Platform 2014 winner Sophie Dixon updates us on life since winning the Graduate Arts Award.
(Platform Graduate Award ceremony. Photo credit : Matt Ankers 2014)
Winning the Platform Graduate Award has been a wonderful experience. One of the greatest things about the award is the mentorship and the opportunities which are presented through CVAN’s links in the South East. I decided back in September that I wanted to take a year to test new directions for my work and develop my technical and professional skills.
I worked for two months at Blast Theory in Brighton, an artists’ group who make exciting work which uses innovative ways to engage with audiences. I was a bit apprehensive about taking two months away from my own practice but the experience was invaluable. I think artists have a tendency to become a bit insular so it was really useful to see how artistic projects can be developed and implemented collectively on a larger scale.
(Sophie Dixon, Wünschendorf (Video still), Platform Award, 2014)
Back in September I was selected by Chisenhale Studios to join their emerging artists’ group ‘Into The Wild’. Alongside thirteen other recent graduates we met weekly for several months to discuss the practicalities of being an emerging artist and had a whole host of brilliant guest speakers to inspire us. The group is still going strong and after one successful show in Camden we’re now organising another London show in May. The group has provided an incredible support network which is something which can disappear after University. One of the things we’ve all taken away from ITW is the necessity to generate your own contexts, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
In January I was delighted to have been selected for the Catlin Guide 2015, a publication showcasing the forty most promising UK graduates.
(Sophie Dixon, Les Terrils (Video still), Lens residency, 2015)
This year I’m creating opportunities to with and alongside other artists. I’m currently in Lens, northen France working with the French artist Thibault Jehanne. We’re artists in residence for the Lens-Louvre-Tourism. It’s an ICR (Inter-regional Culture-led Regeneration) project to creatively explore the area which is often only visited for the Lens-Louvre, a multi-million extension from the Louvre in Paris. Not only has it been great to work so intensively in a new place, but it’s also been invaluable to work so closely with a very talented artist, particularly one who lives relatively near to this region.
I’ll be returning to Blast theory next month as an artist in residence, during which time I’ll be developing my work from Lens in preparation for an exhibition in Margate in May.
I’m making regular updates about the residency at www.sophie-dixon/lens