Clearing 2021
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Exploration of colour wins student an exhibition in Times Square

  • Date

    Wed 12 May 21

Light Painting, by Francesca Edwards

Postgraduate student and artist Francesca Edwards has won $1,000 and a promotional opportunity in Times Square after being named one of seven winners of an international art prize.

Francesca, who is studying our MA Curating, won the Arts Thread Nasdaq Competition for her work Light Painting.

Her winning artwork will be printed, framed and put on permanent display in the Nasdaq headquarters in New York and will also be promoted on the side of Nasdaq’s seven-storey building in Times Square.

Francesca, who has a fine art degree from Loughborough University and has sold paintings internationally, was encouraged to enter the prize by Arts Thread after previously entering their Global Graduate Design Show.

“As soon as I viewed the brief and read their message behind the competition, I knew that it was something that I wanted to get involved in,” she said.

Speaking about winning, Francesca said: “It’s such an amazing opportunity for me to have my work displayed in such a prominent location. This year I’ve been really trying to get my work out there and seen by as many people I can to try and further my artistic career, so having my work promoted on such a large scale is amazing.”

Light Painting is a photograph of an installation combining painting and animated light projection created by photographing and digitising one of Francesca’s paintings and then projecting it back onto the original canvas.


Francesca Edwards, smiling, with long, curly hair
"My course at Essex has definitely impacted my artist practice, as it has allowed me to transfer what I heave learnt about curation, galleries and international art history and apply it to my artworks."
Francesca Edwards school of philosophy and art history

“By combining abstract painting with colour changing projections, it allows me to see the direct affect that digital light has on painted colour, and how changing the hues of this light can create immersive colour transformations,” said Francesca.

Francesca, who has been exploring colour theory and colour relationships, applied this knowledge to her abstract paintings, but wanted to go a step further: “I wanted to push the limits of what I could achieve by incorporating a digital element. That is where the projection came into play. The relationships between colours are central to my practice, so investigating the relationship between the painted colours and the digital colours felt like a massive step forward for me,” she said.

“My course at Essex has definitely impacted my artist practice, as it has allowed me to transfer what I have learnt about curation, galleries and international art history and apply it to my artworks. Before starting this course, I had the practical knowledge about art, however I now have an even better understanding about all the curatorial elements that are still so fundamental to my work. This has made me think more about how my paintings will work in a gallery, and why I am creating them prior to the painting process,” she added.

Francesca, who plans to put the prize money towards new materials, hopes to land a job in a gallery after she graduates and is also co-curating an exhibition of young graduate artists which she hopes will open later this year.

Follow Francesca on Instagram and Facebook.