Molly Erin Mc Carthy work at Leadworks

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Graduates and staff from Plymouth College of Art to show at Plymouth Contemporary 2021

Students and staff from Plymouth College of Art have been selected to showcase their work at the Plymouth Contemporary 2021.

The Plymouth Contemporary 2021 exhibition takes place from 7 July - 5 September 2021, and showcases the work of contemporary artists, working nationally and internationally. This year, for it’s third iteration, a line up of 29 artists will showcase 44 pieces of work, all all exploring what 'Making It' might mean in terms of contemporary art practice in 2021.

Run by teams from University of Plymouth’s Arts Institute, The Box and KARST, the Plymouth Contemporary supports new ideas and a risk-taking approach across all artforms, with previously featured artists such as Naomi Frears, Thomas Goddard and Michael Cox going on to achieve national and international success.

Selected by the panel to feature in this year’s exhibition are two talented former Plymouth College of Art students: Foundation Diploma graduate Kez Dearmer and graduate Molly Erin McCarthy.

Molly Erin McCarthy

Work by Molly Erin Mcarthy, BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate.

Molly started her journey at Plymouth College of Art in 2016 on our Foundation Diploma at our dedicated Pre-Degree campus, then progressing on to study BA (Hons) Fine Art at our HE campus at Tavistock Place. Molly’s work explores the relationship between real life and digital environments, drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources from video games to architecture.

Kez Dearmer also graduated from our Foundation Diploma at Palace Court in 2015, progressing on to study BA (Hons) Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts.

Abstract contemporary paintings by Kez Dearmer

Work by Kez Dearmer, Pre-Degree Foundation Diploma in Art & Design graduate.

Plymouth College of Art BA (Hons) Illustration Lecturer Bridgette Ashton was also selected to feature in the show. Bridgette’s sculptures unlock and highlight forgotten stories from Plymouth’s rich heritage. Bridgette’s work engages with The Box’s Mayflower 400 exhibition and its themes of identity, diversity and migration, as well as some of its collections.

The selected artists chosen for this year's exhibition are: Camilla Alberti, Chris Alton, Bridgette Ashton, Bruce Asbestos, Kelly Best (+ Herbivore), Harriet Bowman, Caroline Bugby, Gordon Dalton, Kez Dearmer, Stephanie Douet, Nick Ervinck, Rosalind Faram, Damian Griffiths, Andy Harper, Sadie Hennessy, Will Hughes, Seungjo Jeong, Dean Knight, Molly Erin McCarthy, Charlotte McGuinness, James Moore, Paula Morison, Sang-Mi Rha, Janet Sainsbury, Anna Chrystal Stephens, Jennifer Taylor, Marianne Walker, Kate Williams and K. Yoland.

Artists were selected by a panel of curators, art directors, artists and professionals from three key cultural change-makers within Plymouth: The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth; The Box and KARST, the largest independent, artist-led contemporary art venue in the region. The selection panel included renowned artist Heather Phillipson and independent arts consultant, writer and mentor Manick Govinda. Together with the rest of the panel they considered the submissions and selected the final line up.

Worths Folly sculptures by Bridgette Ashton

Work by BA (Hons) Illustration lecturer Bridgette Ashton.

Since it’s 2015 launch, the Plymouth Contemporary continues to support new ideas and a risk-taking approach across all art forms. Ben Borthwick, Head of Creative Programme at KARST, said: “Plymouth Contemporary 2021 will be the first time KARST reopens its doors to the public since a major refurbishment and upgrade of our building. We can’t wait to invite visitors back into our massively improved space to see the exciting range of works on display. KARST is really pleased to have partnered on Plymouth Contemporary since it was created as it continues to go from strength to strength.”

The 2021 open call resulted in more than 130 submitted proposals from across Europe and America, all interpreting “Making It” in their own unique way. Some focused on the act of making or shaping a physical work or idea. Others interpreted the brief in terms of success, or making a difference to people or the community.

Jennifer Taylor, ‘Lunar Dawn’, 2020, Digital Photographic Print, 60 x 42 cm

Jennifer Taylor, ‘Lunar Dawn’, 2020, Digital Photographic Print, 60 x 42 cm

The exhibition will run across two venues, The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth and KARST from 7 July to 5 September 2021, with The Plymouth Contemporary Awards evening taking place online on Friday 13 August, where you’ll have the chance to virtually meet the curators, Ben Borthwick from KARST, and Mary Costello from The Arts Institute. The prizes include the Plymouth Contemporary Award (£2,500) and the New Artist Award (£1,000) which is open to current students or graduates from 2018 - 2020.

Visit the exhibitions for your chance to cast your in-person vote for the Audience Choice Award, with the winners being announced in September.

The Levinsky Gallery opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
KARST opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Free admission, no booking required.