The HIX Award has already made a name for itself in the world of art. Set up by celebrated chef and restaurateur Mark Hix and Gallery Director Rebecca Lidert, it seeks out the best art graduates and offers them a solo sho at CNB Gallery. It gives young artists a chance unlike any other to establish themselves early on and kickstart their careers.
Applications have now closed for the third year of the prize, but things have only just begun for last year's winner, Felix Treadwell. His sell-out exhibition Ripple on a Playground is open until 3rd August 2015, and has made him a rising star and a young artist to watch, after he was selected by a panel of 22 judges including Tracey Emin.
We wanted to ask Felix a little more about his ambiguous paintings and find out what's in store for him after his HIX Award success.
Congratulations on winning the HIX award, Felix! What’s it been like having a solo show at the CNB Gallery?
It's been a really great experience and the gallery have been incredibly supportive with getting the right exposure for it. I was also pleased at how much freedom I was given in the show, the opportunity has been very special. I think It's incredibly tough once you leave university, and opportunities like this are really important for people at the start of their careers.
The themes of your work are wonderfully clearcut: the blurring distinction between cultures, the age of the internet and identity. Why do you use painting as a medium to convey such themes?
For me, painting has always been the easiest and most exciting medium for me convey my ideas most effectively. I think my style requires the flatness and colour, which painting can give you. Painting is just very enjoyable.
Do you ever wonder how it would have felt growing up before the days of the Internet? If so do you think you would still be an artist?
I think it's hard to imagine things without it, but I definitely would have tried to become an artist I think. I certainly wouldn't be making work as I am now if I was born a decade or maybe even 5 years before.
What kind of paints do you use and why?
I use System 3 Daler Rowney Acrylic paint because it enables me to paint quickly, whilst retaining the distinct colours, and it's easy to mix too.
What are your plans when your exhibition is over?
I want to find an affordable studio and continue making work, organise more shows and try and experience life a bit outside of education. London is becoming pretty much unliveable so I might look abroad.
Finally, if you could give yourself a piece of advice when you were new to art school, what would it be?
I would suggest to people to make the most of the studio time because once you leave, you'll realise how useful it was and miss it. Try and get as much mentoring as you can too, but make sure you enjoy yourself.
Find out more about Felix Treadwell's paintings on his website, or visit the CNB Gallery website.
CNB Gallery is located in the basement of Mark Hix's Tramshed on Rivington Street, Shoreditch, which displays a permanent collection of work by some of Britain’s leading artists including Damien Hirst, Gary Webb, Henry Hudson and Jake and Dinos Chapman.