Central Saint Martins graduate Fredrik Tjærandsen is the winner of this year's MullenLowe NOVA Awards, for his balloon-like fashion collection that became a viral sensation.
Enveloping models in colourful inflated bubbles that would then deflate on the catwalk to unveil rubber dresses or skirts, the Norwegian designer's 'Moments of Clarity' collection straddled fashion and performance art for his degree show. He sourced the material from Sri Lankan suppliers that support and buy from local farmers.
From 1,300 graduating students, Fredrik was one of just six to receive a MullenLowe NOVA Award, chosen for his work that represents truly creative thinking and execution. He also took home £6,000. "This prize is about the talent that’s on the edge of its discipline so it’s an honour to be recognised in that way and be given this platform to connect with other creatives," says Fredrik.
"The prize money will be a great help for my future practice as I’d love to continue making bubbles, and I hope to stage another presentation of my art to show just how much of a statement these pieces can make,” he adds.
Runners up include Elissa Brunato, MA Material Futures, for 'Bio Iridescent Sequin' – a project in response to the unsustainable materials often found in embroidery. Elissa collaborated with material scientists from RISE Research Institutes to create ‘sequins’ that make clever use of wood, rather than the more common plastic.
Elissa also scooped the 2019 Creative Review Innovation Award for harnessing wood’s surprising ability to refract light to make shimmering sequins without the use of damaging plastics and added chemicals.
Another runner up, Xiaoying Liang, MA Graphic Communication Design, was recognised for ‘The Dictionary’ – a moving image project that stretches and plays with the meanings of words used in everyday language.
The winner of the 2019 Unilever #Unstereotype Award was Sara Gulamali, BA Fine Art 3D, for her ‘Can You See Me, Still?’ project, which follows an unidentifiable being that moves outside of the boundaries of race, gender, sexuality or religion.
Finally, the 2019 YourNOVA Award – as voted by you – went to Haemin Ko, MA Character Animation, for ‘No Body’ – a charcoal poetic animation featuring an autobiographical story that navigates the artist’s experiences of city life, each chapter focusing on a primary emotion: excitement, frustration and hope.
Professor Jeremy Till, head of Central Saint Martins and pro-vice-chancellor of the University of the Arts London, says the judges have once again manoeuvred their way through an incredibly diverse landscape of creative outputs. "In the face of a febrile external world, the students have delivered more provocation than ever before. Once again, really great work has shone through, whatever the discipline it comes from. The judges – and the public – have come up trumps to select work that showcases the dynamics and direction of this great art and design institution,” he continued.
The winner, runners up and recipients of the Unilever #Unstereotype Award and Creative Review Innovation Award were chosen by a panel of expert judges while the YourNOVA Award was chosen through an online vote. Find out more: mullenlowenova.com.