- 28 July 2022
- 5 minutes
Bloomberg New Contemporaries supports emerging practitioners from UK art schools and alternative learning programmes – platforming the work of fine art students and recent graduates through an annual touring exhibition.
For 2022 New Contemporaries will travel to Hull, bringing the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2022 exhibition to the city's Ferens Art Gallery and Humber Street Gallery from 23 September to 27 November. The show will then travel to the South London Gallery for the fifth consecutive year, from 9 December 2022 to 12 March 2023. The exhibitions are complemented by an online platform and range of digital activities, allowing a global audience to engage with each artists’ work.
This year's emerging practitioners – selected by a panel headed by the internationally renowned artists James Richards, Veronica Ryan and Zadie Xa – include recent alumni and current students from the RCA’s School of Arts & Humanities.
Drawing on both personal and universal narratives – from complex identities to notions of memory and storytelling – this year’s New Contemporaries demonstrate a rich tapestry of voices and approaches to making.
Francesca Dobbe, MA Sculpture (2021–present)
Francesca Dobbe is an artist and writer living and working in London. Dobbe’s practice engages with notions of para-cinema through using the codes of both photography and cinema to consider how slowness is used as an aesthetic for picturing the everyday. Her work has recently been included in group exhibitions at Der Neue Kunstraum, Düsseldorf (NKR), SET, London, Espacio Gallery, London and Mirabel Studios, Manchester. Her written work has been published by Deleuzine and Sticky Fingers Publishing. Dobbe has also recently worked on a public commission in Battersea Park as part of a series of site-specific sculptures by RCA students.
“Studying MA Sculpture at the RCA has helped me build upon my background in digital media to explore my interest in recalibrating sculpture through the properties of photography and cinema.”
Paola Estrella is a multimedia artist born in Mexico City and based in London. Auto-fiction and self-discovery are central to her practice, through which she conveys notions of intimacy, desire and becoming. Estrella explores how new technologies impact the public and the private spheres and reflects on how the imaginary influences social conventions, gender, identity and our notion of reality. Her work shifts across mixed media, video, installation and performance as she dives into the blurred limits between the external and the internal world.
“My experience at the RCA was a journey of self-discovery. With the guidance of great tutors and with access to new resources, I found the time and space to push my practice further. One of the highlights of studying at the RCA was being part of an international community of artists which helps me navigate my professional career nowadays.”
Steph Huang, MA Sculpture (2019–2021)
Steph Huang is an artist from Taiwan who lives and works in London. Poetically charged, her work expresses autobiographical narratives through a process of layered storytelling – rooted in the close observation of incidental details, the relationships objects have to each other and the eccentric moments in everyday life. Her work attempts to examine something of the lives of modern human beings through mass produced objects. Often captured through her analogue camera, these moments become trigger-points for new ideas given form through assemblage. In this way, her sculptural works have a lyrical quality – one where the encounter is an invitation. Her first solo institutional show A Great Increase In Business Is On Its Way takes place this summer.
“At the RCA I learned to do things in a more straightforward and effective way through countless consultations with technicians. I was really into materials – and working with the best people in each field was terrific.”
Divya Sharma, MA Sculpture (2019–2021)
Divya Sharma is a London based artist from South India. Her work reflects her lived experience, with the autobiographical and fictional narratives in her projects exploring possibilities of cultural entanglements that re-imagine the notion of belonging. At the heart of her practice is the idea of hybridity and the (naïve) insistence that inter, and intra-nationalities can do more; they can make futures in which we are not opposites but extensions, additions and alloys. Her practice is research-based cutting across media and includes video and performance. In her tufted tapestries, indigenous beliefs and vernacular codices are presented through the lens of living in between different cultures and languages.
“I have the RCA to thank for the current direction in my practice. The Prick and Stitch Residency conceptualised by tutors Denise de Cordova and Kate Davis introduced me to working with threads and textiles and it was the turning point within my practice for which I am truly grateful.”
Yukako Tanaka, MA Contemporary Art Practice (2018–2021)
Yukako Tanaka is an artist working and living in London. Her research and practice aim to translate the beauty of scientific evidence into a fine art context, as well as conducting cross-disciplinary research in philosophy, physics and biology. In 2022, she also won the Aesthetica Art Prize for emerging artists and held a solo exhibition, Fluctuating Fluctuations: now=then here=elsewhere, at Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London. While studying at the RCA, she received the Princess of Wales Award for MA Contemporary Art Practice and exhibited work as part of the #SciCommHack at CERN, in collaboration with scientists and researchers at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.
“Thanks to the RCA I developed the core theme of my research – the fusion of art, science and philosophy. Collaborative opportunities during my time at the RCA were also a significant cornerstone of my current practice.”
Theresa Weber, MA Sculpture (2021–present)
Theresa Weber graduated from the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie in 2021 and is now based in London. She develops conceptual multi-media installations while critically examining concepts of race and class. Her work suggests a wider understanding of being as becoming and claims that her identity and all hybrid identities can be understood as a network – fluid and unfixed. Through developing collaged arrangements of cultural material which are woven together and sometimes poured into resin, her practice examines cultural embodiment and femininity. She deals with the constant re-invention within creolisation with a link to chaos-theory. Weber's practice creates traces that seem intuitive, fragile and ambivalent, while seeking radical pluralism. Her first institutional solo show Woven Memories took place at Dortmunder Kunstverein in Germany in 2021.
“Studying at the RCA means to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone in order to examine my practice on a deeper level. It is all about being critical within the institution and finding a productive place within interwoven social networks.”
Zearo is an artist currently based in London, having grown up in Kuala Lumpur. He obtained his Graduate Diploma in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art and is now a second-year student on the MA Painting programme. Zearo’s work takes on an autobiographical perspective to explore the relationship between same-sex figures. Influenced by his Southeast Asian background, he centres on lived experience by exploring ideas of longing, desire, memory, the male gaze, masculinity and Southeast Asian aesthetics.
“Studying at the RCA has helped me to think more critically about the idea of art-making. Being situated in the same studio space among other fantastic students has also given me the dynamic and momentum to understand new techniques, develop my personal language and reflect on what painting means to me.”