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Morley Gallery Opens 2018 Zsuzsi Roboz Scholarship Exhibition

Morley Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of "Out of Place", the end-of-year exhibition for this year's Zsuzsi Roboz Art Scholars. The exhibition is open to the public in Morley Gallery until 29 September.

This year's scholars were painter Oli Epp and mixed media artist Livi Mills.

Zsuzsi Roboz Scholars 2018What has your experience of the scholarship, and of studying at the College, been like?

Oli Epp: "It’s been wildly beneficial. It can be a really intimidating thing, leaving the nest and going solo, but having the support system of industry professionals giving you the inside scoop was great. They were able to tailor the scholarship to my needs, and they were sending professionals through to my studio to discuss the work in preparation for my solo show in Paris, which was a real success. I took masterclasses in screen printing, video editing, and sculpture, all of which I absolutely loved. I also enrolled in the fine art mentoring programme - I was involved with a group of artists, where we’d meet up every Sunday and we’d talk about our work and shows that were going on, and critics, writers and professional artists would come in and give us lectures and tutorials. It’s been really special."

Livi Mills: "My experience at Morley has been amazing. It’s given me the opportunity to do things I never would have done before - I was a printmaker before, but I’ve done a lot of sculpture, ceramics, welding, and all sorts of things I never would have had access to if I hadn’t been able to use the facilities here. It’s been fantastic, and I think it’s really changed the direction of my practice."

Livi Mills - At the Cliff's EdgeWhat would you say was the highlight of the scholarship for you?

OE: "I’d say the mentoring programme with Erika Winstone. It put us in a group of artists, and we bonded. We’d write poetry about each other’s work! It was just really fun, and it was nice to have a group you could return to, who knew about your interests and what you do. I’d definitely recommend the mentoring programme."

LM: "I think the highlight would be working within the sculpture department, and then towards the end of the scholarship, in Ceramics, and trying to work with those in tandem to develop the work. That’s really been the key thing for me, because it’s something I’d never done before - taking something completely new and developing it to a stage to exhibit it. So that’s definitely been the highlight."

Thinking about the work you have in the exhibition, is there a piece that you’re especially proud of?

Oli Epp

OE: "They’re all my children, so I don’t have favourites! I think there are different successes in all of them, but maybe in terms of the direction that I’m moving down, it's the 'Catfish' painting. It’s a little bit more R-rated, a little bit darker! A catfish is someone who adopts a fictional persona online to lure lovers into relationships. I usually paint these anonymous characters with a digital render, and 'Catfish' is one of the few works where the subject of the painting is actually coherent with the aesthetic. I’m planning on making a whole body of work around the dark web, moving forward - I don’t know where or what show though!"

Livi Mills

LM: "The central piece that I’ve made is 'At the Cliff’s Edge', which is the ceramic houses on the metal stands, and it accompanies the sound works, 'Boundary Well'. And I think that, as a piece, encompasses all of the new things I’ve worked with - sound especially. The sound pieces are very new and feel really raw, and I’ve had some nice feedback, so it’s been really good to put those out there. But also, the ceramic houses and the metalwork all coming together - that’s probably the thing that I’m most proud of, that I look at and think that I’m glad I achieved."

Oli Epp - Social Chameleon

Do you have any plans now that the scholarship is over?

OE: "I’ve got a crazy year ahead! I’m doing a residency in Amsterdam in October, which is being funded by a collector who’s paid for my studio and my accommodation for the month. Then when I get back, I’m doing Artissima Art Fair, which 'Catfish' is going to be exhibited at. Then I’m doing Miami Art Fair with Richard Heller Gallery, then my solo show with Richard Heller Gallery in LA is in March. And then that's followed up by a solo show in Berlin in September with the DUVE Gallery. So, crazy year, but I’m looking forward to it."

LM: "I’m going to take a little break after a crazy year! And then I’m just going to carry on making, and really push the sound and sculpture works, and try and bring them into the printmaking more as well. Really what I’m trying to do is to combine everything together and define the message, really try to clarify what I’m trying to say with them. So that’s what’s next!"

To see more of our scholars' work, visit the Morley Art Scholars blog, or follow them on Instagram - @oli.epp and @livicmills.

The Zsuzsi Roboz scholars for 2018-19 have been announced as painter Kirsty Howlett and fine artist Loyane Bianchini. Applications for the 2019-20 scholarship will open in May 2019.

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