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Interview with Platform Artist Louise Hall

29th Apr 2021

In December 2020, CVAN South East hosted the Platform Graduate Award ceremony online for the first time since the award’s launch back in 2012.   The COVID19 pandemic has had an impact on all of our lives, but the spirit of the award this year seemed to be stronger than ever.  There has been a real sense of community among the Platform Artist Alumni, and we were delighted to be able to continue with the award through the adversity.  The dedication of the Universities and venue partners, and creative enthusiasm of the artists has been a welcome moment of optimism and shows the powerful resilience of artists.

We caught up with 2020’s winner Louise Hall to see how life has been since winning the award, and what Louise has planned for her practice, and the award mentoring in 2021, here’s what she said:

“Since winning the Platform Graduate Award, I have become the educational director of !Gwak Change where I have led a four-week series called ‘Imagery + Symbolism Within Black Art’ which discussed work from a range of artist including, Lubiana Himid, Shannon Bono and Stella Kajombo. I have been lucky to have a physical exhibition at the Yellow Edge Gallery in “Power to Us’ Exhibition which included artist from the Platform Graduate Award. During this time, I have also been working with John Hansard Gallery and Axis to run workshops around identity and textiles”

The main questions which I am trying to unpick with my work is how I want to discuss representation and education with the audience and how I represent black bodies within the art spaces”

We spoke about the extraordinary times that we are all working in, and how hard navigating that has been, here is what Louise had to say:

“This year has been an extraordinary different to how I imagined my first year as a graduate. I found accessing print rooms and studios spaces to forming a making space challenging, but it allowed me think differently how I make and what I make.

Secondly, the works is heavily intertwined with discussion of identity and emotional labour. This has been challenging to make work, about identity and my experiences as a mix raced woman in the UK.  It’s led to me to think different how I make and recharge myself within the making process to be more honest and allow rest within making which isn’t an opportunity I have always afford myself. The transference to a more accessible online spaces for art theory and online crits has allowed to meet other creatives and discuss these themes within my practice”

Alongside the bursary of £2,500, the award also offers a year of mentoring, we discussed how Louise intends to make the most of the benefits of the award:

“I want to focus on learning skills and how to connect and network within the artworld. I have been really lucky to also be able to discuss my work and where I would like to develop over the next 5 years.

The biggest benefit from winning the platform is having the opportunity the network and connect with other artist from across the country. It has been an extremely rich experience being able to discuss themes within my work with another graduating artist and working collectively to support each other.

I am planning to spend my bursary on accessing a studio space and print-room to create larger work. I have also s

pent the bursary on materials to create new work and to enrich my practice with art theory courses”

So what next for Louise Hall?

“Firstly, I look forward to going to galleries and different artist led spaces and engaging with artwork on and offline.

Secondly, I am looking forward to meeting creatives in person again and exploring collaborative performance in physical spaces. 

Upcoming, I have a new institutional called ‘In Conversations… ‘which is part of KCAW21 which will be shown in Fulham Town Hall ‘Art in the age of now’ exhibition which opens 18 May 2021 – 6 June 2021.

Secondly, I have a series of livestream collaborations with CVAN South Instagram with other graduate artist, discussing their practices.

My ambitions as an artist are to continue to make work discussing my lived experiences and making new work and show in new spaces.  I further want to run art lectures discussing identity and black art”

Keep an eye out on our social media for when these Instagram livestreams will be taking place.


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