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1 May 2007 PR 07/55

Loughborough students reach finals of Mercury Prize art competition

Two stunning pieces of artwork by Loughborough University students Matt Atkinson and Victoria Lambert have reached the finals of the prestigious Nationwide Mercury Prize 2007 art competition.

Matt (21), who originates from Gravesend in Kent, and Victoria (21), who comes from Leyburn, North Yorkshire, are both studying Fine Art (Painting). Their work was among just 50 shortlisted entries, all of which were exhibited last month at a top London gallery. This year’s awards attracted over 2,000 entries from more than 130 universities and colleges.

The Nationwide Mercury Prize competition offers art students from across the UK the chance to enter a piece of their work which has been inspired by music.
Both Matt and Victoria say they were delighted to have been accepted. “It was an amazing feeling to be shortlisted,” they said.

Matt’s artwork, entitled Blue Klein Cabin, is an examination of disused buildings.
“Having lost their original identity, these buildings become invisible, blemished remnants in our surroundings. My paintings are a nostalgic appreciation of the unlikely beauty that evolves from their natural decay and defacement,” explains Matt.

Entitled If You Go Down To The Woods Today…, Victoria’s shortlisted artwork is the first in a series, through which she tries to change common conceptions of flowers.

“By creating an ambiguous and eerie setting, the flowers take on a new, menacing persona. Through its dramatic lighting and questioning subject, the painting aims to take the viewer to another place, which is a common tie with music,” said Victoria.

The Nationwide Mercury Prize competition was set up to highlight the link between art and music and promote the work of art students in the UK to a wide audience. The winner’s work will be used on the cover of the 2007 Nationwide Mercury Prize compilation CD, which is due for release in August.

The Nationwide Mercury Prize champions the best of UK music and celebrates the twelve albums of the year. Previous winners include Arctic Monkeys, Antony and the Johnsons, and Franz Ferdinand. The 2007 albums of the year will be revealed on 17 July, with the overall winner of the Nationwide Mercury Prize announced on 4 September.

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Notes for editors:

  1. Images of Matt and Victoria with their work are available on request from the Public Relations Office (T: 01509 222239).
  2. All the finalists’ artwork can be seen at http://www.nationwidemercurys.com
  3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2006 National Student Survey, the University gained a top five place, with nine out of Loughborough’s 23 departments topping their subject tables. Loughborough was also placed 6th in the 2007 Times Good University Guide and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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