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Platform Alumni Artist Focus – Carol Abell

2nd Apr 2019

Carol Abell was selected for the Platform Graduate Award by Aspex in 2018.

“Graduating from Arts University Bournemouth in 2018 as a mature student, I found the experience so stimulating. My artistic traits were unearthed in my 40s and ignited in a mental health hospital, whilst having treatment for a breakdown. Art was used as therapy, and this progressed into an educational journey.

“Through the degree course I searched for a medium and theme for my practise. Exploring, painting, 3D and much more I found my own niche. Topics including mental health, then history relating to Dorset, local locations, and my own perception of the world have become the stimulus. Culminating in a modern and creative use of printing, bookmaking and the tradition of Dorset buttons.

“Artists that inspire me are Frida Kahlo, Grayson Perry, Leanne Tobin, and many artists from the Futurism movement.

“Being selected by Aspex in Portsmouth, as part of Platform has been an honour. It has resulted in me having more confidence. Seeing your work in a gallery for contemporary art, alongside very talented artists, has to be the icing on the cake.

“It also opened up the chance to show my work in an area completely new to me. Aspex asked if I would like to have my work included in a ‘touch tour’ exhibition for the blind and partially sighted. As a disabled artist, I believe that it is good to be inclusive to more groups from the community who are otherwise marginalised by their disability.

“TheGallery at Arts University Bournemouth also wanted to show my work at the same time. This resulted in having to make a similar set of works for Bournemouth.

“It has taken a little while to readjust to life after University! At present I am making a piece on the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Commissioned as a result of my work being chosen for Platform.

“Future plans include; returning to Arts University Bournemouth and doing a two year part-time Masters course, starting in the Autumn. I have also been asked to do workshops on Dorset button making. It is good to pass on an old craft to another generation.”

Image: Carol Abell’s work in Platform 2018, installed at Aspex. Photo: Daniel Boss, courtesy Aspex.

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