The Platform Graduate Award 2019

The Platform Graduate Award 2019

4 Oct - 22 Dec

The Platform Graduate Award is an annual survey of exciting graduate talent from art schools and higher education partners across the South East. 

At Aspex we are presenting work by thirteen artists selected from six degree shows: 

Jade Anthony & Sofia Popova (Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton), Jaz Bartlett (University for the Creative Arts, UCA Farnham), Sasha Damjanovic (University of Portsmouth), Gwen Datyner (Southampton Solent University), Tobias Gumbrill (Arts University Bournemouth), Rebecca Harte (University of Chichester), Connie London (University of Chichester), Imogen Marooney (Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton), Mathew Scott (Southampton Solent University), Katherine Smith (University for the Creative Arts, UCA Farnham), Oliver Whitehead (University of Portsmouth), and Jack Woolston (Arts University Bournemouth).  

The initiative is led by CVAN South East (Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East) and is a partnership between four galleries: Aspex, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary in Margate. 

Following the exhibition and events programme, an artist from each gallery will be nominated for the award, with the winning artist announced in November 2019. Established in 2012, the award includes a £2,000 bursary and mentoring.

In 2018 the award was won by Josephine Rock a graduate of the University of the Creative Arts, UCA Farnham, who was nominated by Aspex

The Platform Graduate Award forms part of Aspex’s programme of exhibitions, events and workshops focussed upon the importance of arts education and celebrating emerging creative talent.

The exhibition runs from 4 October to 22 December 2019 - with an Exhibition Preview taking place on Thursday 3 October, 18.00 - 20.00hrs.

You can join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtags: #AutumnAtAspex #Platform2019 #PlatformGraduateAward


About the artists

Arts University Bournemouth


Tobias Gumbrill

IG: @tobiasjg.artstuff

Tobias Gumbrill's practice encompasses both digital and material presences, utilising software that is coupled with specifically selected hardware. R=L, B=R (2019) is an investigation into voice, language, machine culture and aesthetics that culminate in producing an incongruous anthropomorphic sculpture. It exhibits movement of shape and colour in unison to the ambiguous dialogue, which pushes the viewer into a sensation of etymological reflections. Tobias Gumbrill has recently exhibited in The Old Truman Brewery for Free Range 2019, and will also be exhibiting at the Suddenly Last Summer 2019 exhibition at Arts University Bournemouth.

Jack Woolston


Jack Woolston is a painter who works in the medium of oils, his practice focuses on the working class community of Poole in Dorset where he was born. Specifically his work employs a symbolic visual language that questions the stereotype of the working class, perpetuated in society and the arts. Woolston’s work is a juxtaposition of historical painting language from bare feet to game birds. This contradicting language creates tense and austere work,that reflects the surrounding environment it was created in and the complex nature of modern class composition.

University of Chichester


Rebecca Harte

IG: @rebeccaharteart

Rebecca Harte’s performances focus on her bodily experience of space, audience encounter and cultural experiences of growing up as a woman in Northern Ireland. Her practice allows her to explore her history, culture and identity through repetitive tasks and personal narrative. Using a voiceover, quoted directly from her Granny, the work becomes universal with generational and gendered themes while adding a sense of humanity to the work. Participation in the work becomes important in creating a reflective space for both performer and audience member.

Connie London

IG: @connielondonart

Connie London produces artwork that revolves around environmental issues, focusing on sea pollutants and oil spills. Using unconventional materials such as Bitumen and Motor Oil, London aims to drown the audience with her large-scale and environmentally charged artwork. The space itself becomes part of the artwork, pulling the viewer into a polluted world that envelops the senses and challenges the perception of what painting is. Connie wishes to explore what ecological painting really means and how it could possibly effect the social climate of the art world.

Southampton Solent University


Gwen Datyner


Gwen Datyner uses photography, video and collage to make a visual diary of her life. Using the camera voyeuristically Gwen presents her family and friends, sometimes unknowingly, performing but always just being themselves. The staging and digital manipulation of the images is unclear and challenges our perceptions of her personal world.

Mathew Scott


Mathew Scott’s ‘A New Dawn’ is an explorative revisit to Scott’s childhood home and a reminiscence of the landscape, the woods and the people. The work is a nostalgic longing for a lost childhood; the unexplainable feeling of returning and recollection of a past time. For Matthew this series marks a significant personal turning point and sudden realisation about his coming of age; turning from boy into man and acknowledging that childhood memories are becoming less lucid. Matthew’s practice is immersed in ideas of community and focuses on people and places. He endeavours to create authentic, tangible and emotion rich portraits and images which are a true representation of the subject.

University of the Creative Arts, Farnham


Jaz Bartlett

Jaz Bartlett is a multidisciplinary artist interested in the ideas that surround consumerist cultures we live in, and how this excess and need to indulge has become prominent within society and our social hierarchies.

Fast food has become a symbol for conveying these ideas of consumerism, her broken signs and word play with lights communicates this immersive excess within society. Exploring the use of light and its relationship to the space within its desiring illuminations, along with the word-play, Bartlett's practice exposes the reality of these excessive indulgences in relation to hierarchies of social class. Within her work, she aims to challenge the boundaries between these social hierarchies and categories that define our excess culture.

Katherine Smith

Katherine Smith's What is a Wheel is an ongoing investigation into how we make choices through movement and touch, in contrast to a society which is becoming more and more digital. Play is important to this idea as play provides freedom for choices based on our direct experience of our senses in the moment, not choices in order to arrive at something. In choosing the wheel as the sole subject of the investigation – the condition of play – Katherine examines what making choice means. A wheel is significant as it symbolises constant movement without an end-point.

University of Portsmouth


Oliver Whitehead


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.

Sasha Damjanovic

IG: sashadamjanovic

Sasha Damjanovic’s work is grounded in feminist thinking, politics and practice. This series of risograph printed posters reference the work of Sister Corita and Jenny Holzer and aim to evoke urgency and demand attention. 

Sasha’s 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, Lorde’s 1984 essay titled The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action particularly impacted the work. Sasha asserts that the presence, brilliance and endurance of women cannot be ignored.

Winchester School of Art


Imogen Marooney

IG: @imogenmarooney

Imogen Marooney is a printmaker and works with participatory performative workshops in which participants will make paper objects using scrap paper, which she has screen-printed with images of objects made in previous workshops. Importantly, the work is ever recycled into itself as objects, once made, can be continually re-made by many different participants. The manifesto and rules, which communicate how the workshop runs, are a continuation of what Imogen has been doing in the experimental writing group ‘Bad Poets’.

Imogen also used her writing skills in the exhibition Everyday Living, Without Everyday Tasks where she collaborated with the University of Southampton’s Stroke Rehabilitation Researchers, producing an edition of Artist Books with her own poetry.

Jade Anthony 

IG: @j.l.anthony

Jade Anthony’s practice combines film, drawing, sculpture, painting and installation. Anthony’s work focuses on systems of visual communication throughout history, from early cave paintings to contemporary graphic design, to curate and assemble images into diagrams that explore their cultural, social and political contexts.

Currently collaboratively working with Sofia Popova, their output Is the merging of their two distinct focuses- the visual and the physical, the image and the architecture that holds it.

Sofia Popova 

IG: @sofia_.popova

Sofia Popova’s work is a navigated interpretation of architecture and a psychogeographical response to our urban environment. She uses raw industrial materials, often found and recycled, to make large fragmented structures. This aims to capture how imaginative freedom is permitted by eliminating the restrictions presented by any given space - an organism composed of the subtle and ubiquitous anticipation of the fall into the provisional.





IMAGE:  It Takes Courage to Explore, Sasha Damjanovic (2019)