In March 2018, the Glasgow-based painter Hannah Mooney won the Fleming-Wyfold Award, which included £14,000 prize money and a year of mentoring from the curator Susanna Beaumont. This period of support is now complete and was celebrated with a major exhibition of Mooney's work at the John Martin Gallery, London, presented by the Fleming Collection.
'Few Young artists are fortunate enough to have a mentor who has had the same level of experience, insight and confidence as Susanna to consult on the day of hanging their first solo exhibition. Her mentorship and guidance on installation day was invaluable' says Mooney. 'This year [we] attended a diverse range of exhibitions in London and Scotland together. many of these were not directly related to my practice but they made me think differently about curation and use of space.'
Talking about the experience of mentoring Mooney, Beaumont says: 'Art is about looking for both the artist and the viewer, so key to mentoring artists, I believe is to encourage looking. To look carefully and closely at work by other artists, to the way a painting is framed ad hung, to the way a weary figure sits on a park bench - to explore every day with your eyes.'
Mooney is the fifth artist Beaumont has mentored as part of the award in recent years. 'All five artists were recent graduates grappling with the reality of being an artist in the cut and thrust of the real world. This, of course, can be both challenging and exhilarating. Mentoring is about easing those challenges. It is about supporting, cajoling, offering advice and, importantly, introducing them to and taking a look at the real world,' said Beaumont.
Mooney is currently working towards a major exhibition of work at Edinburgh's Scottish Gallery in October. 'The experiences I have had this year will, without doubt, influence how I approach my solo show at the Scottish Gallery. After that, I plan to build another body of work and apply for a masters so that I can continue living and learning as a full-time artist,' says Mooney.
As part of her award, Mooney gifted the painting Flowers in Vase to the Fleming Collection.