Rebecca Smith

Un Model, Re Structure, Dis Institute

Investigative Publication, 2020

Looking at how publication can act as a means of spatial development and explore common spaces of learning. It acts as a space of alternative learning, though structuring, institutional behaviors, and visual communication.

The publication ‘Book as Toolkit’ explores different Educational components and how this can be developed into an alternative space. It displays this act of zooming into institutional components and its layers of processed visualization as well as acting as a resource for the development of the alternate. The application and expansion of structures, models, behaviors, and sequences is visualized through the speculative models of education, this intersection or cross over of modes is visualized and developed through CMYK colour experimentation.

Statement

Rebecca Smith is an artist – educator – producer – creator and …

I explore the multi – faceted ways in which roles within arts organisations can have many purposes. In tern this interest in multi – use roles and spaces has developed into looking at the institute itself alongside space manuals and examine how these too can be adaptive to change. Un Model, Re Structure, Dis Institute, Alt Environment is a body of research and making that analyses the Uncanny spaces and the inter – between through experimental publication.

Contact

rebeccasmithart29@gmail.com https://becky2998.wixsite.com/mysite

Degree

Arts and Education Practices

Rupi Dhillon

Statement

Rupi Dhillon is a British, Indian, (British Asian, Punjabi, and all things in between and beyond) multidisciplinary artist based in Birmingham, UK.

Dhillon explores the relationships and connections we have with one another and the land. Through her arts practice she investigates how multiplicity in culture is conducive to the concept of belonging and space. She is interested in facilitating discourse around race, gender and social class. Using playful techniques, her current work reimagines cultural experience through gestalt expression, participatory performance, shared practices, gifting and attachments in found objects.

She has both exhibited and completed residencies in the UK and has also been the recipient of the prestigious Gertrude Aston Bowater Bequest as well as the AIS Award more recently. Dhillon has both a BA Hons and MA in Fine Art. Dhillon currently works with contemporary art gallery IKON in Birmingham.

She is also interested in establishing further research into Cultural Dysphoria as a Philosophy.

Contact

rupidh@icloud.com

@rupidh

www.rupidh.com

Degree

MA Fine Art

An Encyclopaedia of Cultural Dysphoria, 2020

A collection of artworks, writings, theories and philosophies, 2020

The term dysphoria (from Greek: δύσφορος (dysphoros), δυσ-, difficult, and φέρειν, to bear) is a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction. In a psychiatric context, dysphoria may accompany depression, anxiety, or agitation. The term is often used to refer to gender dysphoria, experienced by people whose gender identity does not align with their assigned sex. Common reactions to dysphoria include emotional distress; in some cases, even physical distress. The opposite state of mind is known as euphoria.
Cultural Dysphoria could therefore be understood as the dissonance between the social expectations for an individual’s broad cultural performance or identity and their desired embodiment of that culture, or uncertainty about where they fit into cultural categories. Currently the only research into Cultural Dysphoria is a brief outline of general dissatisfaction with modern culture and the blog post by Ayesha Sharma. My research began with my own utter disdain for the patriarchal culture that exists in Punjab and India as well as the deep rooted colonialism associated with being British. Whilst there is still so much beauty within the Indian culture, much of its traditions leave me feeling very unsettled personally, through life experience – I reflexively write about mannerisms, identity, politics and the simplicities and complexities of multiplicity. 
I designed the logo based on the lotus flower. One of the essays included in the book is “Lotus Flowers: University as Swamp, on becoming the Lotus”. I hope to expand this encyclopaedia with further volumes in the future hence the 2020 around the lotus this being the first issue written in the problematic year of 2020), borrowing the design aspect of leather and gold embossing from the Brittanica Encyclopaedias, the lotus floats on the cover as a reminder to always grow toward the light in all of life’s conditions, be it the institution, political system or through the systems of familial ties. 

Nangal Khera, 2020

Sapele, Pine, Hemp Twine, Cotton Cord, Nostalgic Discourse, 2020 – Ongoing

Nangal Khera takes its name from the small village in Phagwara, Punjab, India. It is the place where I spent many of my formative years. 

The piece consists of a Manjha, (which is also known as a Charpai translating into English as ‘four feet’) a traditional piece of furniture native to India. It is a woven bed, often constructed from wood, with most designs tending towards metal structures in contemporary society due to the cost of materials, the longevity and the time taken to manufacture. This particular Manjha was made during the spring/summer of 2020 during lockdown and later completed in August, 2020. It is constructed from timber found in a shed. The language of Utilitarianism is built into the very fabric of the object, it was made as both a reminder of home and as a space for people to share their memories and stories. The process of weaving the Manjha is a labour intensive one, the act itself is one of weaving histories, particularly in the face of the situation we have all endured this past year.

In the rural village communities in Punjab the Manjha is often a communal space, all important decisions are made around it, vegetables are dried on it, friends sit on it, and the tired sleep upon it. 

The piece has now expanded beyond its original context, it has become a piece that travels, an object of social engagement, a place where people can have conversations about their pasts, about their connections to place. 

It is a participatory object, it invites people to interact with it, to be comforted by it, to gift stories to one another, and to become an active listener through its passive facilitation. 

So far conversations and interactions with the piece have ranged from memories of grandparents building their own Manjhas as far back as 20 years ago in Africa, as well as conversations around materiality and nostalgia for place. The piece has the ability to elicit memories to transcend histories. 

Written with Frederick Hubble, whose shed gifted us the materials.

Cha Wali, 2019

Participatory Performance
Bike, artificial marigolds, statue of Guru Nanak, gold basket, hot drinks dispensers
Documentation – Digital prints, 2019

The concept of Cha Wali originates from typically male street vendors in India selling Cha (Indian tea) from bicycles. In seeing a lack of innovation in Subodh Gupta’s Three Cow’s, I felt compelled to embody in performance the role of a Cha Wala. The noun itself speaks for only males who take on this role. In the piece I wanted to not only subvert this role but to also activate spaces and conversations around cultural phenomena, specifically the act of sharing Cha with the public. The British made Pendleton bike combined with a DIY aesthetic, of silk marigolds, a statuette of Guru Nanak (ducked taped to the handle bars) is typical to the aesthetic of a Cha Wala on the streets of India, yet this performance also seeks to understand the concept of gifting as all cups of Cha were given for free. Documentation shows interactions with different demographics of the public, ranging from workers of the city, students from the art school, homeless, builders and some of which recognised and connected with the act.

The Anthropology of the Self, 2020

Single Channel HD Video, 2020
(Images below show, 3 channel potentiality)

The Anthropology of the Self is a bricolage/ assemblage (in the Deleuzian sense) of several performances and a collection of videos of various sites with prose to form one coherent piece of work. The title of the work emerged from an investigation into shame, politicising of the body and power structures, as my specific body – through the period of lockdown.

In times of societal precariousness, perhaps we can look back on these myths, in attempt to understand empathy, compassion and morality.

Rupi Dhillon – The Anthropology of the Self, 2020

For more artworks and information please see www.rupidh.com

Ciprian Grigorescu

Morning Exchange – Binaries

Series of 13 looped 15 second animations – variable formats 2020.

Morning Exchange is a collaboratively run project that organises research meetings, conversations, workshops and artist talks. One key rationale behind them is to better acquaint current students and staff with practitioners working beyond the walls of the SoA. An online record of the weekly meets is available online at themorningexchange.cargo.site, through which reading lists and notes gathered in the meets will be more broadly available.

The website acts both as an online platform archiving our previous meetings and collaborations and as a place to engage with resources, projects and reflexive practice; a news source for upcoming events and a home for a platform that is based around the previously mentioned core beliefs – organising meetings, research groups, collaborative projects and commissioned artworks.

The project Binaries stems from research conducted through the activity of Morning Exchange combined with personal investigation into foundational principles that sit at the core of organising collaborative structures. The binary notions function as building blocks for figuring out positions and points of reference, some appear to be in opposition, others in a state of complementarity; all presenting symbiotic relations that are considered through reflexive thought.

The looped 13 videos take inspiration from the idea of a deconstructed visual essay. They are designed to easily be disseminated online, adapting to different forms of representation – from screensavers to vertical video for mobile devices and even print formats. Freely available for download – their purpose is to be experienced independently on personal devices without the need for gallery / exhibition space access.

Binaries is a personal perspective, presented in a state of liminality – between an ambiguous generative viewing experience and investigative reflection – between artwork and online resource.


To view all 13 videos visit Morning Exchange here.
To download the videos click for horizontal or vertical.
To download A4 print files click here.

Statement

I define my practice as existing at the border of artistic gesture, design process and research.
It often stems from investigative research into subjects that puzzle and challenge my own perspective, adding to that ideas and conclusions derived from collaborative projects, conversations, workshops and interviews.
Roles such as organiser, mediator and producer take a foundational role in the direction projects take.
Between all of these, self referential traces can be found, distant connections and juxtapositions of ideas and visuals that act as generative content for a larger conversation.

Hayley Ash

Bio

With a longstanding background in youth work, I am interested in experiential learning, spaces of informal education, participation and a continued examination of the intersections between art and youth practices.

Through practitioner interviews, photographic inquiry and critical reflection, hidden narratives in youth work are presented in Decentred Disclosures for consideration of potentiality in future practice.

Contact

www.hayleyash.com hayley-ash@outlook.com

Degree

Arts and Education Practices

Decentred Disclosures

Digital PDF, 210 x 297mm, 202

Photography can tell a story of the undercurrents present in the places we pass through.

Returning to a pivotal moment for Youth Practice in the United Kingdom when services faced devastating cuts, historical political re-imaginings are explored through the act of reflexive photography, questioning hidden narratives, revealing the layers of governance and the socio-political disparities of the local.

www.relationalyouthpraxis.com