"We are a collective of diverse artists brought together by our shared university experiences in a post-Elizabeth II, post-Brexit, post-pandemic era. We reflect the connections that people build in response to dramatically changing times. The exhibition is an evolving, rotating dialogue of self reflective expression with each other and the viewer, using sculpture, digital art, painting, sound, technology and a variety of found materials to communicate and share ideas, perspectives and Individual expression."
12th-31st May 2023 | Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm | WV3 0TZ
[ Ryan Asbury ]
Asbury’s work explores queerness as abjection to and a critique of heteronormativity. The work stems from the narrative that queer people are evacuating Earth and seeking asylum on Pluto[pia]. Plutopia rests on the intersection of phenomenological, digital, and physical reality and requires PÖRTA to reach there. PÖRTA, inspired by Lacan, is the coming together of the ‘current self’ and the ‘potential self’ to reveal the ‘true self’. “I believe the liminal space between earth and Plutopia reflects never-ending journey of self-discovery”.
Stahl Nymphe 2023 |40 x 40 x 150cm |Giclée print, steel.
The artwork “Stahl Nymphe” is a powerful representation of the aftermath of the struggles that queer bodies face in coming to terms with their identity. The piece explores the themes of bondage, self-identity, and the journey towards self-acceptance.
Felsen 2023 | 8 x 7 x 13cm | Concrete, plaster, steel, glass, plastic cap, vinyl, holographic glitter, cling film, duct tape.
The artwork “Felsen” is a provocative and powerful exploration of queerness, bondage, milk, and sex. The piece challenges the iewer to confront their preconceptions of sexuality and the body, and to consider the aftermath of societal constraints on queer bodies.
[ Ian Green ]
Broadly speaking my work is informed by the transitory and cyclical nature of a life and creativity and driven by my lifetime interest in collecting, engaging with and understanding the stories told by objects found at car boots, charity shops, jumble sales etc. This is combined with an influence of Hauntology and with the forensic act of mark making and the journey where everything has its joyous moment of flowering and fruiting before making way for the next vogue, trend, style, method, system, season, generation or epoch. I save objects and concepts long past their time and in reassessing them alongside current ideas, imbue new life. I consider the nature of consumerism and the trajectory of where we've been, where we are and where we are heading – and does it ultimately matter anyway?
Beyond me is landfill.
Curating the Orphaned Object (film, 19 minutes)
Small Scraps Of A Life Long Forgotten (screen prints, flourescent paint, canvas, card)
[ Aqsa Khan Nasar ]
Aqsa Khan Nasar was born in 1995, in Pakistan, currently practicing between Birmingham, UK and Pakistan. She did BFA from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Pakistan with a distinction in thesis. She completed her MA in Art & Design: Interdisciplinary Practices at the Birmingham School of Art in 2022. Nasar has exhibited her works nationally, and internationally and worked on a collaborative project between BCU and Symbiosis International University, India for the Commonwealth Games, 2022. Travelling has immensely informed her body of work where she explores historical, geographical and cultural similarities and differences respective to a land which is often ‘divided by borders but united by cultures and practices’. Her MA thesis was a multisensorial project (smell, sounds and visuals) based on Sub-continental history and colonisation. Nasar’s recent works exhibit elements of olfactive art. In February 2023, she exhibited her work at Millepiani Rome, Italy.
Who makes the crown?
In the video, I am enacting Rudyard Kipling’s poem “ The White Man’s Burden” originally written to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. As an imperialist poet, he is encouraging annexation and colonisation and justified the imperial conquest as a civilising mission.
Take up the White Man's burden-- Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.
[ Gill Holtom ]
I graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Birmingham City University in October 2022. Based in Sandwell in the Black Country, I have been a practising artist for more than 5 years, developing work in a range of media, from jewellery making and ceramics to painting and collage.
A writer by profession, my studies have been focused on curating the family archive, memory, autobiography, identity and developing my practice to find new ways of storytelling. I build abstract layered works that combined collage, photomontage and painting, mixed media. My work is a response to the hyper-sensitivity and overwhelm I feel in a range of environments. I see and feel in vivid colours and use art to express and process grief as well as the intensity of feeling that distracts and distorts my everyday life, using vivid colours to give a sense of how something feels and reimagine or abstract people, places and memories.
Displacement series – Shelter, Uncertainty, Safe as Houses, Heat, Sundown
55cm x 71cm – each acrylic on paper
As old connections are lost, new connections are made, each made more intense by the sense that loss and renewal will continue to cycle, surge and fade. This intensity is translated into mark, scratches, lifts and vivid colours that build. Writing, spontaneous as it comes, often inspires or accompanies my work.
[ Jingyn He ]
My name is Jingyun He and my English name is Wendy. I graduated from Birmingham City University with a master's degree in art & design. Now an independent artist, my creative work usually involves prints, videos, planes and performance installations, etc. I often reflect the status quo by what happens around me and myself. I like the inner world, and I believe that the perception of emotion and specific physical limitations can be improved. I love art, and I hope to show you the different attitudes in life through the art exhibition.
This work is my longing for my grandmother who passed away from cancer. I think the sense of touch is intimate, and each person's sense of touch has some unique meaning. I think language is something that can remain in memory, and it is closely related to the development of the world. So I recorded what happened between me and my grandmother in the form of stories and poems. I think emotion is virtual, intangible and invisible, but AI is rational. The most code-like image in programming is mosaic, so I made these patterns into mosaic-like digital patterns. The deeper the unique memory and touch, the slower it will be forgotten in the bottom of my heart. Just like everyone's skin belongs to everyone's unique imprint, it is also an important way to connect with the world.
[ Kat Howes ]
My work is primarily interested in looking and perception, and how changes to time, space and context can affect meaning and visual interpretation. My work is informed by contemporary philosophy, including ideas explored by John Urry, Doreen Massey, Laura Mulvey and the phenomenon of Tang Ping. I have used many forms of media in my practice including installation, drawing, photography and even designing and making board games, and I have displayed my work in unusual settings such as shopping malls, lecture theatres and churches. I find choosing the best process to fit the where and when helps keep my work multifaceted and dynamic; open to change and possibility. I hope my work, by embodying and representing a place or time in a new way, or in a fresh location, encourages the audience to think new thoughts, or consider a new perspective on an old idea.
"Inspired by Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Khora invites you to look deeply. As we emerge from our lockdown caves, debating the physical boundaries of work and life, these images invite the participant to stop and gaze at the wonder of nature, or a hyperreal version of it. Originally an installation, Khora, has undergone a further distancing from its original subject matter as it now takes the form of still images on a gallery wall. This raises questions about how the beauty and healing power of nature can compete in the ever-dominating gaze of a technological world where reality is hard to distinguish from the digital, where we become further and further removed from ‘the real’. Does the power of a virtual gaze ultimately reduce our agency and presence within our real, local, environments, threatening their very existence? Where does the outdoors fit into our new normal? When did you last lie in the clovers or stare at the sky?
[ Hadis Ensafi ]
Hadis Ensafi (b.1998 Tehran) is an Iranian multidisciplinary artist living and working in the UK. Her practice is based on personal, social, and cultural issues, examining concepts such as memory, trauma and violence. Narratives forge the base plane of her work, not only as an inspiration but also as physicality of the work. The process of art making remains a prominent aspect of her practice and she uses a variety of materials and techniques such as weaving, stitching, drawing and metal work.
The “weavings” project aims to bring a better understanding to the artist herself of the physical and emotional processes involved with a traumatised individual healing through textile making. She tends to use poems, fragments of human body and relevant photographs in her design in order to reflect the motive of her practice in the visual aspects.
[ Chantal Pitts ]
I am a visual artist with an undergraduate fine art degree, inclusive of two years Industrial Design, a City and Guild’s distinction in furniture design and production and a Master’s degree in Art and Design Interdisciplinary Practices. Combining these elements into sculptural expression is my current practice, using (mainly) wooden furniture and found objects as artistic mediums to produce self-reflective, autobiographical pieces that express emotion, memory, imagination, dreams, ideas and experiences. The Little Red Table is about transformation.
The Little Red Table
The little red table joined my family in 2013. It’s life before; now a memory held only in the fibres of its existence. When I adopted it from the charitable home for abandoned furniture and objects (The British Heart Foundation), it was a dull brown, lacking in lustre, downtrodden. We moved in together and I gave it a new red, acrylic ink coat to celebrate it’s welcome to our new home and our new friendship. The little red table has journeyed with us ever since. Over the years it hung out in the kitchen, chilled in the kids bedrooms, stood for endless hours holding up the makeshift play-fort, supported the plants and helped care for our pets, offered a platform for creative endeavours and even became a school base during lockdown. Now, the little red table is getting old. It’s joints are weakened and after some cosmetic surgery, is still showing its age and getting a bit wobbly in the old legs. As I go through transformation from fertile to infertile, mum to mother, summer to autumn, so the table comes to the end of another part of its journey. From seed to sapling, immature to mature tree, tree to wood, wood to table, valued new purchase to unwanted, then valued again, the little red table is transforming once again; from table to a work of art.
A Japanese Maple tree canopy is cut and carved into the drop-leafed table top with the integrity of the table kept as its transformed into a sculpture, our stories merged through symbolism and a scattering of memories and everyday experiences in the form of leaves cut out of magazines, recipe books, story books, sketches etc strewn around the base.
The change of use, or change, like the menopause or when our children grow up and leave home is symbolised in the Little Red Table. Once a table, now a sculpture. Like being an empty nester, or retiring, our uses change over time. We reinvent ourselves but our essence is still there, we become something new. Also refers to Clarissa Pinkola Estes when she talks about the woman tree, or the wild woman. Becoming Feral, from domesticated to wild, freeing our true natures.
The leaves represent the Japanese Maple.
The Japanese Maple is symbolic of :-
Autumn – later life, menopause
Survival – it’s hardy, can weather many storms, like my life.
Beauty and magnificence – self love and acceptance
Harmony, peace and serenity – aging, being at peace (death?), Maturity and wisdom
The Japanese Maple is called Acer Palmatum in Latin, meaning sharp hands – a reference to my making skills
Grows 1 to 2 feet per year for the first 50yrs and can live beyond 100yrs in favourable conditions, I am in my 50’s
Produces Samara (fruits) – symbols of new developments in the near future
It is seen as a reminder to be a source of happiness for people around you, and that they can come to you in times of need or trouble.