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Platform 20 (15 January – 15 February 2021) features five Sheffield based artists: James Clarkson, Maud Haya-Bavièra, Victoria Lucas, Conor Rogers and Joanna Whittle and presents a fascinating insight into the artists’ work-in-progress developed during their two-year residency with Sheffield’s visual arts organisations.

Platform is an established artistic development programme at Site Gallery which allows artists to explore new ideas in a public space, testing new thinking and research with engaged audiences. For this edition, the exhibition will be presented at Site Gallery, Yorkshire Artspace and Bloc Projects.

The artists began their residencies in 2019 and are five of twenty from the Sheffield City Region, taking part in a rolling five-year initiative funded through the Freelands Artists Programme. Each artist receives a two-year paid residency which includes investment in professional development, production as well as opportunities to exhibit.

Artists exhibiting at Site Gallery:

  • Maud Haya-Bavièra makes work characterised by themes of identity and cultural belonging and how one influences the other. She works with a variety of different mediums, ranging from sculpture to photography, drawing and new media.
  • Victoria Lucas, often incorporates sculptural elements with video, photography, sound and performance as part of an installation-based practice. She works in response to geographic place, undertaking fieldwork and drawing from associated cultural references. A process of reclamation takes place through these multifaceted references, ultimately renegotiating women’s social and psychological positions in place.
  • Joanna Whittle, is a painter who also uses ceramics as part of her practice. Her paintings unravel traditional landscape tropes; creating rich and seductive miniature paintings which draw the viewer into an uneasy world. 

Artist exhibiting at Bloc Projects:

  • James Clarkson is interested in understanding the relationship between everyday objects, culture and technology. This investigation is underpinned by a fetishised interest into materiality; his sculptures sometimes exist as a bricolage of hacked up, raw edged, repurposed objects and at other times are shiny, slick, glossy replicas.

Artist exhibiting at Yorkshire Artspace, Persistence Works: 

  • Conor Rogers works primarily focus on painting though also translate into sculpture and poetry. His art practice is influenced by a very personal relationship he has with a time or place, combined with a critical approach towards painting as an object. The subjects of his ideas touch upon concerns/interests towards our everyday British environments, daily happenings, cultural identities, and the sense of self in Northern Britain.

Platform is funded by The Freelands Foundation through the The Freelands Artists Programme. The Freelands Foundation was created to support artists and cultural institutions, to broaden audiences for the visual arts; and to enable all young people to engage actively with the creation and enjoyment of art.

Programme partners: Site Gallery, Bloc Projects, Museums Sheffield, S1 Artspace, and Yorkshire Artspace.

Artists

James Clarkson lives and works in Sheffield. He is interested in understanding the relationship between everyday objects, culture and technology. This investigation is underpinned by a fetishised interest into materiality; his sculptures sometimes exist as a bricolage of hacked up, raw edged, repurposed objects and at other times are shiny, slick, glossy replicas. Through this duality between reframing and replicating his work finds a playful approach to unpicking the speculative interconnectivity of things. Clarkson’s sculptures appear as ghostly bodies, which act as a reflection of where we are now.

Previous exhibitions include Automatic, Jeanroch Dard, Paris; Twin Tone Lustre, DREI, Cologne; Abstracts for a Cascade Garden, Supplement Gallery, London and A Painted Sun as a Yellow Spot, Rod Barton Gallery, London. Recent group exhibitions include; The Twin, Coventry Biennial, Coventry; A Strange Weave of Time and Space, Site Gallery Sheffield; Light Observed, Karst, Plymouth; Construction House, S1 Artspace, Sheffield; The Collection Stripped Bare, Lab Bel Collection, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dole; About Sculpture #3, Rolando Anselmi, Berlin; Graphic Design, Futura Project, Prague; Burned by the Sun, Mallorca Landings, Mallorca; I Can’t See Anyone Else in Here Smiling, DREI, Cologne and Wearing Potentiality, Paradise Row, London. 

James has participated in a number of collaborative projects including the touring exhibition /|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/| with Haroon Mirza; he has co-curated the exhibitions Pavilion, David Dale Gallery Glasgow and Apples and Pears, DREI, Cologne; and is co-founder of itinerant curatorial platform Basic Channel Projects.

 

Maud Haya-Bavièra was born in France and currently lives and works in Sheffield, UK. Her recent works, Things Fall Apart and Wish you were here respond to a sense of isolation heightened by recent times. Within these works, several distinct cultural histories convene, which have been playfully appropriated to question past representations and to construct new narratives. Her current interest lies in collecting images that have migrated through different cultural perspectives; this includes postcards, films, advertisements, TV series and archives.  This material is digitised to create moving images that are intense and emotional fabulations able to convey both personal and social histories.

In 2004, she graduated from a five-year’s Master Degree in Fine Art, Diplôme National Supérieur D’Expression Plastique, at L’Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Lyon, France. She has exhibited her work in solo capacity and in group shows nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include, Some Palaces, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany (2019). Other recent exhibitions and screenings include SALTO Verbindt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2019), Doc/Fest, Global Citizens Strand screenings, Sheffield, UK (2019), In Common, The University of Derby, UK (2019), Anonyme Zeichner, Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin, Germany (2018), Moving Image Festival, Balaclafa Carn, Caernarfon, Wales (2018),Traverse Vidéo, Institut Supérieur d’Arts, Toulouse, France (2017), Objets Singuliers, 34th Festival International De Court Métrage, Aix-en-Provence, France (2016), Contemporary Art Ruhr, Directors Lounge, Essen Zollverein, Germany (2016), Light Night, One Minute, Liverpool, England (2016), Obliqua, Fábrica Braço de Prata, Lisbon, Portugal (2016), Ex-Ca-Vate-Site-Two, Schwartz Gallery, London, England (2015). 

She has received a number of awards in relation to international projects and towards the production of new works. In 2012, she received a Research and Development Award by the Arts Council England for projects in Germany and England, and in 2014, an YVAN award and an a-n Bursary Award. In 2018, she was awarded a grant by Making Ways, for the Research and Development of a video work, which explores the repercussions of the Spanish Civil War over different generations. Between 2018 and 2019 she was artist in residence at The University of Derby, UK. Most recently, in 2019, she was invited to undertake an Artist Residency at the prestigious Künstlerhaus in Dortmund, Germany. 

 

Victoria Lucas lives and works in Sheffield. She often incorporates sculptural elements with video, photography, sound and performance as part of an installation-based practice. She works in response to geographic place, undertaking fieldwork and drawing from associated cultural references. Recent works have incorporated theatrical, set-like constructions that frame characters and narratives, devised to playfully re-agitate the voice of women found in cinema, literature, media and mythology. Many of these characters have been created in response to archival documents, revealing lost, erased and forgotten voices; whilst others draw from cinematic and media derived tropes that project inaccurate and outdated variations of femininity. A process of reclamation takes place through these multifaceted references, ultimately renegotiating women’s social and psychological positions in place.

Victoria has exhibited in solo exhibitions at Grizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia; Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent; Chiara Williams Contemporary at London Art Fair; Haarlem Artspace, Matlock and HOME, Manchester. She has exhibited in group shows at Casa Maauad, Mexico City; 91mq Gallery, Berlin; Millennium Galleries, Sheffield and The Front, New Orleans. She holds a BA in Fine Art Sculpture from Norwich School of Art (2004) and an MFA in Fine Art from The University of Leeds (2007). Commissions include a permanent touchscreen artwork for the NHS Wilberforce Health Centre in Hull, a neon artwork for the Leeds Arts University collection and a video artwork for the National Portrait Gallery, London. Lucas won the SOLO award™ in 2016, and has artworks in public and private collections, such as the Tate Archive, MOMA New York, V&A museum and The Media Math collection.

 

Conor Rogers is an award winning Sheffield-based artist and graduate of Sheffield Hallam University. In 2019 he won the 1st Prize at the UK Young Artist of year award held at Saatchi gallery, London. His works primarily focus on painting though his work also translates into sculpture and poetry. Specifically for the work presented for Platform, he focused on using the paddling pool as an art object. His art practice is influenced by a very personal relationship he has with a time or place, combined with a critical approach towards painting as an object. The subjects of his ideas touch upon concerns/interests towards our everyday British environments, daily happenings, cultural identities, and the sense of self in Northern Britain.

He was shortlisted for the John Moores painting prize 2014, and exhibited as a part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015 at Primary, Nottingham & ICA, London. Selected shows include Manchester and New York with Paper Gallery 2014, Scottish Queen Gallery, Sheffield 2015. He took part in UKYA’s Festival in Derby 2016, and represented the UK at the ‘Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale’, Albania 2017. He was Shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize 2017 and exhibited in a group show for the British Council and UKYA in South Korea’s National Assembly. In 2018, he presented work in ‘Malevolent Eldritch Shrieking’ curated by Paul Morrison at Attercliffe TM Sheffield. He was again shortlisted for the ‘Agent of Change’ John Ruskin Prize 2019 exhibition in Manchester. In October 2019 Conor was named as the 1st Prize winner of the Robert Walters Group UK Young Artist of the Year Award held at the Saatchi Gallery London.

 

Joanna Whittle is a painter who also uses ceramics as part of her practice. She is a member of the Contemporary British Painting Society and studied Painting at Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art. Her paintings unravel traditional landscape tropes; creating rich and seductive miniature paintings which draw the viewer into an uneasy world. They are highly detailed but also contain contradictions which erode certainty so that they become like hallucinations, which yet remain stubbornly painterly and viscous. The temporary structures she depicts such as tents, shelters and fairground facades  describe fragile and moveable realities. But rather than moving, these makeshift structures sit in mud or water, vulnerable to time like weather brittle ruins.  Within these works Whittle explores themes of ungroundedness and loss; of shifting perspectives and hidden activities and the residue of these in the landscape. Her ceramics emerge as artefacts from invented worlds and lost islands, taking the form of objects borne from rituals or ephemeral souvenir objects.  In both practices Whittle presents the unreal as factual and explores different methods of display to authenticate this.

She studied at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art and has had solo exhibitions at Agnews and the Museum of London, whilst taking part in numerous group shows including, most recently, Bethlehem Boys Club at Sidney& Matilda (2018), Confluence at the Herrick Gallery London and Bloc Projects (2018), John Moores Painting Prize Exhibition (2018), RA Summer Exhibition  (2019) and  ‘The Immaculate Dream’ at Collyer Bristow Gallery (2019). Recently she has undertaken public commissions including producing work for Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust. In 2019 she curated landscape exhibition, ‘Flat+Earth’, at Sidney+Matilda Gallery, Sheffield and is joint winner of the Harley Gallery Open Prize(2019). She was also winner of the Contemporary British Painting Prize (2019). 

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