NOISE officially launched its 2014 talent showcase in the House of Commons earlier this month, to celebrate 75 winning artists. From the 5000 entries three of the winners were from Falmouth; Tony Njoku is currently studing music and was Curator Choice for Underground Music - Hussain Khurram and Dragos Giol, Creative Advertising graduates and design duo 'The Wildcards' were Curator Choice for Graphics.
Hosted by Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell, the launch was attended by NOISE curators and leading Creative Industry professionals, including political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe (Sunday Times), broadcaster and curator Tim Marlow (Royal Academy of Arts), Andy Bird (Executive Creative Director of advertising group Publicis), photographer Elaine Constantine (Face, Vogue), comedian Doc Brown(Law & Order), Thris Tian (Co-founder of Boiler Room TV), and representatives from other NOISE curators, including Brian Eno, Grimshaw Architects, i-D Magazine and Giles Deacon.
The NOISE Charity announced the winners from over 5,000 submissions in 13 categories including Fine Arts, Music, Fashion, Graphic Design, Photography, Architecture, Product Design, Film, Games, Illustration, Comedy and Enterprise. The emerging artists and designers were handpicked by the NOISE Festival 2014 Curators, a panel that also includes legendary music producer Brian Eno, renowned architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and acclaimed filmmaker and author Clive Barker. A total of 75 artists will benefit from their selection via a placement and mentorship programme, with many more showcased in nationwide exhibitions and events.
Lucy Powell said: "I was particularly struck by the ethos of the charity; that creative reward and success should be based on raw, original talent and not connections, postcodes or economic and educational backgrounds. It is very important to me that we build that into the national framework. [Shadow Culture Secretary] Harriet Harman has talked about a national prize for the arts that can do exactly what NOISE is seeking to do."
The award-winning photographer and filmmaker ("Northern Soul" / Universal) Elaine Constantine struggled academically and faced long term youth unemployment in the 80's: "It would be fantastic to think that every young person can meet someone who can make them understand that this human achievement is in all of us given the right opportunities. The fact that the NOISE charity exists today says to me that education is somehow still failing individuals, like it did me, and that the Creative Industries can make a difference to this country's next generation of photographers, filmmakers, designers and artists to realise their full potential."
Works of the winning artists is being showcased by a NOISE events series in autumn. These free-to-the-public events include talks at the V&A (London), a Better Bankside / More London outdoor exhibition on London's South Bank, art exhibitions in Granada Studios (Manchester) and the Tetley (Leeds). For full listings: NOISEfestival.com/Festival/2014/Events
NOISE artist James Greenhalgh (one of Brian Eno's music category winners) describes the problems graduates experience when entering the Creative Industries: "I was stuck in purgatory, either under or overqualified for most work. It didn't seem fair that I had put so much time and effort into my education just to be jobless and in debt. Being actually picked by Brian Eno is pretty mind-blowing. Knowing that one of your idols is impressed by your work has totally bowled me over and I can't quite put into words how grateful I am to Brian and NOISE for this accolade. Since recently adding my Curator's Choice selection to my CV, I have already been offered several interviews. So it turns out that NOISE has done more for my career in a few days than the job centre did in 4 months!"
The full list of Curator Choices can be found alongside the winning art work at: NOISEfestival.com/Festival/2014/Curators
Tony is a London-born electronic music producer and self-taught singer / pianist, currently studying music at Falmouth University. Tony's two self-penned and produced selected tracks, "That Something There" and "As We Danced" display beautiful, chilled electronica, interrupted by stabbing lead synths and topped off with Tony's unique, silky smooth vocals.
Tony's approach to music making is organic, from his songwriting, right through to producing and explains his creative process begins by composing on his electric piano, "the melody just comes to me, I'll add little bits, a word here and there – that then progresses onto lyrics. It's organic, I'll be going with the flow, and it's spontaneous how it evolves".
Tony's musical inspirations spans across genres, from Mercury Prize winners to hip-hop giants, he adds "Antony Hegarty, his voice... wow, Radiohead, Bjork and Kanye West too." As far as stumbling blocks, he's perfecting a way to avoid the dreaded creative block, "Sometimes I feel creatively I just can't write anything, so I have to be in a routine of making music all the time to avoid this 'mental block'."
Tony is currently enjoying his studies at Falmouth University, "it's an open experience, we're left to own devices. Experimentation within genres is encouraged. Before that, I went to a quite strict and regimented school that didn't allow for me to experiment". Tony's Dream Job is to make music full time. Tony heard about NOISE through an email from his university lecturer, he adds "I don't really enter music competitions. I'm quite shy, and I'm not so sure about music being 'competitive'. NOISE Festival seemed more of a celebration and plus, the curators were a huge focus for me."
"I am very grateful to ThrisTian for selecting my work from a very large number of NOISE Festival 2014 applicants. It means a lot for me because I have been working on the music in mostly solitude with little input from people around me. It's exciting for a beginner like me and I hope and I'm sure there's more to come."
Thris Tian "Really fresh sounding electronic pop. Nice voice as well. Reminds me of a Thom Yorke, James Blake vibe but with a bit more energy."
Dragos Giol, an ex-banking consultant from Romania and Pakistan-born Hussain Khurram formed their design collective “The Wildcards” whilst both studying Creative Advertising at Falmouth University.
The pair both loved uni life, but noticed a big difference between the UK ad industry to back home, “There’s a lot of strategic thinking here…” Hussain adds “…this hit me, it doesn’t have to be ‘cool’ it needs to be simple in the idea.” It’s not just the approach the duo find diverse “The humour and culture over here is different, which you have to tailor in advertising.”
Their selected advertising piece is an integrated brief for a well-known shampoo brand with a playful twist. Their simplistic approach runs through their creative process “We look at what has been done before and what is out there now. We collect consumer thoughts to figure out what our message is before anything visual commences”.
The two credit a diverse range creatives as inspiration, from agency bosses Sir John Hegarty, Rory Sutherland and David Abbot, legendary singer Neil Young, creative director and author Paul Arden, to their ‘gurus’ from university. The pair are currently looking for placements and then travel the world to sample international advertising industries, all whist staying true to their straight-forward ethos “We can learn so much from different cultures, but we always want to work with simplicity”.
The Wildcards were directly approached by the NOISE team after being spotted at their end of year show, they add “We do enter some competitions – But NOISE festival provides good portfolios. It looked interesting, and we loved how it was all about the creativity and not who you know.” If we did well [in the festival] we thought that would really boost our current portfolios. Artist Quote “Keep your eyes open for inspiration and dream big’- this achievement simply validates the statement for us. Having our work noticed and selected by an industry guru is a huge confidence booster and a lot more than just winning a competition. It's a big opportunity for us to interact with the right people at the right time in our efforts to make it to the prized industry. Thanks to the folks at NOISE Festival”. The Wild Cards
CURATOR QUOTE from Andy Bird “A really witty visual execution, really commercial in a good way, with classy art direction.”
NOISE Festival 2014 Curators: Brian Eno (Music & Arts), Giles Deacon (Fashion), Ian Livingstone CBE (Games & New Media), Clive Barker (Film/Moving Image), Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (Architecture), Gerald Scarfe CBE (Illustration), Tim Marlow (Fine Art), Elaine Constantine (Photography), Doc Brown (Comedy & Spoken Word), Thris Tian, Boiler Room TV (Enterprise & Underground Music), Tricia Jones, i-D Magazine (Print & Publishing), Andy Bird, Publicis (Advertising), SUCK UK (Product Design).
Since 2004, the NOISE charity has built an online creative community of 18,000 artists who uploaded their works on NOISEfestival.com. NOISE has placed hundreds of emerging talent in work at some of the best creative companies (MTV Brazil, Hemingway Design, Yamaha Japan). NOISE also engages thousands in creativity and the arts at grassroots level every year.
NOISE's online portfolio site is committed to giving emerging artists an opportunity to succeed in the Creative Industries based solely on talent; not socio-economic background, family connections or postcodes. The 2014 Festival offers free artist portfolios, webinars and social networking via NOISEfestival.com