Edinburgh Art Festival announce Platform: 2020 showcase
- Deborah Chu
- 20 October 2020
The annual exhibition, designed to promote early career artists, features works from Rabindranath A Bhose, Mark Bleakley, Rhona Jack and Susannah Stark
Edinburgh Art Festival have announced the full details of this year's Platform, their annual showcase of four Scottish artists in the early stages of their career. The chosen artists this year are Rabindranath A Bhose, Mark Bleakley, Rhona Jack and Susannah Stark. As part of their selection – which was carried out by artist Ruth Ewan and curator Sophia Hao – each artist was supported to create new work, and now the public will be able to view the fruits of their labour and creative vision at City Art Gallery from Sat 31 Oct–Sun 29 Nov.
Though the Edinburgh Art Festival – alongside Edinburgh's other August festivals – was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision was made to delay Platform. Happily, with the easing of restrictions, the exhibition is now able to go ahead at the end of this month, with new safety measures in place at the venue. Though each artist's practice and medium differs, certain themes resonating to this challenging time in our history can be found throughout their work, 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.'
Bhose's work – a large-scale vinyl drawing composed of signs and words – will dive into queer modes of living, exploring their relationship to survival strategies. Drawing upon autobiographical and mythological elements, the work will be presented alongside a text Bhose has written during lockdown, and will be read aloud by his partner.
Meanwhile, Bleakley's works will draw upon his experience as a choreographer to explore the poetics of weight, gravity and their relationship to collectivity. Emphasising the importance of being in space together, this new work will use found footage, as well as film documentation from a movement workshop, to highlight ideas around grounding, groundlessness and inertia.
Jack will be presenting a series of textile-based sculptural works, crafted from recycled materials and old clothing. These stitched hangings, woven rugs and more will draw attention to the rampant consumerism and waste which drives our economy, and how the mass production of the fashion industry is diametrically opposed to the personal narratives we often place upon our clothing.
Stark's audio soundscapes and moving collages draw upon Scottish history, using a variety of field recordings, song fragments, postcards and property adverts to highlight different modes of 'seeing' and the various emotional frequencies at play within images. The artist will also be displaying a series of floor-based sculptures crafted from natural and synthetic found objects, which are suggestive of meditating bodies.
Sorcha Carey, Director of the Edinburgh Art Festival, says of this year's Platform exhibition: 'During what has been an exceptionally challenging time for cultural organisations across the country, and for individual artists and freelance workers in particular, we are so pleased to be able to support 4 artists based in Scotland to make and present new work.
We look forward to sharing an exciting next generation of artists with audiences – and as artists and colleagues across the visual art sector continue to face considerable uncertainty, we encourage anyone who feels passionate about art and its importance to our society, to do what they can to support artists and galleries in their local community.'
Platform: 2020 will run at City Art Gallery from Sat 31 Oct–Sun 29 Nov. For more information, visit edinburghartfestival.com