This year the prize will be selected by London Group members Genetic Moo (Nicola Schauerman and Tim Pickup) and Sandra Crisp.

We have been members of this prestigious art cooperative since 2011. We want more digital artists to become involved with the group and hope this £500 prize will encourage this.

Nicola’s parents, Marie & John Schauerman, were creative throughout their lives and excited by new technology. This prize is in memory of their enthusiasm and support.

The first Schauerman Digital Art Prize was awarded to Sandra Crisp in 2017 for her experimental video work. Here she reflects on winning the prize and gives us an insight into the making of her award winning work ‘remote_city (skygardens_towers)’

I was really surprised and delighted to be awarded the first Schauerman Digital Art Prize at The London Group Open 2017. Obviously this was very welcome towards the cost of developing new work, but mostly it represented support and positive feedback from artists whose practice I really admire – Genetic Moo (Nicola Schauerman and Tim Pickup)

As a result of being awarded the prize, I was nominated to be a new member of The London Group in early 2018. Since then, I have taken part in many group exhibitions with other members whose practice includes painting, drawing, print, video and digital art – a diverse and very supportive network of artists.

Overall, winning the Schauerman Digital Art Prize and becoming a LG member has opened up many new opportunities and collaborations, developing my recent career as an artist in really positive ways.

‘remote_city (skygardens_towers)’ is a multi-layered video work in terms of spatial 3D structures, downloaded visuals and vibrant colour saturation/texture and also by way of the contemporary eclectic themes and concepts incorporated into the work, including politics and ideas about being human in this technological age. In this video, an everyday city reality meets virtual and imaginary worlds.

I have been working with 3D visuals, both still and moving image, since around 2008. I was originally attracted to these processes as they allow work to reach behind the flat surface of the monitor screen, into an intriguing simulated 3-dimensional space.

Taking advantage of the availability of free and open source software, the video was created with SketchUp – a free and intuitive modelling package which is quick and easy to learn, particularly when compared to more complex software such as Maya or Blender. It was developed to quickly render architectural models or 3D design products, rather than be used as an artist’s tool. However, I embrace the challenge of using software in ways that contradict or critique its intended purpose in some way. Interestingly, SketchUp, originally owned by Google, encouraged 3D model production by the public in order to populate Google maps.

Although there is no traditional narrative as such within the video, the initial idea behind ‘remote_city (skygardens_towers)’ came from an article entitled ‘Ghost Towers’ about the ever-increasing high-rise luxury towers in the city (London). Later, whilst navigating the city using google Earth, I noticed that many of these glossy, lofty buildings had their own isolated roof gardens putting them in sharp contrast to the bustling streets below. This encouraged me to visit and take photos of the tropical garden at the top of the so-called Walkie Talkie building, 20 Fenchurch Street, many of which were incorporated into the video.

Then, after visiting a private-public outdoor space near London Bridge called More London, I used an aerial map of its boat-like architectural structures as a template to construct the main model in the video. Finely drawn (with a mouse) lines are extruded to create 3D structures. Then, a process called ‘texture mapping’ is used to apply visuals gathered from the Internet or photos snapped with my phone in the city, to the surfaces of models. This creates a kind of 3D assemblage that I can ‘fly’ the camera through to construct moving image scenes. These sequences are then exported from SketchUp as a series of PNG images, 24 per second, and imported into video editing software, where, together with layered GIFs and low res footage, they are used to build up the density, depth and (fragmented) narrative of the work.

The London Group Open 2019

Parts one and two of the Open exhibition will be held in the Cello Factory, Waterloo in November and December 2019. The gallery is predominantly a large white space (see above image), but it does have a small dark room upstairs. This room is usually where selected videos are projected as part of a show reel. Please take into account the venue when submitting digital work for the show. There are size restrictions  so you will need to work out how best to display your work. You must provide all equipment but there are NO restrictions on what type of digital media you use, this can include video, still image, sound, 3D, web, game art, interactive, installation, VR, apps, electronics, robotics etc.

Deadline for submission is 5 pm, 30 August 2019

To be eligible for the Prize you need to enter and be selected for The London Group Open. For more information on the Open and a list of all the prizes visit The London Group.

Prize winners will be announced on 9 Dec 2019

The London Group Open 2019
Part 1: 20 – 29 Nov & Part 2: 4 – 13 Dec, 2pm – 6pm daily
The Cello Factory
33-34 Cornwall Road
London SE1 8TJ

To get a clearer idea of the ways in which the Group engages with digital art see these recent shows which we helped to curate: In the Dark and The Mesh.

Here’s an image from In the Dark which was also at a blacked out Cello Factory.

immersive art
In the Dark