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“English Disco Lovers”: Middlesex Fine Art graduate awarded for his project

Middlesex Fine Art graduate Chris Alton has been awarded the Collyer Bristow Student Award for his project, English Disco Lovers.

The announcement was made at a private viewing held in the gallery spaces of London law firm Collyer Bristow.

Chris's project combines art and activism and aims to take the 'EDL' acronym away from far-right protest group the English Defense League, subverting the group's hate messages with the positive, egalitarian power of music, dance and disco. Since its inception the project has spawned a wider movement, with counter-demonstrations, public talks, regular charity nights and dance parties held across the UK. 

The project also has a wide online following, with 60,000 likes on Facebook  and 10,000 followers on Twitter – demonstrating the important role collaboration and digital media play in spreading a message, and the influence artists can exercise in a digital, connected world.    

"It's pretty overwhelming," said Chris of his win, a prize of £2,000. "I've been working on this project for over two years and there have been a lot of high points – this has to be one of the highest. I feel like English Disco Lovers has finally come full circle, back into the art world." 

Phil Healey, Head of in Art Middlesex, praised Chris for his success. "Chris has worked incredibly hard and he thoroughly deserves the award. His piece is creative, subversive and thought-provoking, using humour and performance to make a serious political point in the nicest possible way. "The exhibition runs from 9 October 2014 until 28 January 2015 at 4 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4TF and is open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to arrange a visit ahead of time to ensure they are able to access all parts of the show.

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