Platform Graduate Award 2018 - newsletter image

Image (clockwise from top left): Abbie Schug, Bethany Holden, Elizabeth Leonard, Travis O'Connor

MK Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of work by four promising graduates from three local universities. Now in its seventh year, the Platform Graduate Award is an initiative to support emerging graduate artistic talent to further their practice following graduation.

Devised in 2012 in collaboration with CVAN South East, the award is a partnership between five galleries: Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Turner Contemporary in Margate, and Modern Art Oxford.

Thirty-three graduates have been chosen from across seventeen universities, representing some of the finest emerging visual artists in the South East region. Their degree show work will be exhibited in each of the five partner galleries. One artist from each gallery has been nominated for the award - comprising a monetary award and a bespoke programme of professional development - with the winning artist announced at MK Gallery on 17 November by guest selector, artist Harold Offeh.

This year’s graduates selected by MK Gallery are Abbie Schug (University of Northampton), Bethany Holden (University of Bedfordshire), Elizabeth Leonard (University of Hertfordshire), and Travis O’Connor (University of Hertfordshire). 

Shortlisted for the award are Abbie Schug (University of Northampton), nominated by MK Gallery; Luke Dawes (Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford), nominated by Modern Art Oxford; Godith Hawkins (University of Brighton at Sussex Coast College Hastings), nominated by De La Warr Pavilion; Ronan Porter (University for the Creative Arts, UCA Canterbury), nominated by Turner Contemporary; and Josephine Rock (University for the Creative Arts, UCA Farnham), nominated by Aspex.

Anthony Spira, MK Gallery Director, said “Congratulations to the nominated artists who have demonstrated a real energy, enthusiasm and commitment to their practice, working with the teams at each partner gallery. 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”.

Visit Platform Graduate Award 2018 in MK Gallery’s Project Space from 2 - 24 November 2018. Admission is free. A public preview will take place on Thursday 1 November from 6.30-8.30pm and will include wine and refreshments. All are welcome.