The South East Contemporary Visual Arts Network, along with its partners, are pleased to announce the artists taking part in this year’s Platform Graduate Award.
The Platform Graduate Award is an initiative to support emerging artistic talent to further their practice following graduation, and has been running in the South East region since 2012. Platform aims to support emerging artists at a key moment of transition from university into the wider world. For this year’s graduates, many of whom had disruptions to their usual degree show format, this opportunity feels more vital than ever.
The initiative is led by Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East (CVAN South East) in partnership between four galleries: Aspex Portsmouth, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford, and Phoenix Art Space in Brighton. The selected artists will feature in exhibitions at each venue this autumn, showcasing emerging talent in the region.
Aspex are delighted to announce that this year’s twelve selected artists are: Lucy House, and Lily Tutty (Arts University Bournemouth); Sophie Bazgier, and Laura Buckle (University of Chichester); Julia Da Costa, and Abigail Jones (UCA Farnham); Conor Hallan Clements, and Daniel Webb (University of Portsmouth); Gabrielle Plommer, and Chealsie Wild (Solent University, Southampton); Jenny Andrews, and Anna Marris (Winchester School of Art, Southampton University).
The artwork in this year’s exhibition at Aspex includes sculpture, installation, film, photography, print, drawing, painting and collage; and reflects on childhood memories, the weight of isolation, exploring material processes and hybrid lifeforms. This exciting group of artists create spaces for contemplation; looking back and thinking beyond our current world.
One artist in the exhibition at Aspex will also be nominated for The Platform Graduate Award. Established in 2012, the prize includes a £2,000 bursary and mentoring, and is awarded to an outstanding graduate from one of the regional higher education partners. The selection panel for this year’s prize includes guest judge, Michelle Williams Gamaker, alongside representatives from the four participating galleries.
Working with moving image and sculpture, Abigail Jones’ works take a playful approach to storytelling. Calling upon surrealism and uncanny imagery, Abigail uses found footage and herself as a recurring figure, to pay homage to experimental cinema and B movie science fiction films.
Inspired in part by the writing of Barbara Creed’s ‘The Monstrous-Feminine’ and various science fiction publications, Abigail attempts to reflect on our ever-growing intimate relationship with the cosmos, the fetishisation in the search for ‘alien’ life, and the concept of being surveyed from afar.
By immersing in an interplay between traditional and contemporary processes, Anna Marris investigates the potentials of a multidisciplinary printmaking practice, transitioning images from handmade to digital artworks.
Her current body of work focuses on a particular site, where the natural terrain is continuously depicted from above and below the surface; an open pit mine in Sorsk, Russia. The exhibition presents the heavily imaged landscape through layers of data and value, where imagery and matter from this mine can form geopolitical narratives. Anna challenges how multiple viewpoints from different imaging devices can enable the mine to represent itself as a critical example of environmental destruction on a planetary scale.
Chealsie Wild is a female artist currently living in Southampton. Taking inspiration from fashion, curation and art, Chealsie explores ways to combine them through painting. Her paintings are directly influenced by colour pallets seen in Vogue magazine which are abstracted into a new way of seeing.
At first glance, the bright colours and use of fashion imagery boast a sense of glamour, but as you look closer you begin to see the lumpy build up of paint and textured layers. Encouraging her audience to acknowledge the irony between the perfect Vogue shoot and her imperfect paintings, leading you to wonder what else lies beneath their surfaces.
Conor Hallan is a multimedia visual artist and frontman of art-punk band Hallan. Using collage, digital manipulation and film, Conor’s works catapult the viewer into a realm of fiction and dystopia, taking on a life of their own they become vessels for self-contained worlds. Worlds that propel you headfirst into an Orwellian collision of wit and dark satire experienced through zines, 3D pieces and original music. Conor’s recent work follows the narrative of an undercover agent on the run, in a world where alternative music is outlawed and those who dare to break the law of the all-seeing State vanish without word.
Dan Webb’s work explores computer-generated imagery (CGI) through a photographer’s lens. Using his knowledge of composition and lighting techniques, he has produced a variety of works, mostly with a focus on spaces of the domestic.
Dan has generated images that respond to the recent state of isolation and inability to explore the world, reminiscing of simpler times where no limits prevented us from venturing out. Using the concept of roaming through Google Street View, Dan has created a 360 virtual tour of an imagined place. Painting the scenery in a way that depicts a utopia, this work aims to capture the perfection found within imagery tied to holiday destinations whilst pointing to the sinister element of isolation still lurking around the corner.
Gabrielle Plommer is a UK-based, Canadian-born photographer. Her photographic series, Intersection, grew from an initial analysis of the relationship between nature and the self into a series of diptychs depicting that bond. The isolation caused by the pandemic inspired Gabrielle as she, like so many others, reacted to being in quarantine. Quarantine became a catalyst for Gabrielle to find connections with nature and her surroundings instead of with the people she no longer had access to. Thus, Intersection uses the human body and its forms to show the harmony with nature that became an integral part of Gabrielle’s coping as she struggled with isolation.
Jenny Andrews is a British artist working with moving image, printmaking, and sculpture. Jenny’s work explores the poetic links between sculpture and architecture practice. Through sculpture and projection she utilises architectural forms, processes and materials, making connections between urban space, subjectivity, and the body.
Jenny is interested in how the city, its architecture and its inhabitants, connect us to the past. Drawing inspiration from these histories and discourse she investigates the palimpsests within the structures, revealing who has been omitted and what has been rewritten. Jenny’s work aims to articulate space to document a place and its history.
Julia Da Costa:
Questioning the relationship between the physical and the virtual, Julia Da Costa’s practice focuses on the realities and sensory experiences of the non-human being. Particularly intrigued by in-between life forms that challenge notions of the imaginary, Julia’s work spans animation, sculpture, painting, film, text, and performance. Inspired by rhythms of biological movement and sound, and speculating on how technology is often seen as parasitical or de-humanised, this approach aims to create immersive ecosystems where real and virtual bodies breathe together. A hope for the future, or glimpse of a primordial past?
Laura Buckle works predominantly with sculpture and video. Her most recent work explores the story of a 30ft wooden sculpture, lovingly known as the Giant’s Chair which once stood deep in the forest of Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire. Over thirty years later, Laura unravels its mystery, through a documentary style video using Queen Elizabeth Country Park’s photographic archive. Exhibited alongside, is a hand sewn Giant’s chair. The soft sculpture replicates the same measurements as the original structure, but it’s form is a comment on fading memories, and the chairs demise. Demonstrating a deep, interwoven connection, of earth and art, and creating a new narrative from one person’s perspective of a once stoic structure, that is now gone but continues to live on.
Lily Tutty is an abstract artist who works with the concept of overwhelming expansion. Employing a limited palette of oil or acrylic paint, she produces ambiguous pieces that create an illusionistic space through a systematic process of alchemy. Lily has always found herself intrigued by biological and natural forms. The development of the process is crucial to her practice, reflecting an obsessional fascination with the connection between paint and surface. The canvas possesses its own materiality, initiating a dialogue relative to the multiplicity of surfaces and responding to the theme of spatial multidimensionality. You may find yourself drawn to, or wanting to step into, the unattainable depth within the work.
Lucy House uses film and installation in her latest work Those Who Ruin Kings, a piece centred around the artist’s spoken account of a childhood experience in which they inadvertently found themselves at a radical religious conversion event.
The narrative is illustrated through elements including original footage, found microscopic photography and manipulative staging, which forces the viewer to watch the film projected just above eye level.
This ‘religious iconography’ guides the viewer through the memory and confronts the Proverbs (31:10) Bible verse described in the narration: “Girls are worth more than rubies”.
In her work Sophie Bazgier has been concentrating on transforming form from figurative art to abstraction, searching for a synthesis and a breakdown of the form of drawing. Limited by making marks on paper, she expresses emotion through form but avoids building up lines too densely and staining the paper.
Sophie seeks to represent life through drawing; objects interact together but they are disconnected. She wants to create a language of emotions through lines dancing on the surface of the paper, running wildly, constantly looking for a new outlet and new liberation… and yet, limited by intention. This work uses a constellation form, like the milky way.