We at aemi are delighted to announce the recipients of our inaugural set of Graduate Awards for artists working with the moving image at Ulster University.
We were impressed by the quality of the student work we encountered across the board and really energised by the works of the two winning artists.
The recipient of the aemi Graduate Award Ulster University (BA) is Maria del Pilar Morales Caamaño and the recipient of the aemi Graduate Award Ulster University (MFA) is Valanti Athanasiou. Maria del Pilar Morales’ No Hay Olvido and Valanti Athanasiou’s Chronos – Order and Chaos are both available to view here on aemi.ie for a limited time until 31 October 2021. Please see biographies for both artists and links to view their works below.
We want to congratulate both artists for their extraordinary work. As part of the award both artists will also receive mentorship with aemi over the coming year and we very much look forward to following their practices as they continue to develop.
aemi Graduate Award Ulster University (BA)
Maria del Pilar Morales Caamaño, No hay Olvido, 2021, Experimental digital Film/Video 10 min 57 sec
As a multidisciplinary artist I find it difficult to define my practice in one specific strand. Coming from an artistic background where processes played an important role, I developed an especial relationship with the process of film and video editing and making. It takes time and I enjoy things that take time. To take time and to spend time with the moving image and sounds, making it and editing it to develop a story. I come from a family line where textiles played an important economic and cultural role in the women’s life. ‘No hay Olvido’ is an experimental film using photographs from the past, performative actions and other footage and stills made in Belfast. With a focus on the materiality of textiles and fibres, employing cultural garments such as the ‘rebozo’ (shawl), unspun wool, and material from industrial and home machinery. Textiles have a particular relationship with the body and our human senses, so that they become bodies themselves. Their value as mediators of memory and history is often overlooked. The material in the film explores the relationships of memory and the human condition with the materiality of textiles and its close connections with the body and language.
I am a Mexican multidisciplinary artist, now living in the U.K. I have called Belfast my home for the last eight years, where I completed a BA in Fine Arts at Ulster University. Previous the B.A I came from a self-taught background on photography, textiles, and printmaking with a D.I.Y culture and enthusiasm deeply engrained since my early teenage years. I was a member of the Belfast Print Workshop since 2013 and in 2019 to 2020 I took on an exchange year in Zagreb, Croatia where I studied Sculpture and New Media at the Akademija Likovnih Umjetnosti.
aemi Graduate Award Ulster University (MFA)
Valanti Athanasiou, Chronos – Order & Chaos, 2021, film, 2 min 46 sec looped
Chronos is a video that explores artistically and philosophically the concepts of time, space, perception and entropy. This work is inspired by the universe (○△□), its vastness and seemingly emptiness. While looking at the night sky, time seems to run in a different pace. We observe the past, the decay and the death of the stars in the universe and while the cosmos is full of movement it seems to be motionless. To create this work, I used scanned film negatives which were manipulated either by manually piercing or by painting and corroding them. This was a laborious and time – consuming process where film negatives were being destroyed leaving empty holes and interesting patterns or colours behind. The destruction of the information held on the surface of the film, materialises a sense of loss and commences an artistic entropy process with the projection of a series of chaotic frames in the background. The video’s sound complements and combines all the visual elements inspiring viewers to reflect upon their logical and emotional interpretation of this chaotic orderliness. It is a challenge to explore and self-reflect upon three different layers of information; the orderly geometric shapes made in a repetitive way, their chaotic counterparts and the sound that binds them together. When combined, they create an aeonian circle but with a distinct time direction similar to physical entropy.
Valanti (or Andy) Athanasiou is a Visual Artist working with filmmaking, photography and printmaking. She was born in Greece and currently resides in Ireland. She holds a BDes in Interior Design, a PgDip in Design and an MFA in Fine Arts from Ulster University. Through her practice Valanti uses different media to explore the subliminal concept of life, death and time in relation to the cosmos and the self. She believes beauty can be found not in perfection but also in everything surrounding us, she focuses on the unpresentable, the transcendent and the uncanny. Valanti has participated and exhibited her work in many galleries throughout the years. www.valanti.art IG: @valanti.art