Prize Winner

RSA New Contemporaries

Fine Art Photography School of Fine Art

Mia Gwenllian


Mia Gwenllian (she/her) (b.2001, Aberystwyth) is a Welsh artist currently working and studying in Glasgow.

Mia is interested in the possibilities of sculpture and how it can be utilised to bridge the nuances of photography, found objects and poetry. Her fascination with found objects culminate an exemplification of early craftsmanship and folk art, evolving an attentiveness to preserve rural, primitive culture. She, also often draws upon feelings of personal and collective grief when investigating fragments of history, memory, and identity, connecting ideas around her own spirit, the spirit of objects, and the possibilities of a past life. Her narratives unfold through the ambiguity of early photographic printing processes, namely kallitype, salt, and toned cyanotypes. These are often resolved as mere sculptural suspensions, reinforced with unintelligible or untranslatable language.

She is thoroughly attracted to the underpinnings of creative making. The research she undertakes for projects traverses discourses such as art and psychoanalysis, theory of language and translation, philosophy of truth, and modes of auto-narrative through art practice and writing, emphasising the poignancy of authorial autonomy and ownership, identity, and her fabricated re-enactments of personal and collective histories.


Degree Show Collection
Funus, Fumus, Fuimus, Ecce

Funus, Fumus, Fuimus, Ecce

‘Funus, Fumus, Fuimus, Ecce’ is a fabricated enquiry into how subjective re-enactments of personal and collective histories can epitomise the complexity of language.

Through the culmination of found objects, traditional photographic techniques, and unintelligible and untranslatable text, I attempt to reveal a preservation of primitive Welsh culture, identity, and inheritance. The underpinning of ambiguity through indecipherability tempts to thread ideas around the phenomelogical qualities of my own spirit, of significant objects, and the esoteric notions of a past life, knotting the skin of palimpsest in an attempt to heal ambivalent time, memory, and epistemologies.


I testify that my past lives disintegrate like a “corpse, a memory, and a ghost”, all mockeries of loss that I urge myself to keep nearby. To whatever degree of death my language may defy, I will remain a foreword to a scripture of my own testimony, for as long as I wish to remember.

Install shot of Degree Show

Install shot of Vonolith

Found lampshade frame, circular tea-toned cyanotype prints, tiered and threaded together with embroidery, 59x170cm

Close-up of Vonolith

Close-up of Hirwen Gwd

Install shot of Hirwen Gwd

Tea-toned black and white digital photographic print on silk, found cast-iron Victorian pulley frames, 140x400cm


Family inherited wooden farm strickle, once used to sharpen scythes with a coating of goose grease and sand (circa.1850) Wall-mounted with wire and a cast iron nail

Install shot

Funus, Fumus, Fuimus, Ecce (right), C-type colour film print on Marrutt Fine Art paper, hand-mounted onto reclaimed dark oak, 35.7x52cm Keepings (left), inherited ice pick, embroidery thread, cast iron nail

Funus, Fumus, Fuimus, Ecce

C-type colour film print on Marrutt Fine Art paper, hand-mounted onto reclaimed dark oak, 35.7x26cm


Tea-toned cyanotype print on Hahnemülhe Fabriano paper framed in dark oak frame, 42x59.4cm


Cast iron pipe band, unintelligible handwritten text, inherited dress-makers parchment paper

Ku Carasswn

Found objects, tea-toned cyanotypes, wax thread, archival diamine registrars ink

Close-up of Ku Carasswn

The Manuscript to be Inscribed

Recycled teabags, embroidery thread, cast iron nails

Close-up of The Manuscript to be Inscribed