Zoe Aitken

Nightmares + Terrors.

Nightmare - 2020 - Glitter, Glue, Tin Foil, Wool, Acrylic paint, Spray Paint on 300gms Paper - 1M X 1.5M

Nightmare

Nightmare explores engrained societal behaviours of misogynistic

oppression over women, through the guise of witchcraft; using visual

communication as a format performing the physical implements required

to create, distribute and manifest spell work.

Terrors

Terrors – 300gsm Paper- 2M X 1.5M - Mixed Media painting: Graphite, Gel Pen, Acrylic, Gouache, Acrylic Liquid, Glitter, Glue.

Terrors, as a piece explores engrained societal behaviours of misogynistic

oppression over women; through the guise of the witch. Using tarot cards to

inform visual communication within a format that interchanges language,

using visual distribution and manifestation as a variation of spell work.

I became intrigued by the disempowerment that women received through

association of the word “witch”; a word induced to shame, hurt and control

women. It caused to consider the power that language held, as well as the

concept of language distribution and its effect; such as, the Malleus

Maleficarum – “The Witch Hunter’s Guide” published in 1486. Which

directly lead to the massacring of thousands of people whom were accused

of witchcraft throughout Europe and America.

The format of the Witch is adapted and enhanced to become the focal point

of empowerment for women through embodying the notion of reclamation.

The female forms act as a sigils reversing the negative attachment once

associated. Their constructed forms mirror tower like objects as if

rebuilding a modern landscape, mimicking patriarchal styled phallic

rendering of buildings and landmarks.

Sigils are accompanied by incantations formed using subservient language,

taken from female targeted magazines. Through their placement they

highlight and mock societal constraints that women have endured both

historically and within modern day, raising poignant questions over our

engrained societal behaviours.

Ella Oakley

The Arts and Project Management MA has allowed me to fully cultivate an understanding of the behind-the-scenes happenings of art organisations, cultural spaces, and visual arts projects.

My Final Major Project consists of a Research Paper and Project Plan. The research paper explores public art and memorial culture, accumulating qualitative and quantitative data to aid and enable a highly successful and competent project. Over the Rainbow is a project which aims to provide a memorial for those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

The public art memorial comes at a pivotal time for the architecture of public spaces in Birmingham. The city centre has few contemporary art sculptures and memorials, therefore I aim to provide a place of remembrance and connect communities in the West Midlands.

The Over the Rainbow memorial is for the living, not for the dead. It is crucial to remember the dead but support and solidarity is needed for the people still alive today; the people who are left behind. The key areas and explorations of the project are explored through my Objectives, Outputs and Outcomes, which are explained in the image below:

Public art offers critical reflections on the past, our present and our understandings of daily life. “It is impossible to have a society that is civil and educated without public art, it lifts up humanity and challenges the individual who encounters it to think differently about the world” (Walker, D cited by Laneri, R 2009). Traditional public art memorials historically form a literal representation and are hard to interact with, they form a strict formal boundary between them and the viewer. The familiarity of these monuments provides a metaphorical list of instructions on how to act or feel.

People are more likely to become active participants with contemporary public memorials, as many have no boundaries. The public is invited to make their own mind up, use their own imagination and to sometimes form their own meaning and interpretation of the piece. They are able to morph their own experiences and opinions with the artists’ and each other. The design of the Over the Rainbow memorial is pivotal, will the sculpture hide in the comfort of the literal or can it conjoin the contemporary?

I decided during the duration of the planning stage that in order for this memorial to be successful, a strong design concept and depiction is essential. The Over the Rainbow memorial aims to be a ‘collective anchor point’, this concept is explored by Kevin Lynch: “Collective anchor-points construct deep integration with individuals and become part of their ‘mental map’ of the city”, (Lynch, K 1960). I completed a mood board of initial inspirations found on Pinterest.com which can be seen in the screenshot below:

Please visit my blog where I articulate the progress of my Final Major Project paper. Outlined are my initial ideas and inspirations for the research paper and project; key areas of research; information and explanations regarding the questionnaire I conducted and why it was essential to my research; the project plan and vital exploration and lastly, my critical evaluation.

www.ellaoakleyartblog.wordpress.com

Artist Statement: I am a practising artist based in Birmingham and currently working as an Exhibitions Coordinator at the RBSA Gallery. I have a passion for operations, logistical and curatorial management within an arts environment. My artistic inspirations stem from the natural form, examining the relationship between the maternal bond and separation. I work predominately with fine-art-textile, producing sculptures that metaphorically represent this connection. I form hand-constructed woven or knitted textiles and combine other materials like plaster. These inspirations are emotive and explore the turbulent relationship between motherhood and feminism and also touch on the corporeal nature of the female human body with the abject.

Contact: email: ellaoakley002@gmail.com instagram: ellaoakleyyyart blog: www.ellaoakleyartblog.wordpress.com

References: Lynch, K (1960). The Image of the City, The M.I.T Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England. Available: http:// www.miguelangelmartinez.net/IMG/pdf/ 1960_Kevin_Lynch_The_Image_of_The_City_book.pdf. Last accessed 14.8.20.

Walker, D cited by Laneri, R, (2009). Why We Love–And Need–Public Art. Available: https:// www.forbes.com/2009/05/05/state-of-the-city-opinions-george-rickey-public- art.html#77bb29d342be. Last accessed 3.8.20.

Nadia Attwell

You are only a Monster if you act like one.

Terra – I, Frankenstein (2014)

Statement

My work explores the deeper meaning of the monster character in films and what they represent to our society. This comes from my background in film studies and classical civilisations. The role of the monster has changed over the years but what it represents is still the same. I did a foundation degree in Art, Design and Media followed by a BA Hons in Theatre, Performance and Events Design. Having just completed my MA Arts and Project Management, my aim is to work in the events sector. I am currently working to save Dudley Hippodrome and return it to its former glory as an entertainment hub for the community.

Contact

nadia.attwell@mail.bcu.ac.uk

Degree

Arts and Project Management

I have created a blog with my thoughts of Monsters in different films and what they represent in the films and to us personally.

http://nadiasmonsterblog.tumblr.com/

Not all Monsters do monstrous things

Lydia Martin – Teen Wolf Season 4 Episode 10

Introduction in Monsters

Monsters have been around for as long as people have lived on this Earth. This is because they are created from our fears of the unknown.  A lot of these fears are based around the misunderstandings and over exaggerations of people of a more basic time. Humans have been creating monsters since prehistory around the fire. Monsters were a major threat to prehistoric humans. They were used to keep the tribe members from wondering off and getting killed. Their biggest fear was the Dark itself and what could be hiding out of the range of the fire. This fear of the Dark was so deeply ingrained into their minds that we are still wary of the Dark to this day, that fear of the unknown.

As a rite of passage into adulthood young men would be to go out into the unknown and kill these monsters and bring back a trophy to prove it. It was a test to defeat their fears and prove they could protect their tribe when under threat.

Dragons for instance have never existed but seem to be imbedded into a lot of different cultures from all over the world; everywhere from Wales to Romania to China. All these places have mountain ranges and wild places where people believed the dragons lived. Despite the fact that these places are a great distance from each other and wouldn’t have known each other’s folk tales, they are all very similar in nature. Researchers believe that Dragons came about from people discovering huge dinosaur fossils and not understanding what they were or how they got there, created stories to explain their existence. These stories would have been past down orally through the villages by bards. Each bard would add their own spin to make each telling more exciting than the last. They would create great heroes who had slain these Dragons and that is how their skeletons are here now.

The Sea is a terrifying, dangerous place, even for experienced sailors. A lot of people are fearful of the Sea for many reasons. Some people are unable to swim and fear falling in and drowning. Others are terrified of the vastness and not knowing what lies beneath the surface. I have a fear of the Sea even though I’m an extremely good swimmer. It’s more of a dread of getting dragged out to Sea and never being found again.Back when people first started exploring the Oceans their navigation techniques were primitive at best, using the stars to guide them. This would mean they had a high chance of getting lost and longer journeys would take place. This would lead to a very poor diet of preserved rations which lacked important nutrients such as vitamin c. This causes scurvy which is known to affect the mind and can lead to hallucinations, which could explain creatures like the Kraken. The Kraken began life as a Scandinavian monster that roamed the North Atlantic and preyed on sailors who got too close. Scientists believe that the sailors would have seen a giant squid, which can grow up to 15 feet. These sea creatures are rarely seen thus making the stories told about them even more wonderous. Sailors could have gotten a glimpse of one just before crashing into the treacherous rocks and the survivors would have been convinced that they were attacked by the Kraken.

Bodies were often found to have strange items buried with or on them. Some had iron stakes through their chests, others had large stones on their heads and chests whilst others had iron sickles across their throats or stomachs. This was intended to remove the head or open the gut should they attempt to rise from the grave. In 2014 researchers examined the skeletal remains of 17th Century graves in north-western Poland and speculated that the ones given a vampire burial may have actually been cholera victims. The villages took extra precautions with the burials to make sure the dead stayed dead and didn’t pass on the disease. A common thread seems to connect most of these burials together, in that they seem to have suffered through epidemics or illnesses.People didn’t understand what was causing these diseases, like cholera, so didn’t know how it was spread. To help prevent the disease spreading, they would bury the dead whilst they were still warm. This led to many people buried alive, consequently this developed into a fear of being buried alive. Though if a person were buried alive in Eastern Europe and managed to get themselves out of their grave, they might wish they hadn’t. If someone ‘came back from the dead’ the locals would panic and think that they were a vampire or revenant. Subsequently they would then be stoned to death, if the villagers were too afraid to get close, or held down and staked until they bled to death. They didn’t discriminate between men or women, adult or child, rich or poor. Anyone suspected of being a vampire was killed.

Monsters in Films

Frankenstein

Boris Karloff played the first Frankenstein in 1931. It was the first time Frankenstein had appeared in a full-length film. This film was released the same year as Dracula and was the start of Universal Monster films. These films were extremely popular with audiences as they hadn’t seen anything like this before. This film wasn’t sympathetic towards the monster, not like the book. The book was partly written from the monsters perspective. This gave the viewer an insight into what life was like for the monster and how grim his experiences were. It gave a better understanding into why he made the choices he did. The film, however, paints him as a monster who kills a child. This has the whole village hunt him down and trap him inside a windmill, which is subsequently burnt down with him trapped inside. He represents our fear of death and the unknown.
Hollywood’s reincarnation of Frankenstein has kept true to the original monster but with modern additions. He is visually more hideous looking with scientific additions such as the lightning heart and brain. It makes him feel more robotic and therefore realistic. He looks more like a corpse brought to life. The main difference is their personalities. The new version is more relatable, as he mourns the death of his creator and his willingness to fight the evil that is Dracula. There are parallels to the original film with an angry mob chasing him to a windmill carrying Victor. The windmill is set on fire and everyone believes that is the end of him, but he falls into a cave below until Van Helsing finds him. He represents our fear of repression, of being used by others and having no free will.
I, Frankenstein is one of the most recent adaptations of Frankenstein. In the book Frankenstein leaves the world behind and disappears into the far north. This film is what happens next during modern times. Frankenstein calls himself Adam through most of the film to make him feel more human and he joins the fight between gargoyles (good) and demons (evil) on the side of good. He has been sexualised by Hollywood and has lost the traditional look of the monster. This version is believed to be monstrous for a lack of a soul and Terra says to him “you are only a monster if you act like one”. The film ends with good beating evil and Adam discovering he has a soul and accepting himself for who he is. He represents a journey of self-acceptance and self-love. Once you can love yourself you can let someone else love you.

Dracula

Bela Lugosi is famous for playing Count Dracula just as Boris Karloff is for playing Frankenstein. Both films came out the same year and were often played as a double feature. Dracula in this film is very mysterious and secretive as he is never seen attacking anyone in the open, though it’s implied that he does kill someone. This was due to the times and not wanted to scare the audience with too much violence. Throughout the film he uses people for his own desires and doesn’t care about anyone else. He turns Renfield into his slave but tosses him aside when he no longer needs him. He turns Lucy into his vampire bride even though he really wants Mina. Eventually Renfield betrays him to Van Helsing and he is killed, allowing the spell on Mina to be broken. He represents our fear of someone having control over us and not being able to make our own choices. Renfield proves that no matter what we can stand up to dictators and fight back.
Dracula in Van Helsing (2004) has some similarities with the book. He has three brides and Van Helsing is trying to kill him but that is where the similarities stop. This is more about the fight between good and evil. Dracula made a deal with the Devil to return from the dead but at the cost of drinking the blood of others to survive. Gabriel Van Helsing is said to be the left hand of God and previously an archangel. According to the video game Dracula and Van Helsing used to be friends in the Knights of the Holy Order. However, Dracula broke the vow of celibacy and when the woman he loved was banished and killed he tried to bring her back with dark magic. Van Helsing was forced to kill him but was unable to deal with the guilt so asked God to erase his memories. Dracula appears to be cold hearted and emotionless but deep down he is affected by everyone’s hatred for him. He begs his wives not to fear him. He represents our desire to be loved and to rule with fear leads to a lonely existence. Even the most cold-hearted people can still feel the pain of rejection.
This mini TV series was a modern take on the book and shows more of Dracula’s vulnerabilities. It starts out the same way with Jonathan Harker going to Dracula’s castle and having to stay a month however in this version Harker becomes the undead and Van Helsing is a nun. Whilst travelling to England on a boat, the crew fight him and blow the ship up, sinking Dracula to the bottom of the ocean. He returns 123 years later in modern times and the world has changed. Having lived for many centuries he is used to the world changing and adapts very quickly. He enjoys the peace of the cemetery and feels sympathy for the undead that are trapped in their coffins. He explains to Lucy that it sometimes happens and it’s a pitiful existence and he can’t save them all. He turns Lucy into a vampire but as she was cremated, she turns into a living nightmare. She despises herself and begs for death, but Dracula said he still thinks she is still beautiful on the inside. During the final scene Van Helsing explains that all his weaknesses (sunlight, crosses and mirrors) are all in his head and that he is really ashamed of what he has become. He doesn’t feel worthy of Christ or being able to live a normal life in the sunshine. She offers him a way to save both of them from any more suffering and to drink her poisoned cancerous blood. Realising how many more years he will spend taking the life of others and robbing people of their loved ones he takes her up on her offers and ends both of their suffering. He represents sacrifice for the greater good and being able to see the beauty inside. We need to make the right decisions no matter what the cost.

The Wolfman

One of the first werewolves on screen was played by Lon Claney Jr. His character Larry Talbot came back from America to his hometown in Wales after the death of his brother. After returning home he discovers the local myth of werewolves. This along with his weaken mental state from displacement and grief lead him to believe he has become a werewolf, after his is bitten by a wolf. The film is shot in such a way that no one sees him transform and any evidence that is left behind by the werewolf mysteriously disappears. This leads the audience to believe that this is all happening inside his mind, a case of clinical lycanthropy. He represents our fight with mental illness and no one believing us when we say something is wrong.
Hugh Jackman’s character Van Helsing is bitten by a werewolf and is transformed into one himself. Dracula doesn’t have control over this werewolf, as his will is really strong and he is focused on destroying him. This werewolf is heavily influenced by the direct view of the moon. When the clouds cover the moon, he transforms back into human. When he does transform into a wolf it bursts out from under his skin. This shows that the beast lies just beneath the surface of all of us, but it’s up to us how we control it. Van Helsing uses the werewolf to destroy the evil that is Dracula, but it comes at the cost of Anna’s life when he loses control. He is cured of his ‘disease’ however it’s too late to save Anna. He represents our inner struggle to be the best person we can be but no one is perfect and people will get hurt no matter what you do. 
The remake of The Wolfman (2010) stayed very close to the original, including names and events. However, this version extended the storyline to Larry Talbot being arrested for murder and sent to an asylum. No one believes that he turns into a monster and can’t stop himself killing people. Whilst conducting a lecture with Larry as the case study, he transforms into a werewolf and kills everyone, leaving no witnesses. He escapes into the city on a rampage before returning home, where people try to hunt him down. He also finds out his father is also a werewolf and had killed his mother and brother. After killing his father, his love interest Gwen manages to corner him and shoots him. He thanks her as he’s dying as she has set him free. He represents the battle with mental health and how it can be genetic. It also shows that love will eventually set you free.

Conclusion

These monster films come out at a time when we needed them the most. Dracula and Frankenstein came out during the great depression; when wall street crashed and plunged the world into an economic depression. These films along with others created a golden age in cinema as the general public wanted escapism from their lives and problems. The monsters represented the horrors they were facing but would cheer when they met their demise. The monster never won. The Wolfman came out during world war 2 ironically as wolves have been associated with wars and battles for many hundreds of years. The werewolf is a metaphor for the horrors of war. The human side represents the media version of war with the photographs of comrades smiling together looking all wholesome. The beast represents the reality of war, the bloody violence and unnecessary death that inflicted so many soldiers. Very few came back whole, whether mentally or physically. Frankenstein, despite being a monster, helped to boost morale as he showed he could beat death.

The second surge of monster movies came just at the start of the Cold and Korean Wars, another distracting from reality. The eighties brought about the slasher genre and horror films became a lot gorier and violent. Audiences were used to war by now and needed a shock from reality. Most people watch scary films because it reduces their anxiety as they are in a safe environment and watching it on their terms. There’s also the adrenaline rush you get from the fight or flight response that’s triggered when watching horror. In the words of Wes Craven (horror director) “Horror doesn’t create fear; it releases it”.

After looking at these different monsters I have concluded that they are all a part of us. They reflect our fears and show our hidden desires. We all try to find our place in society like Frankenstein. We all have feelings of losing control of our minds and bodies, like werewolves. Dracula shows us what happens if we hold onto revenge. We will end up alone, having pushed everyone away, and desperate for company. We all fear the unknown whether it be the ocean, the dark or what happens after we die. The monsters have taught us to enjoy the little things in life like love and the company of others.

Oheneba Mensa-Bonsu

Theatre is a collaborative art
A production at the South African State Theatre. Photo credit: Facebook.

Theatre and the COVID-19 Pandemic: the implications of COVID-19 on Ghanaian Theatre Practice

Research paper 2020

For this paper, I used theatre practitioner-based interview questionnaires to research the impact of COVID-19 on theatre practice and the alternative presentational forms that can be used to ensure that this sector continues to adapt and grow despite world-wide ‘lock-downs’. Due to my experience and knowledge of Ghanaian theatre, the main case study focus was the Ghanaian theatre and arts sector.

Photo credit: ASASE YAA African American Dance Theatre

Statement

As an international student who saw the worldwide impact of the pandemic whilst being aware of social and economic climate back home in Ghana, I wondered how my home country would brave the storm that is COVID-19. Watching in earnest as the British government took measures to curb the spread of the disease, I wondered how the Ghanaian government was going to handle the global implications of the pandemic and its effects on our economy, especially the arts sector. The Ghanaian art sector (especially the theatre space), an already struggling area is far behind things like STEM education which was seeinga rapid pace of growth and improvement. Hence, this pandemic left the theatre space in a very uncertain predicament. This realisation led me to ask myself a few questions: what would be the new way of theatre in this ‘new-norm’? This was the motivation that inspired me to research more into the subject area.

Keys areas looked at include:

Digital Inclusion
Socio-economic impact
Alternative forms of the practice

Contact

kmensabonsu@gmail.com

Degree

MA Arts and Project Management

Links

Photo credit: ASASE YAA African American Dance Theatre

Dandan Xu

In-Between Series, 2020, installation

In-Between Series

2020,video

In-Between Series expresses the sense of distance between people, between two countries, and between the surface of the body and the heart. This series uses a brush and a bottle of ink as the connecting objects, which are transferred layer by layer. Participants will write down the names of the people they miss during the lockdown on their skins and use videos to record behaviors to reduce the distance between people during infectious diseases. Combining the concept of the city, the private space and the public space are combined to present the relationship between people and public space to the audience.

In-Between Series1

Video, 4’45”, 2020

In-Between Series2

Video, 0’35”, 2020

In-Between Series3

Video, 8’25”, 2020

In-Between Series4

Video, 5’05”, 2020

In-Between Series5

Video, 2’57”, 2020

In-Between Series6

Video, 1’13”, 2020

In-Between Series7

Video, 5’00”, 2020

In-Between Series8

Video, 17’57”, 2020

Statement

Xu Dandan is an artist who recently explored the role of skin as a subject and medium in contemporary art. As well as the relationship between the body and public space. Through these elements, the audience feels a sense of strangeness and distance. This strangeness comes from the potential relationship between private space and public space, the transformation of the known and the unknown.

The major project is based on practice and uses video recording behavior as a response method to COVID-19. Participants included some people isolated in the UK, including herself. Even in harsh environments, short-term joy usually comes from artistic and collective expression. The coronavirus will change the way we work and study. However, this will not eliminate the body’s desire for public space.

Contact

1091720429@qq.com

dandan.xu@mail.bcu.ac.uk

Degree

Contemporary Arts China

Yingxin Zhang

” The Gifts for Buddha “

Statement

My jewellery designs take their inspiration from my experience of living in Tibet. I took a cycle journey from Chengdu to Tibet and since then I have had a deep  fascination  of Tibetan culture.

In Tibet jewellery is used more as amulets it is believed that this power comes from the Buddha. My Jewellery designs take inspiration  from this concept of Jewellery being worn as an affirmation of protection I also take ideas from studying traditional Tibetan patterns, symbolic use of colour  and  Buddhist scriptures. 

The five symbolic colours are also central to the jewellery. Blue represents the sky, white represents the clouds, green represents the lake, red represents the flame, and yellow represents the land. This is also a symbolic colour representing the origin of Tibet.

Contact

mudo.zyx@gmail.com

https://mudo.world/

Degree

Art and Design

“THREE ROOMS”

“FROM MANDALA”

Yu Xi

Contemporary children’s comic books-the establishment of outlook of world, value, and life.

Statement

This work collects stories about people’s “appearance”-the troubles caused by it. Based on these real stories, the secondary editing of the stories through myths and fairy tales-these children’s comics are based on the myths and fairy tales of various countries Create a story as a culture background-create contemporary children’s comic book, through the interaction of adults telling stories for children, spread the theme of the work as “Be Yourself”, and establish that each person is a unique and beautiful educational purpose.

Contact

yuxi67997@gmail.com
ins: yuxi.draws

Degree

MA Art and Design

“Mother”

“Somebody to Love”

“Childhood memories”

The above animation shows some stories collected through interaction with the audience. These stories show what happens to people because of their “appearance”. By analysing and reorganizing these real stories, I created this work- children’s comic book.

These stories combine the Chinese myth “Nuwa created mankind” with the Western legend “God gives human life”, and use three different types of fairy tales to convey the concept that “everyone is unique and beautiful”.

“Best Life?”

“Unique”

“Someone’s Love”

The audience can stay in the art gallery to watch these comic stories, or they can buy books for children to read.

Nan Wei

An Emo Body, 2020video(02:23)

Statement

An Emo body is a short animation, exploring the relationship between body and emotion under the epidemic situation, and how to find happiness and health. The animation content tells some stories that happened between me and the characters in the small room under the lockdown epidemic  situation. From some personal experiences, I express my story of changing from a negative response to a positive attitude. Use the power of animation to spread the enthusiasm during the Covid-19 crisis.

What if the objects in the room are also physical and emotional?

I created an absurd world, the objects in the room became human beings with bodies and emotions, and they became negative under my influence. In this story, people feel the many possibilities of emotional influence by the environment. This movie is not only my thinking about the relationship between happiness and health, but also a call to others to have an optimistic attitude to recognize and treat emotions.

Contact

Emali: weinan913@icloud.com
Website

Degree

MA Art and Design

Character Design
Cunning virus
https://youtu.be/INzpwn_ZVCg

Anxious TV
https://youtu.be/fZANDblrz7c
Brave disinfectant
https://youtu.be/cD17IUEAgxo
Passionate fan
https://youtu.be/lULklg57-2g
Optimistic computer
https://youtu.be/uZehnbJXfbM
Film Stills

Taiba Akhtar

The unprecedented has enabled a rise in personal and cryptic text, expressing the frustrations of re-shifting work practices and feelings. Consequently, the film and audio derive from the struggles Akhtar experienced during the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown.

The palimpsestic notions of application, erasure and regeneration integrate her making and its reconsideration, in relation to mark resist (50 x 70 cm), 80gsm copier paper with sumi ink, (21 x 29.7 cm) and etching (39 x 55 cm). The layering of words, physical actions, mediums and ideas accompanied by spontaneous encounters outlines the importance of memories and their inability to dissipate.

Before the national lockdown, the print room and its processes became a place of contentment. This recollection of the past simultaneously coincides, joyful and melancholic expressions between her inner soul and the activities undertaken.

Akhtar’s printing logs fused with the physicality of G.06 leads to an obscuring of time, journey and movement, heard via the nuances in erased characters and words in transit, reiterating the role of impermanence, caught between feelings and actions.  

Statement

Taiba Akhtar’s practice explores the organic nature of handmade marks inspired through religious and cultural entities, communicating a sense of language and mark making, adjoined to materials and processes. Notions of home, belief, permanence and impermanence integrate the visual and verbal, unfolding different motifs and hidden meanings.

Akhtar’s use of language becomes blurred and obscured with an emphasis on displacement and fluxity, juxtaposed within her interplay of symbols and scripts. Layering intensifies Akhtar’s journey of self, derived from the constant recitation of Quranic verses, of allusion to meditation and intuition. Similarly, forms of visibility and unintelligibility correlate to time and the passing of time, entangling thoughts, feelings and actions.

Akhtar’s narratives vary across the seen and heard reassembling what was there, what is there and what might be, centralising a palimpsest. Consequently, her manipulative gestures reinforce an array of emotions and expressions; rhizomatic with her experiences thus, an enhanced ritual understanding. Her abstraction of language becomes performative, through the guise of writing, reciting and rewriting.

Xueyi Wang

I use the combination of static collage and installation art to explore and express the influence on people in a high-density and fast-paced metropolis. People have anxiety and alienation in spirit, which express the limitations and weaknesses of human nature caused by social non-commonality, thus exploring the limitations of human nature.

“CAN” Installation art

In addition, between the works and the audience, I not only show the works statically, but also design a series of dynamic interactive forms. The audience can open cans with different patterns, and they will feel relieved and relaxed when they tear open the vacuum packaging. It is like saving and releasing people who are bound by social and work pressure. This interaction and experience can make them understand and feel the works more actively, and establish a kind of ideological blending, psychological dialogue and emotional exchange, including the emotional experience of exhibits.

Contact

Pokemoyiin@gmail.com

Degree

MA Art and Design