The 2018 MA Shows get underway next week, with students across three courses tackling themes such as insomnia, pollution, internet addiction, gender fluidity and much more.
Ma Fine Art
Billie Laidlaw – Billie-Jean
The MA Fine Art student has used her mother’s cosmetics to create a colourful self-portrait, Billie-Jean. “It’s not how I see myself, it’s how I think my mother sees me,” said Billie. “At the bottom of my work is what is it to be a woman, what is femininity?”
Yayoi Lidbetter – Around The Black Sun
Yayoi has used duct tape to conjure an image of melancholy, entitled Around the Black Sun. Yayoi said: “Melancholy is not only negative, it is also positive.” The artist also wanted to explore the theme of pollution: “It is about environmental issues, which can be a cause of melancholy as well.”
Chi Zhang – Development? Degeneration
Chi’s display focuses on the perils of the online world, using a string model of a spider’s web as a metaphor for internet addiction and subsequent isolation. “Many people get addicted to technology and it changes their lives completely,” she said.
Fleur Campbell – 0 Degrees Longitude
Fleur’s heavily layered paintings are reflections on homesickness and the various places she lived growing up. She said: “I grew up in the Tropics part of the year and England the rest of the time, so I’ve always been interested in the different densities of light coming down through latitude to the equator.”
Claire Barrett – The Styx
Claire describes her artistic process as “pouring ink out from an internal well”, which is reflected in her sprawling, monochrome work The Styx. She said: “I was thinking about Dante’s inferno a lot when making this piece, and the river Styx seemed to make sense for what I was going for.”
MA Digital Media Arts
Aleksandra Puszczewicz – Fluidity
We have become accustomed to thinking of blue as a boy’s colour and pink as a girl’s, but Aleksandra is aiming subvert that expectation in her digital media art piece. She said: “I’m trying to challenge that and swap those things over. I’ve been interested in gender for a long time. I find myself a bit masculine and I’ve always wondered why.”
Bi Yalin – 3D Travelling in Ancient China
Bi’s augmented reality art piece allows visitors to explore a digital map and uncover 3D designs of Chinese buildings. Bi said: “All the buildings come from a traditional Chinese story. Other parts of the map are colourful, so you need to go to the black spots to find the models.”
Becky Lu – Wide Asleep
Becky has created an interactive installation which shows the debilitating effect of sleep paralysis and insomnia. Visitors will be taken on an audio-visual “journey” from agitated restfulness to peaceful sleep. Becky said: “For me sleep paralysis is quite a harrowing experience, so I would like to show people who have never had it before what’s it like.”
Lucy’s current research explores engagement “in the moment”. She asks: “How can impactful connection enable moments of creative potential with a transient ‘marginalised’ group?”
Elaine’s project is based around the question of how learning disabled and non-learning disabled participants can perform together in a sculpture that can be worn.
Cornelia van Helfteren
“How can walking, conversation and art be used to create communal self-organised learning practices and alter group dynamics?” This project aims to challenge pedagogic monoculture and hierarchy through propagating new forms of knowledge production and cross-curricular relationships.
Nathalie is exploring the impact of an exchange between performers with learning disabilities and drama school graduates. The research took place at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Nathalie’s creative response investigates the concept of “inclusive place”.
Antonin researched how group dynamics and diverse art disciplines and techniques can impact on communication. He worked alongside young adults with learning disabilities.