William Bacon (b.1993) is a British artist who works primarily with found objects that interrogate the traces of modern culture. His scratchcard works, made from non-winning collections of users cards, contemplate on the formation of pseudo-languages through gesture, repetition and anonymity.
He obtained his BA Hons in Fine art at the Manchester Metropolitan University where he was awarded the 5Plus Creative New Talent Award (2016). Recent exhibitions include; Vignette’s and Pathways’ – Crownpoint Studios, Glasgow 2021 and a solo exhibition at The Cut, Suffolk 2020.
He is currently based in Oxford where he maintains a studio practice. He is shortlisted for the 2023 Dentons Art Prize.
About the work
The ‘Confetti’ installation comprises of two artworks. The first, ‘1million twenty times’ is made entirely from used National Lottery scratchcards collected from a single player. Approximately 100 of the bright orange cards were used to assemble this artwork; distorting the original image by cutting, collaging, and layering the pieces; creating a “blurred vision” of the original.
The second piece is a collection of shavings left behind after a card has been scratched - gathered in the last three years from found and donated cards. The shavings have a foil-like quality and are an array of different colours, like confetti. Confetti itself symbolises a celebration, however in this setting, the work is in consideration of our shared partiality to hope, luck and chance. Given the current economic landscape and the cost-of-living crisis, the ‘dream’ for many is financial stability and freedom.
The artworks are remnants of gambling objects that have had very short lifespans. Initially, they were anxiously sought out, the excitement building in anticipation of the potential outcome. As soon as they’ve been used, the object becomes instantly valueless.
‘’Having started to share my practice publicly again in the last year, being included and potentially winning this prestigious award would contribute to the resources needed to continue building my art practice – as well as be a great encouragement to further represent the sometimes uncomfortable truths of contemporary Britain. Winning this would be a pivotal moment in my art practice.’’