Edge Hill Prize 2009: Commission from a North West Artist
The Edge Hill Prize is a prestigious literary award, bestowed annually on the author of a published short story collection from the UK or Ireland. In addition to the £5000 first prize, the winning author receives a specially commissioned artwork, sponsored by Blackwell bookshops. Pete Clarke was selected from proposals from North West artists for this year’s prize, which will be awarded at The Bluecoat, Liverpool on July 4th 2009.
• Please consult website www.edgehill.ac.uk/shortstory for more on the Edge Hill Prize, the short story and prize-winning authors.
Invisible Cities: Commissioned Painting by Pete Clarke
Pete Clarke’s work explores visual narratives influenced as much by contemporary literature as by contemporary art which makes this an appropriate artist for the commissioned prize for a short story writer. He has selected composite images of an imagined city, a building that represents metaphorically the idea of a shell, an empty container of possible associations.
The constructed framed painting juxtaposes images and related poetic text from ‘Invisible Cities’ by Italio Calvino. Calvino’s narrative explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by the explorer Marco Polo in a conversation with the aging emperor Kublai Khan. The majority of the book consists of brief prose poems describing cities and short dialogues between the two characters to discuss various ideas presented by the cities on a wide range of topics including linguistics and human nature.
Pete Clarke is a Liverpool based artist who explores concepts of the city, modernity and history. He is a Principal Lecturer in Fine Art and MA Course Leader at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. He leads the artists’ initiative ‘Eight Days a Week’ developing cultural exchange projects with Liverpool and Cologne. He has developed a collaborative practice with Georg Gartz from Köln questioning aesthetics, authorship and authenticity.
Refer to website www.peteclarke.org.uk