Contemporary take on city’s history wins awards for Dundee graduate

A University of Dundee graduate has drawn inspiration from the city’s industrial past to claim two awards at one of Scotland’s most prestigious showcases of emerging artistic talent.

Rhona Jack will receive £10,000 of funding after being named winner of the Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Award at this year’s Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) New Contemporaries 2018 exhibition.

The 24-year-old, who graduated from the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design last year, also collected the Glasgow Print Studio Award following the launch of the event.

Rhona recreated a traditional loom and used it to weave a tapestry inspired by Dundee’s historic jute and flax mills, resulting in the creation of her artwork titled ‘10cm/hr’.

Originally from Edinburgh, she said that news of her success in her home city has come as a welcome surprise.

“I was very shocked but very happy,” she said.

“Just to be exhibiting at the New Contemporaries exhibition is special, but to win two awards was beyond my expectations.

“I wanted to highlight an industry that doesn’t exist anymore and bring that down to the work of just one person, to show individuality within that one big industry. I built a loom out of old roof beams that I found and the pattern that I have woven was inspired by the old mill buildings.”

Rhona’s prize will see her take up a three-month residency with whisky giant Glenfiddich, with her work automatically entered into the New Scottish Artists exhibition in London.

She is just one of several DJCAD graduates making waves at the RSA New Contemporaries 2018 exhibition, with five other Dundee graduates receiving prizes at the exhibition, including Elise Bell, who has won the Edinburgh Printmakers Award, and Doaa Yule, named winner of the RSA Art Prize and recipient of the Maclaine Watters Medal.

Professor Paul Harris, Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, said, “I am delighted that once again DJCAD graduates have been successful in the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition. This is a real testament to the creative talent of our students and to the quality of the teaching and support that they have received from my colleagues within the School.

“It is also extremely pleasing that Rhona Jack has been awarded the prestigious Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Award, and I’m sure that this marks the start of yet another highly successful career for one of our graduates.”

The exhibition, at the RSA’s Upper and Lower Galleries at The Mound, Edinburgh, runs until Wednesday 18 April.

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