Despite the cancellation of the festival this year, we are delighted to still be able to present Platform – the festival’s annual showcase supporting artists in the early stages of their careers to make and present new work – with a physical exhibition in the Autumn.
Selected from an open call by artist Ruth Ewan, and curator, Sophia Hao, (Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), four artists based in Scotland – Rabindranath Bhose, Mark Bleakley, Rhona Jack and Susannah Stark – have been supported to make and present new work.
Across each of the artists’ individual practice, a number of themes and approaches are particularly resonant for our present times including: the aesthetics of the collective, the intense vitality of ‘being together’ in space; strategies for survival; and the importance of the sense of touch.
Mark Bleakley’s work with choreography grounds his concerns with movement, gesture and weight, and the political contexts of bodies together in space, such as in mosh-pits, raves or acts of protest. Similarly, for Rabindranath A Bhose, collaborative practice is at the foreground of their activities, which explore queer modes of living and relating as expansive strategies for survival, through live performance and text. In Rhona Jack’s work the lines between art, craft and design are blurred, with a strong focus on the importance of making and craft; through tactile sculptural installations she explores cycles of labour, production, consumption and waste. Working with sound installation and moving collages, Susannah Stark draws on historical research into the development of 'private property' in Scotland and on personal experiences of communal living/cohabitation, illness, care and desire, to imagine human domestic landscapes of the present and future.
Hear from the participating artists and curator Abigail Webster in this short introduction to the exhibition:
View the Platform: 2020 booklet, including accompanying text by Adam Benmakhlouf:
Rabindranath Bhose lives and works in Glasgow. He graduated from Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University in 2016, and completed the School of the Damned alternative Fine Art Programme in 2019.
Mark Bleakley lives and works in Glasgow. He graduated from Newcastle University in 2013 with a BA in Fine Art Practice.
Rhona Jack lives and works in Dundee. She graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, in 2017.
Susannah Stark lives and works in Glasgow. She graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, with an MA in Print in 2016, and from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen with a BA in Printmaking in 2011.
Platform: 2020 is made possible thanks to the PLACE Programme, a partnership between Edinburgh Festivals, Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland.