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23 September
31 October 2021

Platform Graduate Award 2021

Celebrating new artistic talent from across the South East, Platform Graduate Award 2021 is a series of three solo exhibitions by selected BFA graduates from University of Reading, Oxford Brookes University and The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. The initiative supports emerging artistic talent to further their practice, and awards one outstanding artist a £2000 bursary and mentoring from a professional artist. Find out more.

This year’s artists are Fetine Sel Tuzel from Reading University, Bevan Hill & Will Griffiths from Oxford Brookes University, and Beth Simcock from The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.

Fetine Sel Tuzel, recent graduate of Reading University, presents places and faces, a two-channel video installation.

The installation is a psychogeographic exploration of cities and people, from the urban centre of Reading where Tuzel did her fine art degree, to a ghost town in her home country of Cyprus, abandoned by its inhabitants 47 years ago during the conflict and now taken over by nature.

Fascinated by the connection between people and urban spaces, Tuzel’s two-channel video installation explores how people feel and behave in familiar and unfamiliar environments.

Fetine Sel Tuzel, places and faces, 2021 (film still). Image courtesy the artist

Fetine Sel Tuzel, places and faces, 2021 (film still). Image courtesy the artist

Sometimes the two screens complement each other, sometimes they contradict each other, showing points of contrast and moments of harmony across distinct urban spaces. Tuzel’s practice observes and questions how human experiences in urban spaces can be at once so similar and so unique.

Fetine Sel Tuzel, places and faces, 2021. Image courtesy the artist

Artist duo Bevan Hill & Will Griffiths, recent graduates of Oxford Brookes University, present Real Art for Real People, a body of work consisting of four paintings, two sculptures, a video and a book.

Using various AI generative engines, the duo has devised an automated creative process: from the production of concepts by a text generator trained on a dataset of descriptions of well-known artworks, to individual generators that visualise the proposed concepts in both two and three dimensions.

Bevan Hill & Will Griffiths, Real Art for Real People, 2021. Image courtesy the artists

With this bounty of readymade works, the duo become the indifferent manufacturers who merely realise the machine’s designs in physical form. This is a reversal of the contemporary conceptual artist-manager, so often detached from material production. Central to the work is an interrogation of the role of the artist, and the value and security of human ways of seeing.

The works explore the importance of individual expression and agency in an increasingly automated world, the value of engagement with material processes, and the function and worth of the physical art object in both a consumerist and technocentric society.

Beth Simcock, recent graduate of The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, presents a series of large-scale paintings entitled The Zodiac.

Beth Simcock is a painter and writer working across large-scale narrative paintings. Her practice is devoted to mythologies, both self-created and borrowed: from classics, art history, contemporary popular culture, and the online world.

Blushing girl-ish figures inhabit her landscapes-between-states. Fragments translated from ancient frescoes are painted over with beer cans and sweet wrappers, and decorated with glittery stickers to create colourful tapestries of parable and memory.

Beth Simcock, The Zodiac, 2021. Image courtesy the artist

The Zodiac is a painting installation that spans twelve canvases: one for each sign in the astrological calendar. Each painting holds its own internal logic while also referencing the larger connection to its network of neighbours. The canvases span the space in a configuration that might just be accidental, evoking the almost-infinite squares of the Instagram grid. Together, these uneasy constellations suggest the brooding possibility of change.

Alongside her exhibition, Simcock presents a Horoscope. Like her paintings, this spans different traditions, from the specialised practice of astrology – a mystical science dealing with consciousness on a grand, metaphysical scale – to the popular pages we recognise from the back of gossip magazines. Click here to read your Horoscope.

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