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2024 Rylands Art Prizes awarded

Teddy Graham has been awarded first prize for his work 'Surrogate', with second prize going to Em Dirs and a joint third for Eden Hogston and John Palmer.

Second-year undergraduate Teddy Graham has been awarded first prize for his work Surrogate. This is a textile sculpture at first glance, but it is so much more than that. Teddy won the Rylands Prize in 2023 and this new piece picks up on Teddy’s theme of art as a visceral vehicle to express narratives in his life. The work is made of a bedsheet, old college uniforms, duvet stuffing, a wedding dress, wool, ink, and poetry.

Art Coordinator Nigel Meager praised Teddy’s piece:

It is deeply felt, ambitious, raw, provocative, and profoundly honest. It reflects what we hope for everyone at King’s: commitment can lead to the extraordinary. Congratulations Teddy.

Second prize this year went to AMES student Em Dirs for a delicate ink and water colour piece, Chamomile. The judges felt the joy of a simple freshness and fragility within the sheer strength of the drawn figure as chamomile flowers contrast with the skin. Third prize is shared between Architecture student Eden Hogston for Captured in a Moment and NatSci student John Palmer for his powerful self-portrait, Sinking Feeling.

This year’s competition was judged by the Provost, Gillian Tett, and her partner Henrik Jones. They debated the qualities in the 19 diverse entries, supported by King’s Art Coordinator, Nigel Meager.

The judges decided the work of King’s Fellow Sebastian Eves-van den Akker, Hêtre comme un escargot, was a unique piece that deserved to become part of King’s art collection so it can be enjoyed by all members and visitors.  The work was wonderfully crafted from a fallen branch of a beech tree growing by the bridge in College.

Gillian and Henrik commented:

This was our first chance to see this amazing competition and to appreciate the power of King’s Art Rooms. We were blown away! I know that students come to Cambridge to embrace academic excellence, but it was so heartening to see students find other avenues to develop - and to take a break from endless studying! We are thrilled to see so much creativity, and to learn about the Art Rooms community that shares their creativity with all of us.



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