On Sunday 24 August, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus will be performed in Modern Art Oxford’s (MAO) Project Space. The work – a live and automated Google search to accumulate a fragmented online form of Mary Shelley’s creation – is by Rosamund Lakin, who graduated from Ruskin School of Art earlier this year.
“I am describing the performance as ‘a live Google set’, a kind of culmination of other works,” explains Lakin, the first of three recent graduates in the South East to have a solo exhibition at MAO as part of Platform, an initiative set up in 2012 by Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East (CVAN) to provide professional exhibiting opportunities for graduates in the region. “The event is proving to be constructive in thinking about the experience of the audience, rather than just a finished stand-alone piece.”
Platform is hosted by five galleries in the South East, with exhibitions also taking place at De La Warr Pavillion (2 Aug – 21 Sep), MK Gallery (4 – 28 Sep), Aspex (5 Sep – 2 Nov) and Turner Contemporary (17 Sep – 2 Nov). Each gallery exhibits work by graduates from its local area, putting forward one of its artists for the Platform Award. The Platform shortlist will be announced in the autumn and a winner declared on 1 November.
“Platform is a key part of our mission to support emerging artists and to provide our expertise in all areas of exhibition programming and promotion,” explains Sally Shaw, head of programmes at MAO and selector of the Platform artists at the gallery.
“The traditional format is to showcase two artists from each of the three local higher education institutions; Ruskin School of Art, Oxford Brookes University and University of Reading. This year, to maximise the opportunity for the artists and provide a more varied programme, we have selected a single artist from each of the degree shows we visited.”
Lakin was selected for the quality of her degree show work, First Opinion, a video installation that centred on the symbolic construction of the screen and predictive functions of Google search. The other graduates selected at MAO are Rachael Minott (University of Reading) and Matt Girling (Oxford Brookes University).
Minott’s work focuses on her Jamaican heritage, using handcrafted materials, storytelling and icon sampling; as part of her exhibition she will present a talk looking at the social and cultural issues surrounding her practice. Girling will screen Steven Spielberg’s 1993 feature film Jurassic Park in the gallery, building on his immersive and experimentally playful sculptural landscapes, which have seen model railways traverse both physical and digitally-filmed space.
The winner of the Platform Award receives a £2,500 bursary and 12-month bespoke programme of professional development from one of the galleries in the Platform initiative. Lakin believes that winning the award would have a significant impact on her practice.
“After you graduate it is easy to get blown off course and make compromises that interfere with getting on with making new work,” she says. “Having the Platform programme support for a full year would be truly liberating. The ideas and work that I want to make in the future require a high level of technological skill – the bursary and provision would really help towards developing this.”
Platform 2014 exhibitions Modern Art Oxford continue until 28 September. www.modernartoxford.org.uk
Also on www.a-n.co.uk:
Platform winner: “It’s been an amazingexperience.” – We talk to 2012 winner Platform Award winner Joella Wheatley.