Valentina Ferrandes ‘Council Estate’

Life is likened to that of a glorious masterpiece, shaped by the spectrum of hues of our everyday environment. Therefore the only logical process for the art world to take is that of motion. Video Painting is a relatively new concept devised from the psychological works of Hilary Lawson who published his theory of closure in 2001. His notions, that the world is open and that we close that openness with thought and language has changed the perspective view of openness with art becoming a main expression of this.
Video painting is just that, creating a vision using film as a canvas; key conventions is that the camera is motionless on a fixed standpoint with no dialogue or sound. The process is uninhabited and pure with all content remaining natural to its original form, free from any constructed editing or manipulation of the image.
The innate freedom constructed in the process of video painting has therefore attracted many devotes of this technique, including the artists Sanchita Islam, William Raban, Isabelle Inghillieri, Nina Danino and Tina Keane whom gathered regularly to showcase to each other their current footage. In 2006 The Open Gallery saw this as a great opportunity to offer such artists a platform to enable them to engage with a wider audience.
In 2009 the Open Gallery launched the inaugural Open Prize for video painting, inviting submissions from UK based young artists with a view to showing a selection of entries in a major exhibition in 2010.
The Open Prize does what it says on the tin, the doors are ajar to anyone up for the challenge of competitively presenting their visual flair, and the Open Gallery was not short of talent, receiving in excess of 300 entries. With such a great reception it clearly shows that video painting is a creative medium that is completely in tune with today’s instantaneous society.
With what can only be imagined as an impossible task, the submissions were whittled down to a final ten which where then given the exceptional opportunity to be exhibited at the gallery as part of a series of pieces which documented the development of video painting since its origins just under a decade ago.
‘The submissions for the inaugural Open Prize are the latest addition to the unfolding development of video painting. They are startling in their variety, strength and excitement within the medium of the video painting. I have no doubt that the video painting story has hardly begun.’ Will Smith, Director, the Open Gallery.
Anthony Haden-Guest provided the distinct forewords to accompany the exhibition, likening the collection to ‘The DNA of a Movement’. With such a varied breadth of work, often with abstraction and underlying themes running through, it requires an open mind to decode these short, filmatic experiences.
Jasmina Metwaly managed to scope the main prize for her piece, Crucifixion. Her piece expressed Sinai’s desert-land surroundings with strong attachments to religious and sometime extreme beliefs, yet documented without a time frame in her attempt to define timelessness. Jasmina will receive funding and future exhibitions with the Open Gallery.
If you believe you visually and conceptually have what it takes, the submissions for the Open Prize 2011 will be invited from the 1st October 2010.

Words by Zara King

Robert Dixon ‘Untitled’

Rita Ribas ‘Gathering’

Olwen Coughlan ‘Acedia’

Michael Lightborne ‘Elevator’

Marc Atkinson ‘Revealing’

Alexandra Hughes ‘The End of August’