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Platform Alumni Artist Focus – Julia Keenan

21st May 2019

Having graduated in 2015 from the University for the Creative Arts – UCA Farnham, Keenan has continued to push and develop her practice. She was selected for the Platform Graduate Award in 2015 by Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth. Her solo show was developed during the summer after her graduation at the invitation of the Cultural Programme Curator at The James Hockey and Foyer Galleries at UCA Farnham. Vermilion Hue was shown in the autumn of 2015.

Since then Keenan has collaborated with the Whipple Museum in Cambridge and the results of her project with them Strange Chimera, was shown in the museum as part of Cambridge University’s Science Festival 2017. Last year she was nominated to submit a proposal for the Jerwood Arts Survey exhibition. An active member of Aspex’s Artist Associates, Keenan has recently undertaken her second residency in the artist studio. She is also a member of the Chapel Arts Studios Associate Programme in Andover and is looking forward to collaborating with fellow associates in The Laboratory of Dissent at Winchester School of Art in November 2019.

“Being selected for the Platform Graduate Award in 2015 was a positive experience which continues to feed into the development of my practice. After leaving the ‘cocoon’ of the University it is important to have and continue to develop networks in the outside world. Through the programme I have had opportunities to meet other recently graduated practitioners, share experiences and knowledge, attend crit. groups and, most importantly, feel part of something.

“As I write this, I am ¾ of the way through a fantastic opportunity offered by Aspex Gallery to all Platform Alumni Artists. A ten-week residency within the artist studio space to develop new work. My working title for this new body of work is ‘The Secret Life of Materials’. Situating myself as a fashion designer I am experimenting with materials to translate my concepts into a fashion collection.

“‘The Anti-Structuralist Gesture’ [concept] turning a capsule concept collection into an anti-structuralist gesture.’”

The resolved work from Julia’s residency at Aspex will be shown next spring in a solo show at Solaris Gallery in St Leonards-on-Sea.

Visit Julia’s Instagram to find out more about her work.

Image: The Secret Life of Materials © Julia Keenan, 2019.

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