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Graduates’ work chosen to be exhibited at Turner Contemporary

Two of our BA (Hons) Fine Art graduates are currently displaying work at the world-class Turner Contemporary gallery’s Platform 2016 exhibition, which showcases the talent of emerging artists in Kent.

George Morl and Kayleigh Baker, who graduated from our Canterbury campus this year and are now set to return to complete an MA in Fine Art, were two of six artists selected to display their work at Turner Contemporary, one of the UK’s top art galleries, throughout August and September.

George, who also exhibits under the name Edvardo Shadalow, is showcasing his collection of sculptures, entitled Precious Boys #2, which work together to form a physical nursery rhyme and are designed to highlight themes of gender identity and investigate how issues of sexuality and body image are intertwined with the social concept of masculinity. Kayleigh’s work, Born to Die II 2016, is an alluring design of medicine pots, containing glistening sugar, which reflect suicide statistics in England and question modern pharmaceutical interventions.

George says: “It’s been really exciting to be chosen to display my work at Turner Contemporary. Precious Boys #2 expresses the journey in the awareness of one’s sexuality through to adolescence, which can be an isolating and lonely time, in particularly for those who may also have a mental illness. The installation as a whole is a contemporary vigil or rather a nursery rhyme for telling the tale of young men who are in emotional restraint and suffering from a mental illness.

“The sculptures, formed through plaster casts of condoms, vary in size and reflect each other, creating a sense of anxiety. Using materials such as alum salt and pigmented sugar, the piece references the aesthetics of Victorian children’s pain relief and old age treatments for HIV.”

Kayleigh adds: “Art has a powerful voice and is an important tool to initiate and support discussions. I try to make sure that my work is a means of communication that makes people take note and recognise significant issues and taboo subjects within our society as so often, silence kills.

“Each suicide is a permanent tragedy and we, as a society, can only learn from this. In this regard, the rigid format of this work sits on the boundary of a memorial graveyard or laboratory test racking system. There is a fine balance present between both illness and recovery yet when seeking treatment we are too often confined to our prescribed lives with illness. Having been exploring the design of medicine, I pose the question could medicine be considered as a form of art and in turn, art as a form of medicine?

“It’s fantastic to have my work on display at a gallery such as Turner Contemporary and to be able to encourage people to discuss issues including mental health and suicide from such a well-established platform.”

The exhibition forms part of the Platform Graduate Award, and the winner of this year’s award will be announced in November at Turner Contemporary.

Kayleigh Baker BA (Hons) Fine Art