One Year On: 2017 MullenLowe NOVA Winner

One Year On: 2017 MullenLowe NOVA Winner

As the winner of the 2017 MullenLowe NOVA Awards, Hana Fujimoto’s work explored the body as sculpture by making costumes that could be worn as performance art.

The then-BA Textile Design student worked intuitively throughout the design process to create large scale print body pieces that took inspiration from Japanese Kabuki theatre, as well as body artists and avant-garde artists and fashion designers such as Lucy Orta and Issey Miyake.

With the 2018 MullenLowe NOVA Awards judging in full swing, we caught up with Hana to see what she’s been up to in the past year, how winning has helped further her work and what her plans are for the future.

What has been happening since winning the MullenLowe NOVA award? Any exhibitions, collaborations or new career plans?

Since winning the award I have decided to get in to teaching. I have been working in a special needs school where I have been able to utilise my creative background. Working with disabled children who have complex needs means using alternative and often very creative methods of teaching which I have really enjoyed and find rewarding.

I have been offered a place on a PGCE course at Goldsmiths, which I am due to start in September. After I complete the course I will be qualified to teach Art in secondary education. I plan to work in mainstream schooling for a few years then perhaps do another course in the future specialising in SEN (special educational needs).

How has winning help further your work?

Winning the MullenLowe NOVA prize has been one of my greatest achievements.
I frankly never dreamed it would be possible and in this, I am incredibly grateful for the confidence it has given me. It was this newfound self-belief that pushed me to get in to teaching, which was something I always felt was out of my depth but always had a passion for. It is my ambition to inspire more people to make art and so having the opportunity to teach and inspire young people is the next natural step for me.

In terms of my artistic practice, my ideas continue to develop from my final project at university. Although creating a new body of work has been put on hold whist studying for exams and working, I continue making visual journals and documenting my personal journey.

Have you done anything exiting with the prize money yet?

I have not used the prize money yet as I am saving it for a big project I have in mind. After my studies are over and I have a break in the summer, I intend on using the money to rent a studio space, create a new body of work and organise an exhibition.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan for the immediate future is to become a qualified art teacher but I still endeavour to be an artist! I intend to continue my practice and eventually have my own permanent studio space where I can develop my ideas, work on projects and hopefully lead to exhibitions.