Art & design inspires at MA degree showcase
Marianne Springham & Lester Robert Wood
The work, made by Lester Robert Wood (known as Robert), was previously stored away in his garage and will be showcased as part of the University's MA Art & Design Show, entitled Endgames Material Imaginary.
The exhibition will open to the public at Leeds Met - which will become Leeds Beckett University on 22 September - on floor two of Broadcasting Place on Woodhouse Lane from 6-12 September, following a private launch on Friday 5 September.
Marianne, who is one of 13 students exhibiting, explained: "Robert is a guest artist in the show and the work is part of my exhibition which is about the relationship between insider and outsider artists. Robert and I met years ago at Leeds City Council-funded art classes, where he made his pottery. He has autism and his family have worked really hard to make sure he has access to creative classes and that he leads an independent life.
"The idea to exhibit Robert's work alongside my own came from a book I have made for his family to archive his pottery. His family have stored the work in the garage and greenhouse and the collection has been growing over 24 years. This is the first time it will all be together in one place and this show is a celebration of that and their dedication to keeping the work safe. The exhibition will showcase hundreds of Robert's pieces displayed in front of a backdrop of crocodile wallpaper, which I have made from more than 1,000 scans of his crocodile drawings."
As well as curating and hosting Robert's work as part of her show, Marianne is also exhibiting her own art.
Marianne with her felt heart.
She said: "Inspired by artist Henry Darger's collages I have created a huge human heart out of felt. The heart is a literal reference to a state of being 'inside out' - following on from the insider and outsider theme I have created by inviting outsider artist (Robert) into an academic setting where he would not usually exhibit."
Other students exhibiting include Paul Braddick, Kevin George, Stacey Hayes, Rudy Kanhye, Deri Matthews, Ryoko Minamitani, Patrice Robinson, Roy Wood, Matthew Wyatt and Edina Papp, whose installation focusses on the design of boxes and their purpose and meaning.
Jiaxi Huang's work, entitled Mushroom & Maiden, explores culture through portraits of maidens from various Chinese ethnicities who are dressed in traditional clothing.
She commented: "The details are in their hairstyle, garments and accessories, which I have carefully researched so that they are true to their original dress codes. The organic nature of how mushrooms grow and spread provides a metaphor, as in all of my portraits the mushroom expresses a personal concern for the decaying traditions and craftsmanship."