Between September and December, Aspex Gallery will be hosting PLATFORM, their programme for autumn 2019. Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries graduates Sasha Damjanovic and Oliver Whitehead will be representing the University of Portsmouth in the competition for an award.
The Exhibition Preview & Launch for PLATFORM will take place on Thursday 3rd October 2019 from 6PM until 8PM. The event promises an insight into Aspex Gallery’s “exciting programme of exhibitions, events and workshops focused upon the importance of arts education and celebrating emerging creative talent” that will be running from September through to December 2019.
The programme is also centred around the Platform Graduate Award 2019 initiated by the South East Contemporary Visual Arts Network, an annual survey of creative talent curated from higher education institutions across the South Coast. The winner will be awarded a £2000 bursary and a 12-month mentorship. Among the 13 artists selected for this year’s edition are recent graduates from the University of Portsmouth, Sasha Damjanovic and Oliver Whitehead. They both studied in the CCI Faculty, on the BA (Hons) Illustration and BA (Hons) Photography courses respectively.
Jo Bushnell, Director at Aspex and Deputy Chair at CVAN South East said:
The Platform Graduate Award has grown to be a vital showcase and professional development opportunity for emerging artists in the South East. Aspex is proud to work with our partners to continue the great work of this initiative and to spotlight the diversity of practice being produced in the region’s art schools. At a time when our region’s exemplary art and design HE institutions face pressures of finance and national policy, it is also important to restate the contribution they make to our thriving sector.
Sasha Damjanovic’s work is grounded in feminist thinking, politics and practice. Damjanovic’s recent series of risograph printed posters reference the work of Sister Corita and Jenny Holzer and aim to evoke urgency and demand attention. Her work is conceived through collage, enabling the artist to modify narratives and the intentions of existing imagery. Heavily influenced by the feminist writings of Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Judith Butler and bell hooks, with Lorde’s 1984 essay ‘The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action’ particularly impacting the work. Damjanovic asserts that the presence, brilliance and endurance of women cannot be ignored.
Oliver Whitehead’s ‘B Is For Bedroom’ considers where developments in technology are taking surveillance tactics. Modern day surveillance is becoming ever more invasive, blurring the boundaries between public and private. People are able to see more than they were able to before. ‘B Is For Bedroom’ repurposes people’s private space; perfectly individualised in their stage. The backstage area now becomes the front, the invisible becomes visible. Visibility is a trap.
The event is free to enter and will take place at Aspex in the Vulcan Building, Gunwharf Quays.
Image Courtesy: It Takes Courage to Explore by Sasha Damjanovic