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Announcing the Platform Graduate Award 2019 shortlist

10th Oct 2019

CVAN South East is delighted to reveal the shortlisted graduate artists for the Platform Graduate Award 2019. The artists are:

Natalie Andrews (University of Bedfordshire), nominated by MK Gallery

Sian Hookins (University of Kent), nominated by Turner Contemporary

Imogen Marooney (Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton), nominated by Aspex

Amy Richardson (University of Reading), nominated by Modern Art Oxford

The artists have all been shortlisted for the award which includes a £2,000 bursary towards the development of their artistic practice and a year of bespoke mentoring support. Guest selector and artist Mikhail Karikis will announce the winner of this year’s award on Saturday 23 November at a special event at Aspex in Portsmouth.

CVAN South East Manager Oliver Sumner said:

I would like to congratulate Natalie, Sian, Imogen and Amy on being nominated for the Platform Graduate Award 2019. We are proud to be supporting some of the most exciting artists graduating this year in the South East, and it has been a real pleasure to get to talk to some of them during the exhibitions. I am grateful to our partner galleries for their far-sighted commitment to emerging practice, and of course to all this year’s exhibiting artists for their dedication and hard work. I look forward to engaging with them in the future through our growing Platform Alumni network.

The artists were chosen out of twenty-three graduate artists from universities across the South East region that were selected by the four partner galleries – Aspex in Portsmouth, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary in Margate – all members of CVAN South East (Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East). From their respective exhibitions, some of which are continuing to run to the end of the year, each participating gallery nominated one artist to be considered for the award.

Artists’ statements

Natalie Andrews (University of Bedfordshire), nominated by MK Gallery

Natalie Andrews’ point of departure has always been that she can only make a painting by placing it in an artificial world. Andrews is interested in a ‘second nature’ nature, that is, in an environment that has already been manipulated and designed and which she then subject to further transformations in order to make it her own. This artificial world had previously been evoked by an individual painting and contained within its borders, more recently sculpture has come to play an increasingly prominent role in her practice resulting in staged orchestrations of work in different media as well as architectural modifications of the fabric of the gallery space. This self-contained environment becomes the artificial world.

Sian Hookins (University of Kent), nominated by Turner Contemporary

Over the past three years Sian Hookins practice has evolved with a current focus on small-scale sculptural artworks. Working tactually with a multiplicity of mediums, she draws upon the intricacies of our bodies and the complex relationships we have with them. During her time at University, she was awarded the Rotary Prize in recognition of distinguished performance within her degree programme as well as the School of Music and Fine Art Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for the most innovative and well-crafted work within the 2019 Degree Show. In light of her University courses imminent closure, she has become increasingly interested in arts education and has taken part in various art-based workshops with both schools and arts organisations across Kent.

Imogen Marooney, (Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton), nominated by Aspex

Imogen is a printmaker and works with participatory performative workshops in which participants make paper objects using scrap paper, which she has screen-printed with images of objects made in previous workshops. Importantly, the work is ever recycled into itself as objects, once made, can be continually re-made by many different participants. The manifesto and rules, which communicate how the workshop runs, are a continuation of what Imogen has been doing in the experimental writing group ‘Bad Poets’. Imogen also used her writing skills in the exhibition ‘Everyday Living, Without Everyday Tasks’ where she collaborated with the University of Southampton’s Stroke Rehabilitation Researchers, producing an edition of Artist Books with her own poetry. his practice.

Amy Richardson (University of Reading), nominated by Modern Art Oxford

Amy Richardson’s practice capitalises upon the intricacy and dedicated labour associated with textile embroidery in order to emphasise the value of marginalised individuals within society and the socio-political issues that they represent. There’s nothin’ soft about hard times centres around a series of nine free-embroidered cushions which retell Amy’s Uncle’s story of homelessness and reflect upon the effects of a harmful childhood, struggles with learning difficulties, mental health and addiction as well as contributory negative societal and governmental attitudes of the time. Amy’s work encourages the audience to move beyond the immediate prettiness that may be most alluring and instead be witness to the harsher veracity of the messages contained within the work that make a personal plea for change.

Image (left to right, top to bottom): Artificial Worlds, untitled landscape view, Natalie Andrews, 2019; There’s nothin’ soft about hard times, Amy Richardson, University of Reading Degree Show, 2019; Opened up, Emptied out, Sian Hookins, installation view at Chatham Historic Dockyard, 2019, photo Phoebe Lobeck-Hawes; For You, Imogen Marooney, Workshop in Progress, Winchester School of Art, 2019, photo: Dave Gibbons.

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