Saturday, February 18, 2017

Young artist wins leading prize with haunting depictions of Colditz By Phil Miller

Photo Credit: The National
Haunting paintings of Colditz, home of the infamous prisoner of war camp, have helped a young painter win one of Scotland's leading art prizes. Frances Rokhlin, 24, has won the Glenfiddich Residency Award at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition, for her series of "small but powerful" paintings and prints. The Edinburgh College of Art graduate, 24, has received the £10,000 award for her display of work in the show which opens today (Saturday 18 February). Ms Rokhlin has painted a series of building exteriors in Edinburgh and Germany and her work "stood out immediately", organisers said. A series of three paintings in muted colours show aspects of Colditz Castle, which was used as a prison during World War II for Allied officers who had escaped from other camps. The artist will now join contemporary artists from around the world on the international residency programme at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown this summer. Andy Fairgrieve, coordinator of that programme said: “In an age where large-scale attention-grabbing works seem to be in fashion, it is refreshing to see an artist who has the confidence to buck the trend and follow a different path. "Frances' work captured our attention with the economy of scale, palette and historical narrative employed." She is the third artist selected to join the Glenfiddich programme from the New Contemporaries exhibition, and I look forward to seeing what fresh inspiration she will discover during this summer’s residency in the unique environment of the distillery." Born in Croydon, Ms Rokhlin studied on the MFA Fine Art course at Edinburgh College of Art. She specialised in painting and print-making, and has recently travelled to Japan having been awarded the 2016 RSA William Littlejohn Award for Innovation in Watercolour. Colin Greenslade, director of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, said: “The 2017 New Contemporaries exhibition hosts a cacophony of strong voices. Amongst these, Frances Rokhlin's quiet and considered work punches home a strong message which resonates with the viewer long after the encounter." The Glenfiddich Artists in Residence programme was launched by distillery owners William Grant & Sons in 2002, and is one of the largest privately funded artist residency programmes in the UK with a total budget of £130,000. During the three-month residency at the Dufftown distillery, artists are provided with a house and studio, a monthly stipend and a budget to create new work which is then exhibited in Glenfiddich’s on-site art gallery. Artists from India, Australia, China, Korea, Taiwan and Canada will be at Glenfiddich this summer. To date, over 100 artists from 20 countries have participated, including Alison Watt, Christine Borland, Alex Frost, Damian Moppett, Mao Yan and Valay Shende. Glenfiddich Distillery is a Highland tourist attraction as well as a distillery, receiving 75,000 visitors annually. Herald Scotland Photo