The HIT Price winners

OPening ceremony
in haugesund billedgalleri, friday May 10th 2019 at 7pm.

A professional jury consisting of Rita Marhaug (jury leader), Thomas Kilpper and Cecilie A. Størkson selected the artists who are participating in the exhibition and the three prize winners. The HIT Exhibition awards three prizes: The Seglem prize of 100.000 NOK (funded by Trygve Seglem), the HIT Prize of 50.000 NOK (funded by Haugalandmuseet-Haugesund Museum of Fine Art) and the Goa Prize 30.000 NOK (funded by Haugesund Art Society).

The jury statement: PRIZE WINNERS 2019

After reviewing all the contributions to Haugesund International Festival of Artistic Relief Printing 2019 – this includes the works accepted by the jury as well as the works by specially-invited artists – the jury has made its decisions.

“When the jury (Cecilie Almberg Størkson, Thomas Kilpper and Rita Marhaug) met at Haugesund Billedgalleri to select the prize winners, we were faced with great diversity.

Each work of art in the exhibition is a contribution that celebrates the field of printed art in general and relief printing in particular. Three criteria have steered the jury’s discussions and selection of the three prize winners: diversity, tradition and innovation.

The jury would also like to highlight certain works which we think deserve extra attention through honorable mention.

The Prize Winners

1. ‘The Seglem Prize’, NOK 100 000

Rop i skogen (Shout in the Woods), Idun Baltzersen (Norway)

In recent years, young women have made energetic inroads into the male-dominated field of printed art. Idun Baltzersen is one such woman. Her work Shout in the Woods reflects both tradition and innovation. Her woodcut is impressive in both execution and format. It has precision and refreshing rawness in its expression. Baltzersen makes her marks and cuts into the wood with confidence and energy. Both the printing plate and the printed work reveal a love for the media, but also productive aggression.

Baltzersen has chosen to print her wooden templates on textiles. The cut subject consists of clear, figurative forms, while the printing is rough and nonchalantly executed. Flecks and other traces of the process are important components. The large format (260 cm x 260 cm) is given a sculptural character through the sewing together of several pictorial fields into one unified work. The picture folds and flaps against the wall and lacks precise edges.

The female figures who turn their backs to us hold various references: one that readily comes to mind is the aloofness of teenagers who turn a cold shoulder to people not in their click. Another is Romanticism’s figures as seen from the back, standing before sublime nature.

Baltzersen’s girls quite literally have a dark quality about them, and unlike the male figures in pictures from the 1800s, they fill the entire format without us knowing what their hidden faces are looking at or into. In contrast to the Romantic tradition, the girls’ backs loom large, with ponytails and hoodie jackets dominating the pictorial plane. Turning away from us, they block our view – or insight – into their world; the world of the next generation. Baltzersen has created an image of liberated girls with the self-confidence to reject us, and it can be experienced as both provocative and enticing.

Idun Baltzersen (b. 1987) is Norwegian but lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Rop i skogen (Shout in the Woods), 2018
Woodcut printed on textile, collage
2,6 x 2,6 m

2. ‘The HIT Prize’, NOK 50 000

Every time there is a suggestion there is a suggestion, Ciara Phillips (UK)

This work is in itself a celebration of printed media. Phillips’s print seems quite simple in its collage expression. She nevertheless signals, quite literally, her great ambitions on behalf of the print: she uses a standard 120 x 240 cm plywood board as her printing plate. Due to this construction material’s standard size, her work gains an architectural dimension. The use of colours is striking and fresh. The picture offers a playful and suspenseful unity of printed forms and colours.

In the many details and pictorial elements, one discovers the refinement and knowledge of the media that undergird Ciara Phillips’s practice. In the pictorial ground, there is an even green wood structure, while the inset elements show variations of monotype and screen-printing in contrasting colours such as red, violet, blue and black – there are some direct imprints of paper clippings, and others involving photomechanical techniques. The elements contain references and hints about the great breadth of printed art and its creative potential.

Even though colours, materials and artistic processes are prominent in this work by Phillips, it is far from being a purely media-specific exploration. Notice the picture of the young person in a T-shirt with the text ‘Apathy Kills’! It tells us about Phillips’s belief in – and use of – the great social and political potential of printed art.

The picture’s title is a quote from Gertrud Stein. Phillips thus points to a feministically anchored project.

Ciara Phillips (b. 1976) is originally from Canada but now lives and works in Glasgow, UK.

Every time there is a suggestion there is a suggestion – Gertrude Stein (1914), 2018
Relief printing, screen printing, monotype
(240 x 120 cm)

3. ‘The Goa Prize’, NOK 30 000

Yellow Journey 1–4, Jayeeta Chatterjee (India)

The jury was immediately charmed by Chatterjee’s colour woodcuts. The series Yellow Journey has an intimate format, and the size of each work varies. With their narrative character, the pictures show everyday scenes inside homes. Apparently simple in form, these excerpts contain small stories, pictures inside pictures that challenge us to study each scene as a whole, as well as its details. A main structural element is Chatterjee’s use of colour. Complex knowledge is needed to create these pictures. The results are atmospheric and personal in their painterly aspect of overlapping fields of colour and distinctive printed structures.

Jayeeta Chatterjee (b. 1995) studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Vadodara in the state of Gujarat, India.

Yellow Journey 1-4, 2018
Colour woodcut
varying sizes

Honourable mention from the jury (in alphabetical order):

Ragna Misvær Grønstad (Norway)

The jury quotes David Lynch: “Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”

We encourage the public to allow themselves to be seduced by Grønstad’s large, magical woodcut series of Saltwater Flowers in deep dark colour tones.

Wu Jiantang (China)

The jury is impressed with Jiantang’s amazingly detailed and well-executed woodcut. In addition to using regular cutting tools, it seems as though he has developed and used knives of a hair’s breadth to render the thinnest lines possible. Through both technique and subject matter, his woodcut represents a unique universe. We challenge the public to wander inside Rainbow Mountain, a magical pictorial story with many layers.

Douwe Mulder (The Netherlands)

Per Kristian Nygård (Norway)

Both Mulder and Nygård represent fascinating conceptual approaches to relief printing.

Mulder shows us an unsentimental approach to printing in his series Readymade Reliefs, in which he presents prints of the undersides of mass-produced objects such as refrigerators and loudspeakers. The prints result in abstract linear patterns that contain both critical distance and a humorous embrace of our everyday technology.

Nygård also uses readymade matrixes as the basis for his project Change as a Form of Repetition. Here, however, it is human actions that are embedded in a series of discarded cutting boards that have been printed on paper. In a single print, Nygård captures many decades of kitchen activity in an unexpected way, one that also affects us emotionally.

On behalf of the jury,
Rita Marhaug
Bergen, 30 April 2019