The Artraker Award recognises artistic creativity in places across the world impacted by conflict. In its inaugural year, the competition saw a diverse collection of entries: some were hand drawn; others were photographs; some were sculptures; and others were digital videos. Some sought to create an impact in their chosen location; others sought to provoke the viewer; and others sought to achieve both. Our task was to pull together and showcase these 17 contrasting shortlisted Artrakers in a memento that would capture the essence of the Award and do justice to each artist.
Our discussions focused on the two areas of conflict and resonance as well as the personal experiences of the Artrakers and the wider impact of their work. It led us to explore how each artist sought to make the unseen seen; to make the unknown known; and the unsung heard.
Dealing with subjects of violent conflict, social disharmony and upheaval required a tactile but gritty treatment. The pages of the commemorative book connected these themes with the Artrakers’ personal narratives, leading to an ebb-and-flow that deepened the comprehension and perception of each conflict. This resulted in a concise, lucid and thoughtful keepsake.