The winner of the Platform Graduate Award 2018 has been announced as UCA Farnham Fine Art graduate Josephine Rock, who will receive a 12-month professional development and mentoring package, plus a bursary of £2,500.

She was shortlisted for the award along with four other artists: Luke Dawes, Godith Hawkins, Ronan Porter and Abbie Schug.

They were selected following an exhibition and events programme across five participating galleries, including: Aspex in Portsmouth, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary in Margate.

Rock, whose practice includes sculpture, film, performance, text, and photography, was nominated for the award by Aspex, where her work is on show until 31 December.

Commenting on the impact of winning the award, Rock said: “Platform has provided a stepping stone for my practice after BA. I have benefited from the opportunity to participate in a group exhibition, as well as encountering new networks and connecting with other recent graduates and Platform Alumni.

“Over the coming year I will be working on interdisciplinary research projects which encompass social contagion, post-truth politics, ‘robopoetics’ and the wellbeing industry.”

This year’s jury featured representatives of the five partner galleries, plus guest selector and artist Harold Offeh. He said: “I have no doubt she will make the most of the financial support and professional development opportunities that the Platform award offers, and I am excited to watch her practice and career develop in the coming years.”

Jo Bushnell, director at Aspex and deputy chair of CVAN South East, added: “Rock is a really exceptional emerging artist. We worked closely with her on the presentation of her work in our current exhibition and were impressed by both her vision and professionalism. The Platform Graduate Award 2018 will offer her a tremendous opportunity to develop her practice over the coming year.”

Established in 2012, the award is led by Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East (CVAN South East) and focuses on artists in the first year after graduation. Last year’s winner was Sophie Barber, a graduate of the University of Brighton’s BA (Hons) Fine Art Practice at Sussex Coast College Hastings. She was nominated by De La Warr Pavilion.

Josephine Rock’s work is on display as part of the Platform Graduate Award exhibition at Aspex, Portsmouth, until 31 December.

1. Josephine Rock. Photo: Miles Umney; Courtesy: CVAN South East
2. Josephine Rock, you i i i, installation view at UCA Farnham, 2018
3. Josephine Rock receives Platform Graduate Award 2018 from artist and guest selector Harold Offeh. Miles Umney; Courtesy: CVAN South East

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