Norwegian painter shortlisted for British art prize

 Date:23/05/2006 - 28/05/2006
 Type:Culture, Contemporary Art
 Location:England, London

Gro Thorsen is among the 30 shortlisted finalist in the professional artist category for the first ever Celeste Art Prize which promotes painting in the UK. An exhibition in London for the finalists' works will take place in London in May.

Gro Thorsen is originally from Bergen, but currently lives in the UK. She graduated from Wimbledon School of Arts in 1999 and has since enjoyed successful solo exhibitions in both Norway and the UK as well as group exhibitions in Norway, the UK and the US. Her works have been sold to private collections in the UK, Ireland, the US, Germany, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, France and Mexico. Gro Thorsen will have a solo exhibition at the Jill George Gallery in Soho, London, this September.

The Celeste Art Prize has been established to promote painting in the UK with the widest survey of techniques including new media. It is open to anyone living and working in the UK and UK citizens living and working abroad at the time of the submission - there is no age limit to the applicants. The response to the prize in its first year has been extremely positive (1,120 artists). There are 70 shortlisted and 30 finalist students alongside the 170 shortlisted artists and 30 finalists in the professional artist category where Thorsen has reached the final stage.

An exhibition will take place in Brick Lane, London, for the 60 finalists works plus an accompanying 200 page catalogue containing 400 colour images of all the shortlisted and finalists' works with critical texts. During the exhibition the finalists will vote to award the prize money to the artist & student artist. The award ceremony will take place on Sunday 28t May. The shortlisted artists were selected by the Curatorial Programme at Goldsmiths College, London.

Of her works, Thorsen says: "My paintings are stills or extracts from a journal of contemporary urban life featuring people in movement. Video footage provides me with the source of inspiration and references for ‘Pause’, an artwork consisting of 288 five by five centimetre oil on aluminium miniatures installed together to form a large fragmentary composition. Each miniature features an aspect of an urban person in movement or a detail of an object belonging to that person. Some of these figures are speaking on their mobile phones, or smoking, or laughing and generally going about their everyday lives. The medium, colours and fragmented compositions have enabled me to create a busy and dynamic yet subtle cityscape artwork. I am interested in painting people one confronts on the street every day and to give these anonymous figures a sense of identity and purpose. I want to reflect their urban lives – always in movement, ever changing.

The 60 finalists will exhibit at:
The Well, Old Truman Brewery,
Brick Lane, London
Tuesday 23 May - Sunday 28 May
Open daily 10am-7pm

At the Celeste Art Prize exhibition, Gro Thorsen's 288 5x5cm miniature paintings on aluminium will be on display in Brick Lane, London.
Photo: Gro Thorsen

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At the Celeste Art Prize exhibition, Gro Thorsen's 288 5x5cm miniature paintings on aluminium will be on displayPhoto: Gro Thorsen