News & Views

Nova Award / Winners

by Contagious Team

Conall McAteer's Crate wins Lowe and Partners' 2012 Nova Award

Lowe and Partners has awarded its Nova Award to British artist Conall McAteer The Nova award was supported by Contagious and celebrates creative talent at University of the Arts London's Central Saint Martins.

The 23-year-old graduate's winning piece, Crate, is a painstakingly-crafted huge marquetry cube. Each panel took four days to create, and McAteer spent months with top craftsmen learning the skills to make the piece. 'I liked the idea of making the virtual tangible,' explained McAteer. 'There is something interesting about the digital wooden crate being hand produced in real wood, along with an air of nostalgia between the form and the craft process itself.' 

Zoe Lazarus, founding partner of Lowe Counsel and a Nova Award judge said: 'Crate is an almost perfect exhibit. It is traditional and modern and connects craft and skill to a new technological and virtual environment.'

McAteer told Contagious: 'I feel enormously proud to have been awarded the NOVA prize for 2012. As a young artist it has been an incredibly exciting process to be a part of, and to be selected among such talented peers from across the degree shows at CSM is a tremendous honour. I'm really looking forward to the opportunities ahead and I hope to continue to do the award justice by pushing my practice from this point onwards.'

Caroline Kernick was named first runner up for her exquisite Jewellery Collection, meticulously crafted from Papier Gouaché and second runner up prize went to Erika Renedo Illarregi, for her Empathology project, created during her MA in Industrial Design. 

Tony Wright, Lowe and Partners chairman handed out the prizes to the graduates and praised the multi-disciplinary nature of the Nova award. He believed McAteer's piece 'goes to the heart of what digital thinking means when it manifests itself in a physical form'.

Commendations were also awarded to Dahea Sun (MA Textile Futures) for Rain Palette, clothing Tthat changes colour depending on the pH level of the rain; Sam Rowe's Homeless Vending Machine created for his BA Product Design degree and Alex Goller(MA Creative Practice for Narrative Environments) for the Undesired Child. 

Other commendations went to Icelander Emil Asgrimsson's animation The Way Things Are & The Way Things Should Be for his BA (Hons) Graphic Design course, Moving Image, Susan Campbell's brightly coloured textiles, Status Update (BA Textile Design).Juan Juan Hu's Jewellery Collection for her Jewellery Design MA was also commended, and is featured on the front cover of the latest issue of Contagiousmagazine. 

All the commended and winning artists were awarded a copy of Contagious magazine at the presentation ceremony held in SW1 Gallery, London. Walls of the gallery were decorated with mocked up Contagious covers featuring the shortlisted work. The artists' work was used to illustrate the front, back and inside covers and app insert of the current issue of Contagious (see cover image above) and selected artists were featured in the Upstarts and Wildfire sections of the latest issue.