Aspex Portsmouth

Megan Georgia Smith

Megan Georgia Smith’s creative practice is centred around class, youth culture, and the condition of being human. Growing up in Aldershot, the imagery in her paintings is influenced by Megan’s own background, and her current social and cultural surroundings. Stereotypes of working-class folk and young people are a common motif in her works because these are the people she feels she most identifies with in society, as a 22-year-old from working-class roots. By amplifying such stereotypes, she illustrates a dark sense of humour, critiquing and mocking the idea that every working-class/young person can be categorized this way (when of course – they cannot).

During her residency at Aspex, Platform alumni Megan is hoping to create a new body of work that will respond to the shared struggles that young people, such as herself, have experienced, or are experiencing, living in Britain during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the works, these struggles will be juxtaposed, with ideas on how we might begin to offer young people a sense of hope, optimism, and utopian resolution going into the new year of 2022. These ideas and imaginations will stem from reflecting upon Megan’s own experiences of the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, and the major events that consequently occurred during her life, in the years that she celebrated her 21st and 22nd birthday.

Megan Georgia Smith previously participated in the Platform Graduate Award 2020 exhibition at Aspex.

Platform

The Platform Graduate Award is an initiative to support emerging artistic talent to further their practice following graduation, and has been running in the South East region since 2012. Platform aims to support emerging artists at a key moment of transition from university into the wider world.

The initiative is led by Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East (CVAN South East) in partnership between four galleries: Aspex Portsmouth, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, Modern Art Oxford, and Phoenix Art Space in Brighton.

CVAN South East

CVAN South East (Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East) is a regional network of visual arts organisations that work collaboratively and with the wider South East visual arts sector to collectively deliver a strong visual arts offer for artists and audiences alike, developing partnerships, research projects, artists’ commissions and professional development.

A major element of its programme is the Platform Graduate Award that it has managed since 2012. The network is supported by Arts Council England.