Alongside Will Harris, Alice Hiller and Robert Herbert McClean, Ella Frears has been selected as the finalists for the Arts Foundation Future Awards for Poetry supported by The David Collins Foundation.
With Ella Frears’ practice, the borders of her practice extend to the visual arts in which she also is active through residencies, commissions and curated events such as a recent multi-media ‘funeral’ event at Bold Tendencies (2017).
Ella Frears is a poet, visual artist and curator living in London. Her work has benefited from regular shifts in subject and influence; this is a result of a number of creative writing jobs and residencies in her early career including Tate Britain, the National Trust and Royal Holloway University. She credits this experience with preventing her work from becoming formulaic. Research and reading other writers is a big part of Frears’ process and her long list of influences includes Jean Rhys, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison and Wisł awa Szymborska. Collaborating with other artists - composers, painters, filmmakers - has also shaped her writing and opened up her ideas. Commissions such as The Six Pillars of Modernism at Tate St Ives (2017-2018) – a collaboration with artist Ben Sanderson, allowed her to interrogate how poems might work in a space and how that space can be altered to enhance the reading.
Frears’ pamphlet Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity was published by Goldsmiths Press this year. Her current work in progress is a debut collection which uses the five sections of her Moon Sequence poem to explore themes including sexual politics, interaction with the environment and artistic engagement.
The panel presiding over the applications comprised of poets Sarah Howe and Mark Waldron and journalist and editor at the FT Maria Crawford. The Foundation has awarded seven poetry fellowships in its history with recipients including Alice Oswald (1993), Ahren Warner (2012) and Hollie McNish (2015). Iain Watson, Trustee of the David Collins Foundation set up in 2016 in memory of the late designer adds, 'David had always inspired me by being a bit of a wordsmith – capturing the essence of his designs in print so perfectly. He also penned lyrics and poetry as a hobby – one of his songs, Drowned World/Substitute for Love, was even recorded by Madonna for her iconic Ray Of Light album, so it seems very fitting to me to support the 2019 poetry award.'
All the finalists will receive £1,000 with the exception of one who will be awarded the £10,000 fellowship. This will be announced at the AFFAs at the ICA on the 28 January along with the results from the four other artforms; Hip Hop Dance, Experimental Architecture, Visual Arts and Designer-Makers.
We at The Protagonist Magazine have been following the AFFA awards for the past years and greatly support their endeavour to support artists from different disciplines to carry out their practice and enrich this world with their creative output.
David Collins Foundation has supported the AFFAs for the third consecutive year and was set up in 2016 to honour his legacy and celebrate his love and contribution to the Arts. David Collins Studio is an architectural based consultancy which has redefined luxury interior design on a global scale (for more information visit www.davidcollins.studio).
For more information visit www.artsfoundation.co.uk