The 2016 Christine Risley Award was awarded to BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate, Louise Madsen.
In the words of guest judge, Jennifer Harris (Deputy Director, the Whitworth, Manchester), 'her sculptural pieces demonstrate a profound material sensibility that aligns them with the kind of work that is being produced as part of the "material turn" that so much international art has taken in recent years'.
On display at the Constance Howard Gallery will be a collection of experimental pieces that demonstrate Madsen's investigative approach to how we encounter objects. Working with materials that shift, melt, cut, harden, spread and absorb, Madsen explores surfaces of internal and external change. Her seductive combinations of often disparate materials subvert their own haptic qualities in a way that is at once alluring, destabalising and uncanny.
'It is most often the materials' qualities of being too familiar giving way to the them becoming increasingly odd or even alien as I focus on them, that attracts, puzzles and provides me with a nervous energy’ (Louise Madsen).
With an approach to making and materiality that is both embedded in the tactile whilst resisting any tendency to be 'pinned down', Madsen is developing a rich language which resonates with a long history of material expression and what Jennifer Harris refers to as 'the productive indeterminacy of contemporary art textiles'.