Artists unveiled for Plymouth Contemporary 2021

Jennifer Taylor, ‘Lunar Dawn’, 2020, Digital Photographic Print, 60 x 42 cm

An international line-up of established and emerging creative talent has been selected for exhibition at this year’s Plymouth Contemporary.

Twenty-nine artists from around the world, working across different and varying disciplines including fine art and performance, will exhibit 44 works of art for this third staging of the prestigious event.

Held across two galleries in the city – the University of Plymouth’s Levinsky Gallery and KARST – and with support from The Box, Plymouth Contemporary 2021 will run from 7 July – 5 September, and will explore the theme of ‘Making It’.

“Plymouth Contemporary 2021 is testament to the unbridled creativity of our contemporary artists,” 

said Mary Costello, Exhibitions Coordinator for The Arts Institute at the University. 

“Despite all challenges, they continue ‘making it’ and have responded to this theme in a myriad of interesting, intriguing and innovative ways. Most of all, the sheer joy of creating shines through, and we're delighted to invite the public to visit this celebration of today's contemporary artists."

First staged in 2015, the Plymouth Contemporary supports new ideas and a risk-taking approach across all art forms, and previously featured artists – such as Naomi Frears, Thomas Goddard and Michael Cox – have gone on to achieve national and international success.

For the 2021 event, an open call was made to artists to respond to the Making It theme – and more than 130 from Europe and America submitted proposals. Some focused upon the act of making or shaping a physical work or idea. Others interpreted it in terms of success, or making a difference to people or the community.

A selection panel, including renowned artist Heather Phillipson and independent arts consultant, writer and mentor Manick Govinda, as well as representatives from the University, The Box and KARST, then considered the submissions and selected the final line up.

Nicoletta Lambertucci, Contemporary Art Curator at The Box, said: 

“After an incredibly tough year for the creative sector, I am thrilled to finally see Plymouth Contemporary 2021 taking shape with such a strong list of artists. It is a project that offers an insightful commentary on the world through a diverse range of practices. It has been great to be part of the selection panel, I really enjoyed the process and I look forward to seeing the exhibition.”

“It was a great pleasure to be on the selection panel for this year’s Plymouth Contemporary, and to be able to get an insight on how artists interpreted the theme of ‘Making It’,” 

added Manick Govinda. 

“The process was rigorous, enlightening and I am delighted by the choices we collectively made. I look forward to seeing the show.”

Among those to be selected, include:

  • Anna Chrystal Stephens, who uses sculpture, action and photography. Anna's two pieces – Hack Sink and Paracord – reference both the extreme difficulties facing artists in the current climate, and the joy of using creativity to envisage positive alternative futures;
  • Jennifer Taylor, who works across live performance, film and sculpture. Jennifer will produce two pieces – Lunar Dawn and Voyager – that explore ritualistic behaviour and systems of control, each with a distinctive lo-fi, makeshift aesthetic;
  • Harriet Bowman, who works with sculpture, text and performance. Harriet will be exhibiting an audio piece of work and a sculpture, which showcase her fascination with leather, but also themes such as grief and aspiration; and
  • Andy Harper, who works in paint. Andy will be exhibiting a new oil painting, Gaze Contingent.

Members of the public will be able to attend Plymouth Contemporary 2021 without the need to book. Several prizes will also be awarded before the end of the exhibition.

Ben Borthwick, Head of Creative Programme at KARST, said: 

“Plymouth Contemporary 2021 will be the first time KARST reopens its doors to the public since a major refurbishment and upgrade of our building. We can't wait to invite visitors back into our massively improved space to see the exciting range of works on display. KARST is really pleased to have partnered on Plymouth Contemporary since it was created as it continues to go from strength to strength.”
The full list of artists selected for exhibition are: Camilla Alberti, Chris Alton, Bridgette Ashton, Bruce Asbestos, Kelly Best + Herbivore, Harriet Bowman, Caroline Bugby, Gordon Dalton, Kez Dearmer, Stephanie Douet, Nick Ervinck, Rosalind Faram, Damian Griffiths, Andy Harper, Sadie Hennessy, Will Hughes, Seungjo Jeong, Dean Knight, Molly Erin McCarthy, Charlotte McGuinness, James Moore, Paula Morison, Sang-Mi Rha, Janet Sainsbury, Anna Chrystal Stephens, Jennifer Taylor, Marianne Walker, Kate Williams and K. Yoland.