This year’s Platform Graduate Award 2017 features 41 graduates exhibiting at five galleries across South East England.

Founded in 2012 by CVAN South East (the Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East), artists are chosen for the award from the degree shows of 16 higher education institutions in the region. Exhibitions take place at Aspex, Portsmouth; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes; Modern Art Oxford; and Turner Contemporary, Margate.

Following the series of exhibitions an artist from each gallery will be nominated to be considered for the award, which comprises a bursary of £2,500 and mentoring with artist Jonathan Parsons. The winner will be announced in December. Last year the award went to University of Kent graduate Daniel Owusu.

“The artists selected from the region’s degree shows make an outstanding field this year,” said CVAN South East manager Oliver Sumner. “Platform 2017 is set to be an extremely promising sample of the diverse practice currently emerging from art schools in the South East of England.”

Modern Art Oxford is already half-way through its exhibition run – a series of back-to-back solo exhibitions by three artists: University of Reading graduate Laura Nicholson, Nathan Caldecott (until 27 August) of Ruskin School of Art, and Oxford Brookes University graduate Freddie Davies (from 30 August).

The cascade of openings continues on 31 August at MK Gallery with solo shows by University of Hertfordshire graduates Dominyka Barauskaite and Elizabeth Cahill, University of Northampton’s Christopher Daubney, and University of Bedfordshire’s Simon Harutyunyan.

Along the south coast, Turner Contemporary and Aspex both open to the public on 15 September, followed a day later by De La Warr Pavilion.

Between them, the three galleries are showing 34 artists with graduates from University of the Creative Arts, Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Kent, Arts University Bournemouth, Winchester School of Art, Southampton Solent University, University of Chichester, University of Portsmouth and University of Brighton at Sussex Coast College, Hastings.

Also exhibiting is the Thirteen Person Collective, made up of 13 recent graduates from the University of Brighton.

Paul Hobson, chair of CVAN South East and director of Modern Art Oxford, said: “The Platform Graduate Award keeps us in touch with the region’s most talented graduate artists, and enables us to nurture them at this crucial early stage in their careers.”

1. Elizabeth Cahill, 2017. Courtesy: the artist.
2. Freddie Davies, Abstract Nocturne Series – Closeup 2, 2017. Courtesy: the artist.
3. Christopher Daubney, 2017. Courtesy: the artist.

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