Winner of Tour Art Competition revealed

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London-based artist, Katie Ponder has won Glyndebourne’s international Tour Art Competition.

Now in its fifth year, the Glyndebourne Tour Art Competition invited visual artists aged 16 to 29 to submit an original work inspired by the theme of ‘Deception’, a common thread in all three of the operas in this year’s Tour.

Katie Ponder’s winning piece, Deception, was part of an impressive shortlist of original artworks, submitted from 12 different countries, and selected by an esteemed panel of judges: Glyndebourne Executive Chairman Gus Christie, Glyndebourne trustee Mervyn Davies and this summer’s White Cube at Glyndebourne Artist-in-Residence Rachel Kneebone.

Deception (2017) © Katie Ponder

Katie’s winning artwork will appear on the cover of over 10,000 copies of the 2017 Glyndebourne Tour Programme. The original piece will also be exhibited at Glyndebourne, along with the rest of the shortlist during Tour 2017.

The Glyndebourne Tour Programme is the sister publication of the Glyndebourne Festival Programme, a collector’s item with an established tradition of featuring cover art by leading contemporary artists such as Rachel Kneebone, David Hockney, Julian Opie, Grayson Perry and Anish Kapoor.

The Glyndebourne Tour was established in 1968 to provide more opportunities for audiences to experience opera on their doorstep and to provide a platform for emerging performers. The Glyndebourne Tour Art Competition acts as an opportunity to champion young talent of a different kind by providing a showcase for visual artists.

Winner Katie Ponder studied at Camberwell College of Arts (Foundation) and Falmouth University (Degree, Illustration).

We spoke to Katie to find out more about her artistic inspiration

When did you hear about the Glyndebourne Tour Art Competition?
I am always looking out for opportunities to create artwork relating to music and dance. I came across a post on the Glyndebourne blog about last year’s winner, and made a note that I would like to enter one day.

When and why did you become an artist?
I loved art from early on. Throughout school I was always in trouble for drawing during lessons and was happiest when I was in the art room. I went on to do a foundation course in art at Camberwell College of Arts, then went to Falmouth University and did a degree in illustration.

I specialised in illustration because I like telling stories through my images. My mind is always busy working on an idea – even when I am not physically working on a piece of art I am always running through ideas in my mind.

Who or what is your artistic inspiration?
What inspires me varies so much –from the Greenhouses in Kew Gardens to window displays in light shops!

Opera and ballet have been a big inspiration for me. I am fascinated by sets and how performers are choreographed within the set, also the drama, exaggeration and passion that comes with opera and ballet.

Music is a big inspiration to me. I love Joni Mitchell’s music, her strong sense of self and artistic integrity, which shines through all her work, really inspires me. I have also had a longstanding admiration for Stravinsky’s work, which is so unique and beautifully alarming.

I get a lot of ideas from experimenting with different medias – although I work digitally, a lot of the textures used in my work come from experimenting with printing techniques, and playing with different types of paint. Being experimental and open minded with the application of media is a big part of developing my work.

How much opera do you see live, online or in the cinemas?
I am very lucky as I live in London, and I go as often as I possibly can. I often buy cheap tickets to sit up high in the Royal Opera House and watch their productions. This will be my first time seeing an opera at Glyndebourne and I am really looking forward to it!

What inspired you to create work exclusively for the Glyndebourne competition?
I loved the theme of this year’s competition. ‘Deception’ brought so many ideas to my mind around masks and being ‘two-faced’. I enjoyed exploring the idea of masks being symbolic both for deception as well as referring to the actors in the performance playing a character.

See more of Katie’s work and follow her on Twitter:

The Glyndebourne Tour opens at Glyndebourne on 7 October 2017 and visits Canterbury, Woking, Norwich, Milton Keynes and Plymouth.