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Platform 2016 is the fifth edition of the annual region-wide project created to support new graduate artistic talent across the south east of England.

The emerging artists selected to participate graduated in 2016 from Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and Reading University. The three artists will present their work in a series of consecutive solo exhibitions hosted in Modern Art Oxford’s Project Space.

Platform was devised in 2012 in collaboration with the Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East (CVAN) and is a partnership between five galleries; Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Turner Contemporary in Margate, and Modern Art Oxford. Each organisation selects graduates from their local universities to participate in the exhibitions and award programme.

Elizabeth Holmes, Oxford Brookes University

Elizabeth Holmes uses her own body to illustrate the pressure put upon all women to adhere to the modern day image of femininity. Through her photography, she models pieces of ‘clothing’ made and designed by herself, that aim to perfect the shape of the female form.

To be born a woman is to be born within an allotted and confined space. Taught to continually survey herself and persuaded to loathe what she sees, a woman truly can have no freedom from her own body.

Multinational companies create products for women to ‘solve’ this self-loathing, which only acts to further the problem, making the natural form aesthetically unacceptable. Clothing, cosmetics and healthcare have become tailored to alter our bodies to an idealised image of beauty. It is such that our psyche has been altered to be disappointed or elated when we are able to force our larger-than-desired thighs into a pair of jeans considered to be of an ideal size. Society demands that women remain small in stature and voice.

The constructed idea of female beauty created by our phallocentric society is an issue Holmes confronts in her photography, depicting the strains and discomfort synonymous with accepted modern and historical feminine practices. By manipulating the female body beyond its natural limits, Holmes aims to represent the pressure upon all women to fit within the idealised framework of femininity. 

Download the Platform 2016 exhibition guide here: Platform 2016 Exhibition Guide