The Platform Graduate Award 2017 Announcement © Stu Allsopp, courtesy of CVAN South East. Director of Modern Art Oxford Paul Hobson, Platform Graduate Award 2017 Winner Sophie Barber, Guest selector, Artist Rosalind Nashashibi.

CVAN South East, in partnership with five leading galleries from the South East region, is thrilled to announce that Fine Art graduate Sophie Barber is the winner of the Platform Graduate Award 2017.

Sophie, a graduate of the University of Brighton’s BA (Hons) Fine Art Practice at Sussex Coast College Hastings, will receive a twelve-month professional development and creative mentoring package, lead by artist Jonathan Parsons and supported by the participating Platform Graduate Award galleries, plus a bursary of £2,500 to support her creative and professional development.

The Jury comprised of guest selector artist Rosalind Nashishibi and representatives of the five gallery partners Aspex, De La Warr Pavilion, MK Gallery, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary. Paul Hobson, Director of Modern Art Oxford and Chair of CVAN South East, had this to say of their decision:

We are delighted to name Sophie Barber as the winner of the 2017 award. The shortlist once again showed an impressive range of graduate talent, but in the end we were all struck by the coherence of Sophie's painting pratice and her already confident and distinctive artistic voice.  We are convinced that Sophie will benefit greatly from the financial support and professional development opportunities that the Platform award offers, and we are excited to watch her practice and career develop in the coming years.

Winner Sophie Barber comments:

I'm ecstatic to have won the Platform Graduate Award 2017. Thank you to my tutors at Sussex Coast College for all of their support. Also thanks to Rosie Cooper and the team at De La Warr Pavilion for selecting me. I'm excited for what this year has to offer, and making the most of the award, and am looking forward to getting back in the studio painting.

Now in its sixth year, the Platform Graduate Award represents the very best of young and emerging artists in the region. Forty-one graduate artists from sixteen universities across the South East region were selected and exhibited at the five partner galleries. From each exhibition the host gallery nominated one artist to be considered for the award, with De La Warr Pavilion nominating Sophie Barber. From this shortlist and an interview process, the Jury chose Sophie Barber.

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