Hiscox has a passion for art that gets into everything we do; we insure it, we collect it and we promote it. An important part of our commitment to the arts is our work with the Royal Academy Schools, an integral part of the Royal Academy of Arts. The Royal Academy Schools Hiscox Scholarship awards prizes to two exceptional second year students each year (enrolled on a three year course) which includes a bursary for the Royal Academy Schools as well as a prize fund for the students themselves.
Each year, the winners are chosen by Hiscox Honorary President, Robert Hiscox, and Curator of the Hiscox Collection, Whitney Hintz, and this year the awards went to Rebecca Ackroyd for her installation of minimal sculpture and Ziggy Grudzinskas for his large-scale abstract painting.
Whitney explained: “We are proud of our association with the Royal Academy Schools and are pleased to be able to support and promote young and emerging artists through the Hiscox scholarship. Rebecca and Ziggy stood out to us because of the confidence and originality they displayed in their respective bodies of work, and we wish them continued success in their studies.”
Rebecca Ackroyd, 26, uses casting, digital printing and metalwork to create a relationship between objects that hints at narrative and creates a context for the sculptural aspects of the work. She considers the body a direct way of implementing these narratives, bringing in recognisable elements that can stimulate a response or trigger a visual recollection.
Rebecca’s work involves taking existing components of the world and re-formatting them into a visual dialogue that suggests a former use or interaction. Her pieces examine how an object can perform in multiple ways, exploring the possibility of sculptures that can reflect the ubiquity of the readymade or industrial, whilst acting as autonomous objects via a process of appropriation or remaking.
Ziggy Grudzinskas, 31, has a BA in Painting from Camberwell College of Arts, and his current painting practice follows a dedicated investigation through materials and the perception of image.
Ziggy’s work attempts to address the absurdity of the human condition, and in doing so juxtaposes ideas of spirituality and behavioural psychology with themes of the cartoon, music and representation of physical space. While at times a piece is begun with a particular process or act of painting in mind, at others times the construction of the object as a painting support is the primary concern. Rendered in a light-hearted manner, the artistic gesture is used as a document of a time and an act free from mind.
We look forward to seeing last year’s winners’ Alice Theobald and Coco Crampton and their latest work at their degree show this June.