBC broadcaster and journalist Martha Kearney. The winner will be awarded £10,000 to cover research, development, production costs and artist fees for a new piece for the LCA Exhibition at next year’s Latitude Festival.
Hilde Neset says ‘When we curate in the woods there are so many challenges and that’s the exciting part. We need to have artists who can understand the festival environment, which is very active.
‘It’s not a professional art audience and they’re outside of their comfort zone of the galleries, which is a very boundaried way of looking at art. We’re looking for artists who can think about the context.’
The artists selected for LCA are given no set brief, other than to work within the outdoor festival environment – and there is no overarching theme. The artists selected work in a broad range of media and styles: Linder Sterling is famed for her iconic collage works of imagery borrowed from consumer and porn magazines; while Lisa Peachey uses traditional and artisan techniques to examine the idea and value of making.
George Young creates mixed-media installations that incorporate painting and sculpture; while Tom Dale delights in taking the familiar and making it strange. Andy Holden’s work expresses recurring themes of memory and attachment to objects, according to Latitude. In addition to these artists, the winner of last year’s LCA award, Andy Harper, will be showing a new work.
Hilde Neset says, ‘The content of the festival is so multi-faceted, so if we were to present a streamlined theme for the exhibition then in the context, it becomes too specific. We’re interested in work that can really withstand and hold their own; and we’re looking for elements of the woods as being quite contemplative and quiet.
‘It’s a zone without a whole bunch of performances and live action where you can rest think and immerse yourself in it.’
Latitude runs from 12 – 15 July at Henham Part, Southwold, Suffolk. for more information visit http://www.latitudefestival.co.uk/