Two of the five artists shortlisted for the prestigious Platform Graduate Award are alumni of UCA.
The award, which is led by CVAN South East (Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East), identifies some of the region’s most promising graduate artists and offers the overall winner a £2,500 bursary and a year of bespoke mentoring.
Ronan Porter, who studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at UCA Canterbury, was nominated by Turner Contemporary for their large-scale pieces which promote discussion through the combination of text, image and strong colour. Josephine Rock, a BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate from UCA Farnham, works with sculpture, film, performance, text, and photography, and was nominated by Aspex.
“I’m ecstatic to have been shortlisted!” Ronan says. “This has been a huge boost for my career as an artist and to win would be an honour. The mentoring I’d receive alongside the bursary would help me start out as a professional artist and help me prepare for further study in the future. One thing I miss most about being at university is the feedback you get, not just from tutors but from my contemporaries in the studio.
“My work demands thought, for the viewer to question and discuss ideas, to engage in a conversation. This intention is layered throughout the creation of a piece: the combination of text and image; the bright and selective colour palette; the enormous scale which dominates a space and confronts the viewer; the intriguing text; the presentation on unstretched canvas and it being hung almost haphazardly with just a staple gun and string.
“My work is contemporary in that it straddles many borders between print and painting, illustration and fine art, comic books and portraiture, installation and traditional painting. The gargantuan scale contrasts with the simple marker drawing used to start the piece. There are many paths in which my work can develop, and I am eager to continue experimenting and expanding.”
The Award 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. The final winner will be announced at a ceremony on Saturday 17 November at MK Gallery.