Glass attends The Rise Art Prize 2018

WALKING through a dimly lit passageway, brightened only by the twinkling of fairy lights, into a graffiti-covered concrete stretch leading to the Old Vic tunnels at Waterloo, Glass found their way into The House of Vans. The underground space may regularly be used as an urban skate park or for a music gig venue, however recently it played host to The Rise Art Prize ceremony.

The Rise Art Prize located at The House of Vans

Lily Allen attends the Rise Art Prize

Spotted in every nook and cranny of the dimly lit event space was some of the finest names in art, including street artist Ben Eine and the avant-garde Gavin Turk, mingled with art-collectors and British stars such as Lilly Allen and Ralph Ineson. The crowd had been gathered to celebrate the most up-to-the-minute artists, as each form of art was about to be recognised with its own categorical prize. As the sweet taste of Patrón Tequila cocktails graced the lips of almost every creative who attended, all waited with intrigue to see who the official sponsor had selected as their winner of the night. “And the Patrón Tequila UK artist of the year goes to … Gina Soden”.

Klinik by Gina Soden

Gina Soden with Gavin Turk

This was Gina’s second award of the night; and a worthy winner she is. Soden is a photographer that sees the beauty in the decayed, an “exquisite observer” of the derelict and deserted. Gina expressed her gratitude and continued to say I’m … very happy because Klinik (the winning artwork) is one of my favourite pieces and holds a very special place in my heart as there are a lot of memories associated with creating this piece”.

Tequila Patrón – the official sponsor of the night

The most anticipated prize of the night was, of course, the last to be announced – the Global Artist of the Year. The winner, judged by the likes of esteemed photographer David Bailey, was to be awarded £10,000 cash and the buzz in the room dramatically turned to tension. South African artist Lebohang Kganye took the prize with her print titled Ke ile ka tswela pele ka ho tereka a ntse a bua; a surrealist piece described by Deputy Editor of Financial Times’ How to Spend It, Beatrice Hopkins, as “poetic manipulation” and “a clever dialogue on how we adapt nostalgic memory and truth”.

Ke ile ka tswela pele ka ho tereka a ntse a bua by Lebohang Kganye

The Rise Art Prize nominees displayed at The House of Vans

The Rise Art Prize was best described by judge Gavin Turk as “a much needed platform for raising the profile of artists and art within the media”. A chance to congregate with like-minded others, congratulate both winners and nominees, drink Patrón Margaritas to the sprightly sounds of Blue Lab Beats and acknowledge the present of art still running through the veins of global cultures. And housing all of this in The House of Vans was realised to be stroke of genius, a feeling of escapism was created when stepping into the underground world of artists.

The Rise Art Prize at The House of Vans

by Joseph Furness

Find out more about Rise Art here

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