The Prize awards one student or recent graduate funds to cover the rental costs of a studio space in a UK city of their choice.
Since 2012, ACS has re-invested over £133,850 back into the artistic community through educational bursaries to students from UK arts universities and to leading art prizes and charities through sponsorship.
We caught up with the artist, to find out how winning the ACS Studio Prize last year has helped her work to flourish in a dedicated studio space.
Q. How would you define your work in three words?
Drawing based paintings.
Q. What medium do you mainly work with and why?
Oil paint, for its immediacy and malleability. It can be diluted and scrubbed to act like watercolour or thickened to a cement or clay like consistency.
‘The Block’ (2020) © Araminta Blue Wieloch
Oil on canvas
Q. Where do you find most inspiration for your work?
Each painting leads on from the one before it. I tend only to find my paintings successful if I have made a new discovery within it, and that new discovery tends to be the driving force of the next piece.
Q. Take us through your working process.
I work predominately from imagination. Starting the paintings with a simple macro view of where the larger planes of paint will go and then moving quickly into a micro view of detail – dancing around the canvas, paying equal attention to the pauses as well as the built up layers of paint. Scratching, scrubbing, slicking. When I see an end to the work I then try to view it again as a whole and bring the pieces together.
Q. Can you remember the first work of art that you created? What was it and why was it so memorable?
I must have been five when we had play time scheduled each day at my school where you weren’t allowed to do the same type of activity two days in a row. So I chose drawing, tracing, drawing, tracing – trying to crack the system – but they were on to me, and soon had me building Duplo.
Q. What does winning the ACS Studio Prize 2019 mean for you as an artist?
As a graduate prize, it scoops you out of the uncertainty that comes between the end and beginning of something, straight on to a path that enables you to see yourself as an artist, giving you the confidence, time and space your work needs to flourish on its own.
‘Cold Shell’ (2019) © Araminta Blue Wieloch
Oil on canvas
Q. How will that help you as an artist?
The importance of having a space that is dedicated to your particular process of making has been totally cemented by the recent lockdown. The studio is a place of energy and freedom, which is transferred on to the work. As soon as I moved my practice to the home, the work became smaller and stiller, although this is a new way of working that I hope will feed my practice positively. I am excited to return to the challenge of larger works where there is a greater surface area to change the pace of your brushwork, from high energy to stillness, and to make errors and discoveries with the paint.