Damaris Athene is currently studying MA Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art thanks to the Marit Rausing Scholarship.
She graduated with a distinction in MA Fine Art from City & Guilds of London Art School in 2023, receiving the Leverhulme Trust Scholarship, and graduated with a BA(Hons) in Painting from Camberwell College of Arts in 2015.
She was shortlisted for the Hans Brinker Painting Prize in Amsterdam in 2014, the Clyde & Co. Art Award in 2015, the BEEP Painting Prize in 2018, La Vienisima’s feminist photography prize in 2021, and THE TAGLI 01.23 Collection and Mentorship Award in 2023. In 2023 Athene received the City & Guilds of London Art School Prize for Outstanding MA Fine Art Exhibition.
Athene founded the blog Private View where she interviews women & non-binary artists.
About the work
The ‘Fruiting_Bodies’ series explores what form future bodies could take. Works sit between the human and non-human, digital and physical, organic and synthetic, soft and hard, flesh and rock, painting and sculpture. Airbrushed fabric bulges out and pinches in creating orifices. Paint is layered over shadows cast by undulations in the fabric, disrupting a clear reading of the form as 2D or 3D. Areas of the soft sculpture rot like an apple with brown, orange and green hues. Glass domes erupt out of folds of soft synthetic flesh, the colours in the glass seeping out into their surroundings like an infection or healing force. These domes could be portals, alien eggs, tumours or microcosms in their own right. Parasitic bodily forms grow on their hosts like fungi, beautiful but unnerving. They threaten to move when you’re not looking.
‘’The support, exposure and validation of winning the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award would be invaluable to my confidence and progression as an artist. It would provide the funds to support my artistic practice post-graduation, paying for studio rent and expensive materials like glass, as well as introducing my work to many new people, facilitating future opportunities.’’