The Jerwood/FVU Awards 2019: Going, Gone, Phoenix


Touring to Phoenix after its premier at Jerwood Space in London, the theme of Going, Gone was originally chosen to coincide with Britain’s planned departure from the European Union, but instead the exhibition comes at a time when heated debate surrounding Brexit goes on and on. These two new works reflect on the anxieties of our recent past, our turbulent present and our uncertain future.

For The First Baby Born in Space is a twin-screen projection by artist duo Webb-Ellis. A despatch from the immediate present that is directly addressed to an indeterminate point in the future, it gives voice to some of the emotions and experiences of a generation of young people who have had little say in the dramatic political events unfolding around them or in the mounting ecological threats that the planet is facing.

In Richard Whitby’s video The Lost Ones, a disparate group of individuals are waiting to have their residency status assessed. Stuck in bureaucratic limbo, and asked to attend an interview at a place called the Premium Service Centre, they find themselves interrogated by a disembodied voice, whose peremptory manner and frequently malicious tone makes for an uncomfortable, hostile environment.

The Jerwood/FVU award artists were selected from over 145 applications by Elizabeth Price, artist; Peter Taylor, Festival Director at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival; Steven Bode, Director at Film and Video Umbrella; and Sarah Williams, Head of Visual Arts at Jerwood Arts.