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Platform Graduate Award 2017 – Focus on Stephen Foy-Philp

23rd Oct 2017

Stephen Foy-Philp recently graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University. He was nominated for the Award by Turner Contemporary.

“People are everything. We live life in so many different ways and with so many different perspectives, but one thing usually escapes our grasp: we are alive. The work I make is routed in my own philosophical exploration as well as research into what it is to be human. Existentialism is one of my main influences, bringing into focus the most freeing prospect of all: in each moment we are unimaginably free to do anything we decide to.

“I have developed a practice built around experiential and immersive installation works that are encountered rather than looked at. The overwhelming potential in each and every moment is something I wish to highlight through Heuristic environments, facilitated chances to interact and actively challenge the ways we live. I want to create ‘work’ that is far more about experience and memory making than it is a showcase of my skills. I want the things I create to come in the form of shared events and often unexpected activity on my own part and that of the people around me. Essentially, my practice is entirely focused on creating something living.

“Platform has been such a fantastic experience. The opportunity to meet with and work alongside incredible people working in a fully functioning contemporary art gallery is one that I will never forget. I have embarked on a fascinating exploration ‘behind the scenes’ in a gallery that really serves to expand an understanding of contemporary art as well as challenge it.

“Working through this process has allowed me to start putting together a range of projects that I will start to pursue as soon as possible. These include a range of community based workshops at Turner Contemporary, as well as other areas in Kent, collaborative and solo exhibitions, illustration projects, curatorial endeavours, performance based storytelling, as well as my own writing.

“A huge thank you to everyone at the Turner Contemporary for being so welcoming and inspiring. The process has given me an awareness of just how engaged and active you have to be to follow your ambitions as an artist.

“To anyone graduating or heading into their final year studying art I would strongly recommend keeping an open mind and just enjoying the blessing it is to be an Artist.”

Image: Installation view, Stephen Foy-Philp. Image © Turner Contemporary, 2017.

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