The Cambridge Artworks' ARU Award supports the professional development of graduating artists from the ARU MA Fine Art and print making courses by offering a free exhibition opportunity to one artist every year. The winning artist is chosen from the MA final exhibition by a panel of independent judges. This year the judges were Eleanor Breeze (Motion Sickness), Emma James (Curwen Print Studio) and Rachel Wooller (Cambridge Artworks). The Award has been running for three years, continuing through the pandemic, recognising the very difficult times for art students during Covid restrictions.
This year's award winner is Ewa Pandera, whose work, The Forest, impressed the judges with its immersive impact and arresting soundtrack.
Based in Cambridgeshire, Ewa Pandera was born and raised in an industrial part of Poland. Using traditional and experimental methods of drawing, print, ceramic and video in large-scale installation, Pandera’s practice revolves around a visual process using a variety of media to communicate a personal response to her environment. Throughout the experimentation with materials and tools as well as contextual exploration she attempts to excavate the profound meaning of nature within an anthropological existence.
Pandera's work, The Forest, is a large-scale drawing combined with a video installation, representing the vegetation that existed before humanity and which will take over after humankind disappears. During the development, the forest becomes denser and darker, the vertical lines drawn in pencil reflecting the light to in order suggest uncanny and uneasy surroundings.