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A major prize for Richard's designs.

Prize art Richard Sweeney's intricate paper sculpture Dodecahedron

A YOUNG artist from Huddersfield has won a prestigious design prize. Richard Sweeney, from Newsome, won the pounds 1,000 DKNY (Donna Karan New York) New Designer's Award when his work was shown recently at the Business Design Centre in London.

The award in the New Designer's exhibition there also gives him a six-week showcase at the DKNY flagship store in Old Bond Street, London, beginning on September 15.

Richard is studying three-dimensional design at Manchester Metropolitan University and his abstract, sculptural works, based on natural forms, earned high praise from the judges who described them as "beautifully hand-crafted structures, with multiple installation possibilities."

It was the first time Richard had exhibited at the New Designers and he was delighted to win the award. "I work very hands on with the material and that's the basis of my work. I like to make beautiful forms, which is my main drive," he says.

His work is often in white cartridge paper, to place the accent on the form. But Richard is looking to extend into some muted neutral colours, like mushroom brown, which might complement the dresses in the DKNY store.

His paper modelling can be translated into other materials - sheet metal and sheet plastic, for instance. "I take a lot of inspiration from natural forms," he says, "making multiple repeated units, which might appear complex, but have a simple basis for construction.

"The work is based on the way things grow, and the mathematical process behind the growth in nature."

Richard is now in an optional fourth year of his university course, with the object of developing his practice into a viable business. He is living in Gorton, Manchester and enjoys being in a city with so many cultural activities.

He has a busy time ahead, for as well as the London showcase, he has exhibitions coming up at the Museum of Lancashire, Preston, from September 16 to 20, and at Studio 95 in the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, from September 20 to 24.

o SUMMER is the time for venturing a bit further afield, and I recently had a trip up to Newcastle, where the Baltic gallery is showing Still Lives, an exciting exhibition by leading photographer and film maker Sam Taylor-Wood (till September 3).

Though Taylor-Wood is not loved by all the national critics, the Baltic show is highly entertaining and undemanding. We see a film of David Beckham, looking vulnerable as he sleeps. In another film, a smartly-suited man with a pigeon on his head is apparently tap-dancing on the chest of another man prone on the floor.

Digital editing is used to great effect in a series of self-portraits with the artist appearing suspended in mid-air. And in a new film wok, Prelude, the arresting subject is a cellist, playing Bach, but with the instrument having been digitally removed from the picture.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 25, 2006
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