Show image caption Photo: Rob Harris

Portfolio 2020: Places and Spaces

Turner Contemporary and Canterbury Christ Church University’s Portfolio competition recognises and celebrates the creative talents of pupils, students, educators and community groups across Kent and Medway.

Due to the closure of the gallery as a result of Covid-19, Turner Contemporary were unfortunately unable to host the annual exhibition at the gallery this year, but we are proud to be sharing the winning works in this online gallery. Scroll through the page below to enjoy all of this year’s brilliant prizewinning submissions, which appear in the form of an image, sound or video. You can also go straight to the bottom of this page to see each image in full-view.

This year’s theme is Places and Spaces , inspired by and celebrating the places that we inhabit. This year’s submissions were hugely imaginative and insightful, many encouraging us to look at the everyday through a new perspective, and others responding to powerful themes such as the environment, migration and personal histories. Overwhelmingly, entries touched on reflections and explorations of life in lockdown.

Portfolio is run by Turner Contemporary in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University.

'Places and Spaces' by Henri

Henri arranged the cars in full colour range and carefully constructed the composition using space and placement. Henri loves cars and chose this idea for his artwork.

Henri, Runner Up - Ages 4 & 5 (Reception and Foundation)

'Butterfly' by Emily

Butterfly painted en plain air in watercolour on 10×6 inch board by Emily. We were looking for the most beautiful things we could find at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. Emily briefly saw a butterfly and painted in from memory.

Emily, Winner - Ages 4 & 5 (Reception and Foundation)

'The place and space in my head; looking out the window' by Beatrix

This was painted when looking out of the window during self–isolation due to Covid – 19 ‘It is me looking outside and imagining what I see’.

Beatrix, Runner Up - Ages 5-7 (Years 1 & 2)

'My Happy Planet' by Elina

I would like to change the World into a better place to live. Birds dropping happiness from their beaks so that everyone has a lovely day, no plastic waste in the city and lots of trees. The Gingerbread Man building to remind people to always recycle and respect one another and our planet.

Elina, Winner: Ages 5-7 (Years 1 & 2)

'Hearty Fairy Village' by Renee

My artwork is about a place I would love to live in full of love colours and magical fairies

Renee, Winner: Ages 5-7 (Years 1 & 2)

'Places are Lost; New Spaces are Found' by Domantas

All around the world, people undertake journeys, often in extreme circumstances. There isn’t always time to pack and say goodbye. Places are lost and new spaces are found. What would you take with you? How would you travel? Where would you go?

Domantas, Highly Commended - Ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)

'Moon' by Thomas

The moon sits in space but it also sits in other spaces on earth like between the mountains and in its reflection in the water. It is where space meets earth.

Thomas, Runner Up - Ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)

'If Maidstone was Cardboard' by Senacre Wood Primary School

Year 6 have been studying maps and were challenged to create a 3D map of Maidstone in their art lessons. They wrote a list of the most well-known buildings in the town and decided to make the artwork completely out of cardboard, as recycling is such an important issue at the moment. They really focussed on the texture, form and space of the work and then involved the rest of the school by challenging them all to create some cardboard houses. They worked with the other classes and taught them the skills involved to do this. Year 6 turned the hall into a cardboard model village and invited the other children and parents to come and view it. Everyone really enjoyed taking photos in the town which they named ‘Card Stone’ and our Reception Class pretended to be giants and took some photos to inspire their story writing. After that we discussed the best way to display some of the buildings to create a photo that would represent Maidstone. We agreed to stack up some of the buildings to make the best use of the space and one of our Year 6 Arts Council representatives took the photo. You might be able to spot Leeds Castle, St Martin’s Church and the Archbishop’s Palace to name but a few!

Senacre Wood, Winner: Ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)

'Sydney the Turtle' by Grace

This is about all the plastic in the ocean.

Grace, Highly Commended: Ages 11- 14 (Years 7-9)

'Beach Sun' by Anna

After looking at the artist, Andy Goldsworthy, I was inspired to visit the local beach and make small still life arrangements out of found natural objects. I really like the way the sun is piercing through the shells and stones.

Anna, Runner up: Ages 11-14 (Years 7-9)

'Glamposts' by Veronica

I decided to design more glamorous lampposts to make the streets a more exciting place to be. i thought it fitted with the theme of places and spaces because it’s improving the places and spaces we live in by turning the ordinary (like lampposts) into extraordinary.

Veronica, Winner: Ages 11-14 (Years 7-9)

'Jungle Eyes' by Amelia

Going beyond the cliché of ‘a leopard can’t change it’s spots this work explores the notion that the spots can change the leopard. The spotted orchid displays markings similar to the leopard but these spots are used for an entirely different purpose – attraction rather than concealment. Here the leopard is leading the light into the darkness; this contrasts with how we normally perceive shadow in terms of depth and shelter. The symbolism behind this piece represents psychological camouflage and the fine line between victim and victory both in the natural and man-made worlds.

Amelia, Highly Commended: Ages 14-16 (Years 10&11)

'The Spaces Between Places' by Ashlyn

My piece aims to portray the wonders of the Chinese culture and celebrates the spaces that make up the places that they call “home”. The use of the collage format was to incorporate as much of the culture as possible onto the page in order to fill and overflow the space. Our places, spaces, homes and cultures are not only affected by our circumstances, as seen in the current global pandemic; but also shaped by past events in history which serves as a reminder of the resilience of mankind, an encouragement for us to rise up and overcome and to highlight the importance of preserving the places, spaces and cultures that we call “home” for generations to come.

Ashlyn, Runner up: Ages 14-16 (Years 10&11)

'Out a Window' by Hannah

My painting reflects on how we are experiencing the outside world through a window, and how we are stuck inside whilst our ordinary lives are waiting just beyond the glass.

Hannah, Winner: Ages 14-16 (Years 10&11)

'Carcass Unknown' by WingZi

I took this photo in a food market in GuangZhou, China. The lighting that they use in the markets to make the meat look fresh. I captured this trading moment in order to emphasised that money is beyond the value of animal life.

WingZi, Highly Commended: Ages 16-19 (Years 12&13)

'Milk' by Mary

Taking photos of mundane moments in people’s everyday lives was the starting point to this piece, a way of people watching through photography and painting. I wanted to capture the moment between the two people in a specific place and time close to me but that could be anywhere and will be familiar to anyone. When painting the photograph, I wanted to remove unnecessary detail to change the focus from the busy, physical place of the supermarket to the private space between the couple. This allows the viewer to interpret their body language and the relationship between them, and to perhaps recognise themselves or people they know in the caught moment. Subtle elements of the physical place are still important so that the painting feels familiar to the viewer without disrupting the image with details that may not be recognisable, so the chillers become slightly blurred in the background, highlighting the couple and becoming almost like a gallery that they have paused in, rather than a supermarket. Artwork and the context it was made in and later viewed in is constantly evolving. This painting began as people watching through canvas, a tiny inconsequential moment in the lives of two strangers. With the events of the last few months, shopping in supermarkets has dramatically changed, and become impossible for many. Under lockdown, the viewer today will undoubtedly interpret this image differently now, and the relationship between the couple will perhaps even be scrutinised and judged. Shopping for food has been transformed, and may never be such a casual moment again, leading the viewer to perhaps feel nostalgic for moments like these that were previously taken for granted.

Mary, Runner-up: Ages 16-19 (Years12&13)

'The Space Between' by Shannon

For this piece I took apart a set of headphones and photographed the placement and space between each part. I chose this as a theme as I feel music can take you to your own space and place to unwind and switch off in the busy hectic lifestyle that many of us lead. I tried to capture the lightness and airiness of peace and a calm fullness surrounding the pieces but when you listen to the music you might get the opposite effect. An object so simple at first glance can have very complicated inner workings.

Shannon, Winner: Ages 16-19 (Years 12&13)

'Alarming Numbers' by Matthew

My favourite space is a sensory experience of colours and light. I am obsessed by numbers and alarms hence the colour and light being used. I love to immerse myself in it. I have surrounded my piece with numbers on the sensory room walls to immerse fully in numbers.

Matthew, Runner Up: Students with Additional Needs

'How I See this Space' by Dalibor

18 Photographs. Dalibor is visually and hearing impaired. He created these images whilst on a visit to the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery. These images of inside the gallery gives the viewer a different perspective of a space shared. Dalibor’s perspective. Dalibor has taught himself how to changes the images using a simple camera all on his iPad.

Dalibor, Winner: Students with additional needs

'Place Book' by Dominic

This book contains a selection of posters for businesses found in the seaside town of Margate. I decided to create these posters with as little as possible, following the art movement of Minimalism. This approach came from how I noted many of the signs becoming more “up to date” whilst following this style, i.e. thinner text, few colours etc. The majority of these posters are some of Margate’s most notable attractions, namely areas such as Dreamland, Turner Contemporary and The Harbour Arm etc. My intention with this book is to represent the towns local businesses in a more modern fashion, with a hope to see if this style change affects the perceptions of them, as the town has undoubtedly been following a similar approach in its attempts at regeneration.

'Gulkhan' by Zara

Story of a young refugee who travel across the world to the United Kingdom to save his life.

'Wales' by Martin

Martin is an adult supported at the Artrack studio in Gravesend run by The National Autistic Society, he is autistic and registered blind. Martin has has a traumatic life, however, he finds pleasure in painting and visiting the Kent coast and his friend in Wales. As he is now blind Martin struggles to see the landscape which he loves, however, through the gesture of painting he is able to re-imagine it.

Martin, Runner Up: Community Groups

'Alone in my flat, Sunday morning ("Oh, when you've done something so sad and you wake up the next morning and remember it...")' by Tony

The picture was taken while lying in bed, alone and hungover, in my 1930s flat. I was glad having my own place meant I didn't have to talk to anyone or do anything. The quote in the title is Lou Reed's introduction on a live album to a song called Sunday Morning, which is about regret and paranoia.

Tony, Winner - Community groups

'The Mountain' by Shirley

This piece is about the places we inhabit in our memories and how they fade and blur over time. How the specific detail is gradually lost until the memory becomes a snapshot of an atmosphere. It was inspired by childhood visits to the Welsh Valleys in the 1960s and 70s which, for a girl from suburban Surrey, seemed fabulously exotic. There was a steep hill behind the house where wild ponies grazed and we picked wimberries. We called it ‘The Mountain’.

Shirley, Highly Commended: Staff

'Entwined' by Joanna

We have all been confined to a space recently (our homes) and that experience had connected us all. Our experiences of staying at home will have been infinitely varied, depending on our individual circumstances, but we have all had that experience. In this lockdown, I have been considering, not our differences, but our collective humanity – the sinuous coiling thread that links all of us through time.

Joanna, Runner Up: Staff

'Childhood' by Sonia

Childhood represents my memories of growing up and the special things I remember doing as a child in Folkestone. My love for the seaside and the ice cream van, the funfair rides at rotunda and my memory of the illustrations in ladybird books. This painting is a collaboration of all these significant events that have engraved in my heart as Folkestone is my special place.

Sonia, Winner: Staff

Portfolio: Places and Spaces