Max Mara Art Prize Emma Hart

FAMILY FIRST: Max Mara has awarded Emma Hart the Art Prize for Women, which involves a six-month residency in Italy.

The London-based artist’s work focuses on ceramics, video, photography and sound. Her winning piece was inspired by the “power of family,” with the artist delving into traditions of everyday family life using symbols and objects.

The biannual award from the Italian brand in association with Whitechapel Gallery was announced Wednesday evening at the east London gallery.

This is the sixth edition of the award that is bestowed to a U.K.-based female artist.

“I have been making art for quite a long time, and often as an artist you doubt what you are doing,” Hart told WWD. “So to suddenly now get this recognition and support is very exciting, and it gives me the confidence to continue to make the work I want to make. I am very proud, as it is an art prize for women. I often use my personal experiences as a starting point when making art.”

A graduate of Kingston University, Hart will spend her residency in Lombardy, Umbria and Emilia-Romagna in 2016. She will visit places including Milan, Todi and Faenza.

“Life in London is often very stressful, with teaching and being a mother. It eats into precious time to be an artist,” said Hart. “I feel I am always making art in a rush. I hope the residency will fix this. It will give me time and space to learn new ceramic skills and think through new ideas. I am hoping the residency will let me make bold and meaningful work, without feeling stressed. My partner and daughter are coming too, and I can’t wait for us all to be away from depressing London, and hit the dolce vita!”

After her residency, the results of her work will be showcased in Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti, a contemporary art collection owned by the Max Mara founders and owners.

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