DMU postgraduate student wins one of the world's most prestigious art prizes

A De Montfort University postgraduate student has won one of the world’s most prestigious awards for digital art.

Sean Clark and Esther Rolinson’s interactive artwork Flown was chosen as the winner of the Lumen Prize’s 3D/Sculpture Award.

INSET flown

Flown is a cloud-like, scalable installation made of 800 pieces of hand-folded acrylic with a special lighting system that reacts to the environment, changing patterns in response to light and temperature.

The collaboration began at Phoenix in Leicester when Sean was asked to help Esther on two earlier pieces called Splinter and Thread that were installed at the Cube Gallery.

Sean, who is a postgraduate student with DMU’s Institute of Creative Technologies, is interested in the way in which art can become truly interactive, as well as the idea of "connectedness" in art.

He said: “We were pleased to make the shortlist, but to find out we had won was a very special moment. I think Flown resonates with people because it is a very beautiful thing to look at. Esther makes very tactile pieces and it has a real physical presence when you see it. We then added some very subtle interactivity to the piece. t reacts to the audience, so for example a group of people will raise the humidity and this will alter the lighting patterns.”

Flown will be exhibited around the world with more than 10 venues hosting the installation. Using the Internet Flown can be connected to other versions of itself, to create large scale ecologies of light and interaction.

“I’m interested in the idea of having multi-site work, for example, connecting an art installation in China with one in the UK, and them both influencing each other,” explained Sean, who also runs Cuttlefish Multimedia in Loughborough and Interact Digital Arts in Leicester.

The Lumen Prize celebrates the very best art created digitally. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, its goal is to focus the world’s attention on this fine art genre through an annual competition, a global tour and associated activities.
Posted on Thursday 13th October 2016

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