Nicola Rushen

Graduates 2017: Nicola Rushen

“I have been particularly inspired by the idea of ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’ and find beauty in one’s commitment to put on hold their preconceived ideas about our world, to rather accept and invest in fiction.”

Hi Nicola – tell us about your inspiration

“I am fascinated by the fictional worlds created through storytelling in cinema and theatre, and further, how the spectator can connect to this fiction. I have been particularly inspired by the idea of ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’ and find beauty in one’s commitment to put on hold their preconceived ideas about our world, to rather accept and invest in fiction. I have also been interested in moments of contrast between the ‘everyday’ and the theatrical.”

A big inspiration for me has been the director David Lynch. I am very interested in his films: their use of timing and theatricality. I am inspired by artists such as Bill Viola, Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno, who have each been of particular interest recently.”

nicola rushen

How does this manifest itself in your work?

“Consideration of the viewer is a priority in my practice. I aim to evoke a heightened sense of presence between the viewer and the space. I do this by making works which touch on duration, looping, and movement. This may be through the inclusion of light, film, or a material which appears stationary but feels as though it has the potential to keep moving. My materials are varied, however film and light are perhaps most common in my work.”

Works are not limited to the objects within them, rather, the entirety of the space becomes a part of the work. I am interested in how placement of materials relates to the space which surrounds them. If the work associates with the space, it naturally involves the viewer, and they, in turn, feel connected.”

nicola rushen

What are your plans after graduation?

“I am still not 100% sure of my plans following graduation. I will possibly look for some gallery work, to allow me to keep my hand in with my love of art. I hope to continue exploring this in my free time also, and will possibly develop my interest in writing about art as well. I may complete an MA in the future but this would not be straight away.”

nicola rushen

How have you found the Fine Art Sculptue course?

“I am so glad I chose to specialise in Fine Art Sculpture for my choice of course. I feel that my work has massively benefited from the specialist knowledge of space, and how objects can be read in space, which my course offers. This is something very special and unique about the course.

“Group crits across all three years are one of my favourite parts of my course. It gives us an opportunity to put work out and discover how it can be received and read by others. It allows me to discover new things about my work, and to develop it further. It is great to get feedback from all three years, and staff, because it allows for more variety in feedback from people at different stages on the course”

I feel I am welcomed in many different departments across the university. If I feel I need help from another department (for example photography or the media centre), I feel I am able to do so. There is a great sense of community which allows students to reach out and use these facilities. The staff are extremely helpful across the university, and have been fantastic on my course. I feel extremely welcome from the staff in Sculpture and feel I can ask them for advice at any time.”

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