Whitstable Biennale 2014 Announces Winners Of Major Award

Creative and Art News

Whitstable Biennale is pleased to announce that the winners of its 2014 Open Submission Award are Louisa Martin and Rachel Reupke

What the award means

The recipients of the cash prize win the opportunity to create a new work for Whitstable Biennale 2014 providing them with huge audiences. As well as funding for the work the artist receives developmental support from Biennale curators. . . but really this is only the beginning. . . .

Artists who have exhibited at Whitstable Biennale often go on to be hugely successful. Showing at the festival is now seen as a career stepping stone. This is perhaps why applications are received not just from around the UK but globally.

Whitstable Biennale Assistant Curator, Kate Phillimore says: “I love the fact that both the 2014 Open Submission Winners will be using the opportunity to experiment with new ways of making work and pushing boundaries. Rachel Reupke is a filmmaker but will be presenting live performance work for the first time in her career and Louisa Martin will be breaking new ground by collaborating with a dancer, set designer, and DOP to create a dynamic, multi-layered 5 part film.”

Keep up to date with Whitstable Biennale news through Twitter @whitbienn

Global catchment area

There were a massive two hundred and thirty two entries for this award. This is a very big number, given the amount of work involved in the application process and it also confirms and demonstrates a high level of interest in Whitstable Biennale amongst contemporary artists. It adds huge support to the idea that artists see the Biennale as something that will greatly benefit their careers. Whitstable Biennale regularly receives approaches from all over the world, Japan, India and the USA, this time there was an increase in entries from mainland Europe including Austria, Germany, Spain, and Poland.

About the winners


Image: Rachel Reupke, film still from Wine and Spirits (2013)

Rachel Reupke often works with film. The use of a static camera combined with precise art direction that employs the language of advertising make her films highly distinctive. The new 2014 Whitstable Biennale commission will be the first time Reupke has presented live performance to an audience.


Image: Video still from ‘Of Course’, 2013, by Louisa Martin

Louisa Martin’s Whitstable Biennale commission will investigate the ‘performance of identity’ and look at ideas around intimate but non-physical human contact exploring the wider ramifications of living through digital images that are used to both construct and conceal identity.

Where stars are born

The Whitstable Biennale’s track record indicates that the artists it selects (often very early in their careers) are ‘stars in the making’. One only need glance at the Whitstable Biennale’s back catalogue to recognise that this is real and demonstrable.

Whitstable Biennale is an organisation that commissions new work from young artists or artists who are at an early stage in their career and it also has a great reputation for being very supportive of those artists.

Seeing the future

This ability to ‘read the future’ to predict a trend and to pick up on future ideas is no fluke. Before moving to the Kent coast, Sue Jones was previously curator and then director of London’s Chisenhale Gallery (1995-2000) where she worked with a series of young artists including Gillian WearingHilary LloydTomoko Takahashi and Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

Whitstable Biennale, Director, Sue Jones says:

“The Whitstable Biennale enjoys spotting potential and developing raw talent. Like everyone else I’m attracted to new and thought-provoking ideas, artists probably more than any other group of people have the most outrageously exciting ideas and it is a real privilege to be able to realise some of them. I enjoy working with the relatively unknown, I encourage artists to take risks. It is, therefore, immensely satisfying to see so many of them now doing so well. I’m very much looking forward to working with Louisa Martin and Rachel Reupke over the coming months.”

Feeding the market

Catherine Herbert, Whitstable Biennale, Head of Strategy says: “We are increasingly seeing more and more gallery owners, collectors and curators at the festival. Artists have told me they are being approached and made offers either during or just after the Biennale. It is gratifying to think that each new commission has a very real life ahead of it. Some of the works born out of the Biennale are being shown all over the world.”

It is perhaps why the Biennale enjoys a very good reputation amongst artists themselves, it is the ‘place to be seen’ and a great platform for new work.

Emma Leach, Whitstable Biennale, Performance Curator, perhaps encapsulates the spirit of the festival when she says: “At Whitstable Biennale you might see a work of art at its rawest. A work that is in the process of turning from chrysalis into butterfly. To witness this transformative creative process, the very beginnings of a work of art, will give you real insight into the nature of creation.”

The Whitstable Biennale effect

After showing at Whitstable Biennale, artists have been nominated for awards including: Art Angel Open commissions, The Jarman Award, Leverhulme Awards, South Bank Sky Arts Award, Cannes Film Festival awards, New York Film Festival awards.

Works commissioned by Whitstable Biennale have gone on to be shown at venues including Whitechapel Gallery, London; Serpentine Gallery, London; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Imperial War Museum North; PKM, Seoul, Korea; Manifesta 9, Genk, Belgium; Modern Art Oxford; South London Gallery; British Film Institute; Bucharest Biennia, Romania; Art Unlimited, Basel; New Art Gallery, Walsall; Heidelberg Kunstverein, Germany; BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna, Austria, CCA Derry.

A number of artists previously commissioned, and artists they are working with in 2014, are currently included in Tate Britain’s prestigious survey show, Assembly: a survey of recent artists’ film and video in Britain 2008-2013, including Margaret Salmon, Mikhail Karikis, Clio Barnard, Rachel Reupke, Karen Mirza, Neil Henderson, Adam Chodzko, Cara Tolmie and Jananne Al-Ani.


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