CVAN South East is pleased to welcome Turner Prize winner Tai Shani to the selection panel for the 2020 Platform Graduate Award, and to announce the twenty-eight exhibiting artists.

One of the artists to receive this prestigious nomination is Despina Kaklamanou

Born on 5th of February 1998 from a Greek Cypriot mother and Greek American Father.  Studied ΒΑ Fine Art at the university of creative arts in Canterbury and graduated with First Class Honours. Planning to do my MA in Contemporary Art in Sotheby’s Institute of Arts in London.

Despina Kaklamanou uses installation, video and photography to explore themes of self-discovery, asking questions about the artist’s – and the viewer’s – identity. Mirrors play a central role, both as a mechanism for self-confrontation, and as a means of offering new and shifting perspectives. “Projections in mirrors allow me to play with space and create optical illusions that challenge the way the audience can experience the work,” she states. Kaklamanou’s work also investigates the connections between the mirror and the camera lens – opening up a dialogue between the two.
View her exhibition by clicking on link below


28 graduate artists have been selected from 11 universities by four network partners from the South East region; Aspex PortsmouthModern Art OxfordPhoenix Art Space, Brighton, and Turner Contemporary Margate

Established in 2012, the Platform Graduate Award is designed to support emerging graduate artistic talent, and to help further their practice following graduation.  The award includes a £2,000 bursary and 12-months of mentoring support from a practicing artist.

With selection taking place through the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, CVAN South East, the participating Universities and partner venues are all the more delighted to be able to offer this programme of support and to announce the following selected artists:

From Aspex in Portsmouth; Louise Hall and Evie Redwood (Arts University Bournemouth), Chloe Davies and Daniel Martirossian (University of Chichester),  Megan Georgia Smith and Kayleigh Pyner (Solent University, Southampton), Caitlin Jackson and Ellen Ball (UCA Farnham), Caitlin Holford and Katie Novell (University of Portsmouth), and Emma Siân Davies and Maryam Zahra Kazimi (Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton)

From Modern Art OxfordJames Scott and Mihaela Man (Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford), Khadija Niang and Natalie Sired (University of Reading)

From Phoenix Art Space in Brighton; Charlotte Guérard, Rachel Atkinson, and Ursula Vargas (University of Brighton); Jessica Davis and Leanne Jones-Starr (East Sussex College Hastings).

From Turner Contemporary in Margate Admire Ncube, Bie Wright, Despina Kaklamanou, Poppy Gentlemen, Racheal Ayodele, Rosamond Boughton, Samuel Vilanova, Teddie Newton (University for the Creative Arts).

Reflecting on this year’s awards, CVAN South East Manager, Oliver Sumner comments:


I’d like to pay tribute to our incredible venue and university partners for their determination to stage the award in what, by any measure, has been a tough year for artists and organisations alike. In a combination of online and physical displays, they will give important exposure to the region’s brightest talents, from a cohort whose degree shows were severely disrupted by Covid-19. We are very excited that Turner Prize 2019 joint winner, Tai Shani, will join our selection panel and we look forward to working with all our exhibiting artists”

Participating venue partner Sarah Davies, Director at Phoenix Art Space, Brighton joins the Platform Graduate Award for the first time this year and comments:


“Phoenix Art Space is delighted to be taking part in the Platform Graduate Award for the first time. In this extraordinarily challenging year when universities and galleries have had to close their doors, support for graduates entering an uncertain landscape is needed more urgently than ever. The Platform Graduate Award 2020 enables us to join our network partners in revealing the high quality and diversity of practice that continues to emerge from the eleven participating art schools”

The exhibitions will take place at each participating venue with a combination of online and physical exhibitions, from August 2020 to January 2021.

Exhibition Dates: 

  • Aspex, Portsmouth18th September – 20th December 2020 (physical exhibition)
  • Phoenix Art Space, Brighton: 7th November – 13th December 2020 (physical exhibition)
  • Turner Contemporary, Margate14th September 2020 – 3rd Jan 2021  (online exhibition)
  • Modern Art Oxford: 2nd – 18th October 2020 (Khadija Niang), 19th – 25th October 2020 (Natalie Sired), 26th October – 1st November 2020 (James Scott), 2nd – 8th November 2020 (Mihaela Man) (online exhibitions)



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