Mas Weeb, C1ML, 2016, wood, bark, twine, vine, rope, scrim, string, metal, copper. Image courtesy the artist.
Daniel Owusu, Close Up, 2016, installation at the University of Kent. Image courtesy the artist
Sariya Suwannakarn, Declaring Individuality, 2016. Image courtesy the artist
Kayleigh Baker, Born to Die, 2015, medicine pots containing sugar. Image courtesy the artist.
Jessica Gronlund, Untitled (detail), 2016, linoprint. Image courtesy the artist.
George Morl, Precious Boys, 2016, Plaster, exterior paint, ink, sugar, salt. Image courtesy the artist.
This summer, Turner Contemporary showcases the talent of emerging artists from Kent, as part of the Platform Graduate Award.
Aiming to support graduate professional development and nurture new talent, this year's Platform exhibition includes the work of six graduates from three Kent Universities:
Daniel Owusu (The University of Kent)
George Morl (University for the Creative Arts)
Jessica Grønlund (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Kayleigh Baker (University for the Creative Arts)
Mas Weeb (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Sariya Suwannakarn (The University of Kent)
The six artists work in a range of media from sculpture and printmaking to installation, film and performance; incorporating a range of materials including DNA data, salt, wood, games, plaster and found recycled objects. Their works draw on themes of youth, mental health, colonialism, technology, identity, the body and the changing environment.
The Platform Graduate Award is organised by a coalition of visual arts organisations in the South East, including Turner Contemporary; Aspex, Portsmouth; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea; Milton Keynes Gallery and Modern Art Oxford, and has been initiated by CVAN (Contemporary Visual Art Network South East). Each organisation exhibits work by selected graduates from within their immediate geographical reach.
One artist from each gallery will be put forward to be considered for the Platform Graduate Award. The winner of this year’s Award will be announced on Saturday 5th November at Turner Contemporary.
About the artists:
Daniel Owusu (b. 1994, Hanau, Germany) spent his early childhood years living in Ghana and moved to Britain at the age of 7. He has always had a keen interest in making and inventing things. Daniel recently graduated from the University of Kent with a First class degree in Fine Art.
Daniel’s work is deep rooted in his passion and love for melody, rhythm and film. As a child, his grandmother always urged him to go to the front and sing at church whilst the pastor called for testimonials. He describes these moments as ‘pressing toothpaste from the bottom’. His practice combines memory with an investigation of the processes and legacy of colonialism. For the University of Kent 2016 degree show, Daniel staged a performance which juxtaposed the spatial features of a tennis court and an exam room, inviting visitors to come and sit an exam. As Daniel continues to develop, he wishes to continue creating as a means to keep learning.
George Morl (b.1994,Basildon, Essex) studied at the University for the Creative Arts. In work and in life Morl follows the principle that ‘there can be no greater education than through experience’. As a child, Morl was a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital where he began associating materials with emotions and exploring the sensory components of environments. Resulting sculptures, installations, and paintings are concerned with reproducing psychological episodes while depicting the often disguised events of adolescence within a society that still neglects its youth, concerning themes such as autism, mental health, sexuality, gender identity, war and violence.
Morl is the founder of an independent publishing initiative Orange Orient Books and his publications include Sepia Solace (2015), Vials of Vigils (2016) and Pubescent Plumesv(2016).
In 2016, Morl jointly won the UCA Vice Chancellor’s Award and was nominated for the CRATE Graduate Project Space Award. He is currently writing a musical-poetic-novella titled Precious Boys: Flight of the Abstruse Angels.
Jessica Grønlund (b. 1995 Vejle, Denmark) moved from Denmark to Cambridge in 2004. Her recent prints, textiles and drawings explore medical and scientific themes, examining the fine line between the harshness of illness and the hidden visual beauty seen only under the microscope. Her artwork is a journey through the layers of the human body, right to the very microscopic parts invisible to the human body. Grønlund is influenced by her curiosity about the workings of the human body and her work is informed by her job in an internationally recognised Cardiothoracic Specialist Hospital.
She completed a BA Fine and Applied Art degree at Canterbury Christchurch University in 2016.
Kayleigh’s art work intertwines both art and psychiatry, whilst exploring today’s modern medical interventions. Too often with illness, we are confined to our pharmaceutically prescribed lives, however, what if one could consider medicine as an art form and in turn art as a medicine form? Kayleigh’s work seeks to confront and challenge our social norms in relation to mental illness. Often her work seeks to offer a balance between illness and recovery, strength and delicacy, beauty and repulsion.
Baker (b.1993, Kent, UK) lives and work in Canterbury and has recently graduated from The University For The Creative Arts achieving a First Class Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Art. During 2015 she held her first solo Exhibition Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? at Kings College London.
Mas Weeb (b.1982, Margate, Kent) lives in Birchington, a small coastal town not far from Turner Contemporary, and has always lived and worked in Thanet. His early experiences at a primary school in a small rural village between Thanet and Canterbury shaped his appreciation for the natural world and his concerns for the environment, now expressed in his artwork.
Weeb attended college in Thanet and then began working in the insurance sector. He decided to leave what he saw as an uninspiring industry to follow his creative passion. His practice is driven by a desire to resist the familiar and explores the oftern-negative environmental impacts of human intervention in the natural environment. Weeb has collaborated with the Marlow Theatre's production of The Rights of Others (2015) and recently completed a combined honors degree in Digital Media and Fine and Applied Arts at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Sariya Suwannakarn (b.1995, Phuket, Thailand) has always been interested in the connections between art and science. Her work explores how the two fields can be integrated and experiments with different media ranging from installations to performances which reflect her thoughts at shifting points of her life.
Suwannakarn questions how we project and consume information through social platforms in cyberspace. She investigates the interconnections of self, identity, technology and data focusing on the reduction and expansion of our existence and identity within biological and virtual form. She uses her DNA and her social media profiles as her materials to create carefully constructed visual, haptic and sonic environment.
Suwannakarn is a graduate from the University of Kent. She was involved in various exhibitions such as, Waiting Room, Chatham (2015) University of Kent Degree Show (2016) and her solo exhibition, <!Declaring Individuality> (2015). She was a recipient of the Art Scholarship (2010-2013) from the former Dulwich International College in Phuket, her hometown. Her work was short-listed for the ROSL’s Young Artist of Thailand (2012) and was exhibited around Thailand.