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Students Shortlisted for the Platform Graduate Award 2019

Four BA (Hons) Fine Art graduates from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) have been shortlisted for the Platform Graduate Award 2019, and will be exhibiting in partner galleries across the South East this Autumn.

The Award is run by the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) South East. Deputy Chair Jo Bushell said, “The Platform Graduate Award has grown to be a vital showcase and professional development opportunity for emerging artists in the South East.” Out of the 23 shortlisted artists, one winner will get a £2,000 bursary and a year of bespoke mentoring support. The 2018 winner was fellow UCA Fine Art graduate Josephine Rock. 

Jaz Bartlett, UCA Farnham

Jaz Bartlett / BA (Hons) Fine Art

Two of this year’s crop of talented emerging artists are from UCA Farnham. Jaz Bartlett describes herself as a “multidisciplinary artist interested in the ideas that surround consumerist cultures.” Her work uses fast food as a symbol of consumerism, with broken neon signs creating a Las Vegas-esque expression of excess. Exploring the use of light and the space within it, Jaz says she aims to expose and challenge the “social hierarchies that define our excess culture.”

'What is a Wheel’ by Katherine Smith, UCA Farnham

‘What is a Wheel’ by Katherine Smith / BA (Hons) Fine Art

Another graduate from UCA Farnham, Katherine Smith describes her work as “an ongoing investigation into how we make choices through movement and touch, in contrast to a society which is becoming more and more digital.” Katherine uses the wheel – a symbol of the constant, never-ending movement – as an investigation of tactile play, where there is total freedom of choice without a destination.

‘Skins’ by Sara Jackson, UCA Canterbury

‘Skins’ by Sara Jackson / BA (Hons) Fine Art

Two further shortlisted artists come from UCA Canterbury. Sara Jackson says her “current practice is concerned with her working environment, capturing surfaces, textures and traces of the space.” She plays with audience perception, exploring the use of architecture in creating an illusion. Sara won the 2019 Crate Graduate Award, and has previously exhibited at the Avery and Canterbury Cathedral.

'Bath Body and Soap' © Wren Moat, UCA Canterbury

‘Bath, Body and Soap’ by Wren Moat / BA (Hons) Fine Art

Wren Moat, also from UCA Canterbury, is an artist with a focus on painting, drawing, and sculpture. Her work explores the relationship between nature and the self, the natural and the man-made, wildness and domestication. She says that she is especially interested in “the relationship between scientific cataloguing as a means of understanding our world and the further implications around knowing as owning,” referencing “escapism, avoidance, passivity, agency, and vulnerability.”

This is a fantastic opportunity for our graduates to get their work seen – over 50,000 people attended the 2018 exhibitions. Each shortlisted artist is assigned a partner gallery, with each gallery selecting one finalist for the £2,000 award. The 2019 partner galleries are Modern Art Oxford, Turner Contemporary, Aspex, and the MK Gallery.

The winner of the Platform Graduate Award 2019 will be announced at a special presentation event at Aspex in Portsmouth on Saturday 23rd November, 2-4 pm. The selection panel will be helped by international artist Mikhail Karikis.

Jaz Bartlett and Katherine Smith (from UCA Farnham) will be exhibiting at Aspex in Portsmouth, 4th October – 29th December.

Wren Moat and Sara Jackson (from UCA Canterbury) will be exhibiting at the Turner Contemporary in Margate, 2nd October – 5th January.

To learn more about the Platform Graduate Awards, visit their website.

To find out more about studying Fine Art at UCA, visit the course pages.