Art and Design exhibition to showcase 'Things in mind'
The 15 full- and part-time postgraduate students of varying age and nationalities have created their individual end of year projects inspired by the premise ‘Things in Mind’.
Peter Lewis, Senior lecturer in Art, Architecture and Design, explained: “Because each of our students come from a completely different background: 30% are international students from Bahrain, Japan, Pakistan, India and France; we are talking in so many different languages and have such varied cultural backgrounds that we have to find a common thing or language that we can communicate with.
“The course is about ideas rather than being about fashion, painting, politics or whatever. The thing that all the different artists and students share is the exchange of ideas so the title refers to the importance of teaching from the point of an idea not a discipline or specialism. We try to broaden it so it is universal. ‘Things in Mind’ is just a title.”
Drawing on the idea that within a digital culture, everything is ‘permitted’, the exhibition applies the technical apparatuses of the digital (photography, video and audio) to the continuing relevance of obsolete forms, such as painting and sculpture that structure the possibility of value held in new technologies. A range of individual approaches are presented in virtual and actual inter-relations.
Peter said: “As an artist, you can’t help but interface with modern life, it’s very much to do with a contemporary experience. Life is also now defined in a virtual way and part of our experience of people is online. It’s a hybrid position that the ‘Things in Mind’ now are literally in your mind because of the internet, you’re not always experiencing them first hand; you are experiencing them through so many different filters.
“If there are paintings, sculptures or traditional things in here that other art schools would teach, they are actually supporting the new technologies that wouldn’t be able to do what they do without always maintaining those free existing forms.”
The exhibition, which has also been curated by the students, is open to the public from 5 to 12 September. Peter added: “Part of the students’ project is curatorial, they have to understand how to make an exhibition as much as what is in it. So the design of the walls, the way that things work together, the differences between how different artists work, it all counts for how the ‘Things in Mind’ generate more ideas, more contradictions and more questions.”
Mehak Gupta is a full-time student from India. She said: “This is the first time I will be exhibiting my work and I am very excited. Because I studied for a BA (Hons) degree in English in India I was not able to study a different MA subject so had to come to England for the opportunity.
“My project is inspired by travel and nature. When I was travelling through Europe I was taking pictures from which I have created abstract images, I have used real plants in my design to get a sense of realism.”
Trish Hewitt, originally from Brazil, is a part-time student completing her first year. She said of the course: “It allows you to take your imagination to wherever you want it to go.
“When you first start the course you go into really crazy seminars about philosophy and stuff and you are encouraged to form your own interpretation of whatever comes up. At the start we talked about interactual, which is virtual and actual and it really linked in with what I used to do when I was a fashion student - taking something out of nature, transforming it into their virtual form, then into an object. It makes you think about what is happening with the world, the internet and virtual imaging which is becoming really big.
“I am really interested in stained glass windows; my project is my interpretation of stained glass and fashion combined.”
The exhibition runs from 5 -12 September at Leeds Beckett University, Broadcasting House, 2nd Floor, Building B.
The full list of students exhibiting are: Madiha Abbas, Hala Al Alaiwat, Clarisse Aubert, Chris Bishop, Kevin George, Mehak Gupta, Patricia Hewitt, Nicola Knight, Kieran May, Petra McCarthy, Ryoko Minamitani, Bethan Patterson, Joshua Robinson, Patrice Robinson, Jack Wolff.