Two Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries students from the University of Portsmouth, Simon Beasley and Carl Tai Thompson, exhibit their work in Portsmouth’s Aspex gallery with emerging graduate artists from across the South Coast.
Twelve graduates have been chosen by Aspex from across six universities as part of the annual Platform Graduate Award with CVAN South East.
The Platform Graduate Award is an initiative to support emerging graduate artistic talent to further their practice following graduation. Established in 2012, the award includes a £2,500 bursary and mentoring, and is awarded to an outstanding graduate from one of sixteen participating regional higher education partners.
The initiative is led by CVAN South East (Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East) and is a partnership between five galleries: Aspex in Portsmouth, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary in Margate. Following an exhibition and events programme across the five participating galleries, an artist from each gallery will be nominated for the award, with the winning artist announced in November 2018.
Platform focuses on artists in the first year after graduation; a critical time when the loss of the university support structure and financial pressures can test an artist’s dedication to their practice. For the participating galleries, this is a way to keep in touch with the most promising emerging practice, and with higher education institutions. More broadly, the scheme aims to stimulate artist networks outside of London and encourage artists to stay in the South East region.
Simon Beasley, BA (Hons) Graphic Design
Through his series of works ‘Present Shock’, Simon Beasley hopes to communicate complex ideas about social media and the internet, exploring our mental health as a consequence of these technological advances.
The outcome is designed to spark conversations using text from fifty years ago, helping Simon to gain new perspectives and understanding, whilst hopefully doing the same for others. The aim is to inspire new thoughts and challenge existing ones, connecting with people and talking about the world today.
View Simon talking about his work in a filmed interview at the Graduate Show.
Carl Tai Thompson, BA (Hons) Illustration
Carl Tai Thompson presents a documented collection of the serial killings committed by his alter ego ‘Snake Eyes’, communicated through a series of prints and illustrations that create a thrilling narrative of an illusive murderer stalking the backstreets of India.
The collection portrays the killing career of ‘Snake Eyes’ over a period of several months as he travels between two main locations to find his unsuspecting victims. The artwork shows each of the artist-imagined murders and is translated visually by the artist through traditional forms of printmaking, illustration and the collection of artefacts. With a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ effect occurring between the artist and The Killer, the final instillation was created to force the viewer to play detective, by picking apart the crime scene and uncovering the truth.
View Carl talking about his work in a filmed interview at the Graduate Show.
For information about the previous years’ winners exhibiting artists – Platform Graduate Award
For updates on previous artists (also known as the Platform Alumni) – Focus articles
Photographs of the 2017 exhibitions and award presentation – Facebook albums
The works by these twelve artists form a group exhibition opening to the public on Friday 28 September, which runs through to 30 December 2018.
There is an exhibition preview on 27th September at 6pm at Aspex, all welcome.
The same selection process is undertaken by four other galleries from across the region: De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary in Margate. One artist from each gallery will be nominated for the award, with the winning artist announced on 17 November by guest selector, artist Harold Offeh.
Aspex, located in Gunwharf Quays, has been supporting emerging artists for over 37 years. Director of the gallery, Joanne Bushnell said:
“The Platform Graduate Award is a very exciting part of our exhibition programme, enabling us to showcase a range of fresh, relevant and eclectic artwork from emerging artists across the South Coast.”
To see the Gallery’s full programme of events, visit their website: www.aspex.org.uk