The shortlist for the Platform Graduate Award 2018 has been announced, with five artists up for a £2,500 professional development bursary and year of ‘bespoke mentoring support’.

The initiative is led by CVAN South East (Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East) and is a partnership between five galleries: Aspex in Portsmouth, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary in Margate.

Following an exhibition and events programme across the five participating galleries, an artist from each gallery is nominated for the award.

This year’s shortlisted artists are: Luke Dawes (Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford), nominated by Modern Art Oxford; Godith Hawkins (University Centre Hastings), nominated by De La Warr Pavilion; Ronan Porter (University for the Creative Arts, UCA Canterbury), nominated by Turner Contemporary; Abbie Schug (University of Northampton), nominated by MK Gallery; and Josephine Rock (University for the Creative Arts, UCA Farnham), nominated by Aspex.

Abbie Schug is interested in traditional portraiture and photography, with her research exploring the relationship between the analogue and digital. Her most recent paintings reinterpret solarised digital screens displaying anonymous portrait photographs.

Luke Dawes explores the ‘visual cliches employed through the history of making and art production’, in the process creating paintings, sculpture, assemblage and object-based work.

Using photography, Godith Hawkins’ practice references post-mortem photography and the ‘vulnerability and the value of a photographic image’.

Ronan Porter creates large-scale works using pen and acrylic. Recent exhibitions include the Woon Foundation Art Prize at Gallery North, Newcastle, and the CVAN Platform Graduate Award Show at Turner Contemporary in Margate.

Finally, Josephine Rock works with sculpture, film, performance, text, and photography, with her research-based practice exploring a broad range of subjects. She describes her methodology as being similar to that of an ‘investigative journalist’.

Anthony Spira, director of MK Gallery, said: “Now in its seventh year, the Platform Graduate Award continues to offer a vital showcase and professional development opportunity to graduate artists as they embark on their careers. For MK Gallery, and the other partners within the CVAN South East network, supporting artists in this way makes a direct contribution to the South East arts ecology.”

Previous winners of the award include Sophie Barber (2017), who was nominated by De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, and Turner Contemporary nominee Daniel Owusu (2016).

The winner of Platform Graduate Award 2018 will be announced on Saturday 17 November at an event at MK Gallery

1. Abbie Schug, After IMG_8923, 2018
2. Luke Dawes, Excavate (with a fine tooth comb), Untitled and Triple glazing, installation view, 2018
3. Godith Hawkins, John and A Heap of Raw Material, installation view at University Centre Hastings, 2018
4. Ronan Porter, LET ME READ, painting – acrylic on unstretched canvas, 2018
5. Josephine Rock, you i i i, installation view at UCA Farnham, 2018

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