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“A multimedia magpie, whose films are built from audio samples and YouTube clips, Richards borrows, collages and copies while wielding an eloquently commanding hand over proceedings.” Ossian Ward, Time Out
London based artist film-maker James Richards has won the 2012 Film London Jarman Award, announced last night at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. As winner, Richards received £10,000 and a film commission for Channel 4’s short-form arts strand, Random Acts. From the shortlist Brad Butler & Karen Mirza, Nathaniel Mellors and Shezad Dawood will also be commissioned for Random Acts this year, the first time Channel 4 are enabling four artist film-makers to showcase their work within the strand.
Richards, graduate of the Chelsea School of Art works with found and re-edited material to create complex and immersive audio-visual mixtapes. Recent work has taken the form of curated events featuring moving image and sculpture.
He was selected from a shortlist of 10 artists by an acclaimed jury panel including Stuart Comer, Film Curator, Tate Modern (Chair); Mark Cousins, Film-maker, Author and Curator; Aaron Cezar, Director, Delfina Foundation; Elizabeth Price, artist; Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Gallery; Mark Rappolt, Editor, ArtReview; and Tabitha Jackson, Commissioning Editor for Arts, Channel 4.
The Jury Panel said of James Richards: “James Richards collages disparate moments from the endless stream of digital and online imagery, bringing focus and a strong personal resonance to these otherwise fleeting and anonymous images. His impeccable sense of pacing, colour, sound and mood defines a remarkable sense of place within an increasingly virtual and intangible world. Bringing a strong, sculptural awareness of space to his installations and an informed, intelligent approach to video and found footage, Richards has helped to define a remarkable, intimate digital aesthetic that the jury was pleased to recognise with the 2012 Jarman Award.”
The 2012 shortlist also included Brad Butler & Karen Mirza, Marcus Coates, Shezad Dawood, Benedict Drew, Nathaniel Mellors, Ben Rivers, Aura Satz, Matt Stokes and Thomson & Craighead as the selected artists for the prestigious Jarman Award’s fifth year, also marking the 70th anniversary of the birth of artist and film-maker Derek Jarman who continues to inspire the spirit of the award. The award has become an important springboard in this area, with video artists Lali ‘Spartacus’ Chetwynd, Luke Fowler and Elizabeth Price being included on the shortlist for this year’s upcoming Turner Prize, all previously in the running for the Jarman Award, with Fowler winning the inaugural Award in 2008.
Launched in 2008, the Film London Jarman Award gives recognition and support to artists working with the moving image and whose work resists conventional definition, encompassing innovation and excellence. The Award is inspired by visionary avant-garde film-maker Derek Jarman, one of the most esteemed and controversial artists of the late 20th Century. With funding from Arts Council England, Film London deliver the Award in partnership with Channel 4 and in association with the Whitechapel Gallery.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission said: “As ever the Jarman Award is an excellent showcase of the extraordinary artist film-making talent we have in the UK. This year’s shortlist was of an exceptionally high standard, indicating what an exciting time it is for the sector. Thanks to the ongoing support of Arts Council England, we have been able to provide valuable and meaningful support to artists working with the moving image, through both this Award and our successful production schemes. I congratulate James on winning the award, and look forward to his film for Channel 4, along with the work from Brad Butler & Karen Mirza, Nathaniel Mellors and Shezad Dawood, as this year we are able to give more artists that important platform.”
James Richards follows in the footsteps of previous Film London Jarman Award winners Luke Fowler (2008), Lindsay Seers (2009), Emily Wardill (2010) and Anja Kirschner & David Panos (2011). As the winner of the 2012 Film London Jarman Award he will be awarded a £10,000 cash prize and a broadcast commission to make a short moving image artwork for Channel 4’s ‘Random Acts’ art strand. http://randomacts.channel4.com
The Film London Jarman Award is the only Award of its kind where an artist is rewarded with both financial assistance to enable them to flourish and the exceptional opportunity to broadcast their work on national television.