Between 6th – 10th July, Pay Gaps and Thigh Gaps, an exhibition by a group of graduating SMFA Fine Art students was on at Old Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane, London, as part of Free Range – A season of Graduate Art & Design Exhibitions.
Established in 2001 to showcase the work of emerging creatives, thousands of students have exhibited at the shows, taking over Old Truman Brewery spaces each summer and connecting with a London audience. It aims to celebrate talent and provide a platform for UK artists beyond education. The show was extremely successful, with an amazing turn out.
SMFA Students featured were:
BA (Hon) Fine Art
Amanda Nsubuga, Alexandra Aldham, Ayesha Chouglay, Angel Obi and Rachael Willis
MA Fine Art
About Pay Gaps and Thigh Gaps
There seems to be a growing precedent that in order to be recognised as a female artist you must limit your practice to being ‘feminist’. But why can’t a woman speak beyond her gender to gain recognition? We are a group of proud feminists who would like to share varying concerns beyond our genitalia (and possibly surrounding our genitalia- we would like the option). From, childhood imagination, to personal illness, we come together with uniquely different practices, to support each other as artists… who happen to be female.
A moving image installation about art and children called Because I am, written and directed by SMFA alumni Nadia Perrotta (BA, 2015, and MA Fine Art, 2017) and featuring Lalita Bailey, (BA Fine Art 2017) and the children of Squirrel Lodge and The Rabbit on the Moon nurseries, has been selected for a major UNESCO event in Italy about art and education.
Presented by Associazione Internazionale Arti Plastiche Italia, Spazio-Tempo Arte and Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Human Rights? #EDU 2018 is an International Exhibition of Contemporary Art from 23 June – 23 September at the Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Rovereto, Trento, Italy which features 161 artists from 37 countries defending the human right to education.
The event asks the artists to represent and tell, with their own artistic language, a personal vision of the problem of the right to education representing a story, a concept, a complaint, or showing a future perspective as message of hope or as a concrete proposal on the opportunities to be pursued to achieve this fundamental goal for the construction of a fair and right society.
Nadia’s film Because I Am was created during her artist residency since September 2016, at The Rabbit on The Moon Nursery in Sittingbourne, and there will be an exhibition – Because I am: A children’s journey across self recognition and discovery of the world around them through the arts – on Saturday 23rd June, 12-3pm at Kemsley Community Centre, The Square, Ridham Ave, Kemsley, Sittingbourne showing the works the children created with her throughout the past year.
Nadia is a film maker and visual artist with experience in exhibiting and organizing events, art writing and curating. She works mostly with time based, installations, digital work, creative writing and performances. An experienced curator and art director, she was Project Leader for Wetlands Medway. More info about Nadia here https://nadiaperrotta.jimdo.com/
SMFA alumni Nadia Perrotta (BA Fine Art, 2015, and MA Fine Art, 2017) and Fiona Townend (MA Fine Art, 2017) together created an art intervention involving photography and creative writing for Whitstable Biennale. The project, called Cuttlefish Bones, ran from 2-10 June, and was an artistic and poetic treasure trail winding through the streets of Whitstable suitable for adults and children alike, a fusion of poetic text, domestic mini tales and photographs of the unnoticed.
Since September 2016, SMFA alumna Nadia Perrotta (BA, 2015, and MA Fine Art, 2017) has been artist in residence at The Rabbit on The Moon Nursery in Sittingbourne, and there will be an exhibition showing the works the children created with her throughout the past year.
Because I am: A children’s journey across self recognition and discovery of the world around them through the arts takes place on Saturday 23rd June, 12-3pm at Kemsley Community Centre, The Square, Ridham Ave, Kemsley, Sittingbourne.
Nadia is a film maker, visual artist, art writer and event organiser who works mostly with time based, installations, digital work, creative writing and performances. An experienced curator and art director, she was Project Leader for Wetlands Medway.
The SMFA students from the remaining two undergraduate years and the final MA year worked collaboratively as a group together with students and staff at the Paris Centre to make and exhibit new work in response to theme and site. This has included a performance involving cheese and a derivé exploring the city around the centre.
Peter Brown commented: “It has all been going exceptionally well. There was an excellent turn-out for the Menteur launch and Medway students did the event proud with their own ‘set’ that was very well received. Thank you for enhancing our activities with your excellent students! “
Commented Year 2 BA Fine Art student Kevin Hadimadja: “The Paris trip was an amazing and enjoyable experience! Thank you very much for giving this opportunity to present my artwork as well as surrounding myself with great people. It has opened my eyes in the sense of interaction and collaborative thinking into not just the art but the journey through it.”
On Saturday 2nd June, SMFA students featured in a large-scale, outdoor screening of artists’ films and video projected on the exterior wall of The Old Neptune Pub, Marine Terrace, Whitstable, facing the seafront. Presented by 51zero/voyager at Whitstable Biennale as part of the Decreation international festival of moving image and digital arts Touring Programme. The event ran from 9.30pm – 11.30pm.
Many of the participating artists have taken part in international art Biennials, and were showcased alongside emerging talent selected from open calls and SMFA Fine Art students, including graduates Rose Sizer and Nicola Baxter, and Alfie Killick (Little-Blood) (3rd Year), Jordan Colbert (3rd Year), Constanza Marques Guedes (3rd Year), Olu Taiwo (MA)
Matt Bray is a practising artist, freelance curator and arts consultant, who graduated from SMFA in 2012 with an MA Fine Art. He co-founded the Medway Print Festival, which is running until 24th June at present, and multimedia group exhibition Sick! More at www.mattbrayarts.com
Matt kindly took time out from his busy schedule to chat with SMFA’s Marketing & Communications Officer, Jane Seaman.
How did your time at Kent prepare or equip you for the role you have now?
My time at Kent equipped me with a far richer understanding of contemporary art and its relationship to the longer stream of art history. That has afforded me a more nuanced understanding of both my own work and the work of others, allowing me to curate more mature and interesting shows, and I’ve developed confidence in my abilities as an artist and curator as a result.
What does your job involve? Is there a typical day?
There are no typical days. Networking is key though, so I can often be spotted having coffee with artists and gallerists (tough life I know). Funding is the least glamorous and most important element of putting exhibitions and festivals together, so that is something I have had to learn on the job – how is the project going to be funded? Arts Council? Local council? Paid by the artists? Somehow it needs to be paid for and that requires good clear ideas and being able to articulate those ideas well. Once funding is secured the rest of the project is normally plain sailing to a large degree.
What kind of opportunities offered at Kent were especially beneficial for your career development?
Putting on the degree show was obviously a pretty important experience, and it was such a great place to host an exhibition.
What have you been doing since graduating?
Since graduating I have been in the studio whenever possible, I have also been running several key projects like ‘Sick!’ and ‘Medway Print Festival’, both of which have been very successful and I have been lucky enough that the people I run those with are very good friends, so although it can be very hard work sometimes, it is always super fun.
What would you recommend to anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
If anyone wants to get involved in curation, then the only real advice I can offer is to put shows on. My first exhibition was in a bookshop with my buddy. You can start small if need be, but just put shows on, as often as possible, of your own work or other people’s, it doesn’t matter. You will learn so much from every show – like anything else, the more you do it, the more you will learn. Before you know it, the shows will have become quite sophisticated and you will have made all the obvious mistakes which you can then learn to avoid.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Kent?
Probably my favourite memory of my time at Kent was meeting my mate Billy Childish, who had a studio in the dockyard too and taught me a lot about being a painter.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to create the Medway Biennial.
Who or what inspires you?
You can catch the Medway Print Festival until 24th June. Now in its 3rd year, the festival celebrates printmaking and fine art in Medway, with over 40 events and activities to showcase some of the best printmaking being created today as well as highlighting the fascinating local history of the medium. More http://medwayprintfestival.com/
School of Music and Fine Art students Olu Taiwo (MA Fine Art) and Lynn Smith (BA Fine Art) were interviewed live on KMTV to talk about their 2018 degree shows. They spoke movingly about the value of art in today’s society. To see the interview click here: https://bit.ly/2IHUAJ3
Lynn Smith’s work explores nature and the spirit of place, investigating the landscape through sculpture, and using traditional craft within fine art.
Olu Taiwo’s work is concerned with memory – how we access and discard memories – experienced through his immersive art.
The annual SMFAPostgraduate Presentations take place Wednesday 23rd May in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space at the campus on the Historic Dockyard Chatham. The Postgraduate Presentations are an excellent opportunity for SMFA to celebrate the successes of our postgraduates and the contribution they make to the life, work and academic community of the School.
The day will run from 10:30am – 3pm (approx. finishing time) and includes a range of presentations from students studying Music and Fine Art MA and PhD programmes, as well as a participatory tour of one of a Fine Art Degree Show piece from one of our MA Fine Art students.
The schedule is below:
10.40 Alan Stumpenhuson-Payne
PhD Music (Research) Canterbury Calling
11:00 Richard Lightman,
PhD Music and Technology Mediating Culture from the Producers View: Cultural Mediation between music producers.
11:30 Georgios Kyriakakis
PhD Music and Technology Terpsichore: A Software Music Interface for People with Mental Disabilities on the Autism Spectrum
12:00 Moyra Derby
PhD Fine Art Cross Cuts and Edits: Pictorial Attention Captured, Segmented and Dispersed
12:20 Lunch – Galvanising Shop Café
13:15 Michael Bonner
PhD Music (Research) How To Hit Yourself On The Head With A Mallet Safely
13:45 Andrea Hepworth
MA Music (Research) Music-evoked Autobiographical Memories (MEAMs) and the relationship to Nostalgia
13:55 Deborah Abbott
MA Fine Art The Portrayal of Disability in Art: Brain Matters
14:20 Olu Taiwo
MA Fine Art Access Memories 2 – Degree Show Artwork Tour
Olu will meet the audience at 14:10 in the Galvanising Shop Performance Space and take them to his Degree Show artwork. The tour of the piece starts at 14:20. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the location of the artwork if you are intending to go there directly for 14:20.
There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions after each presentation and a lunch will be provided for presenting students and audience members at which further discussion can take place.
As part of Whitstable Biennale’s partnership with The Ash Project, SMFA Fine Art Lecturer and acclaimed artist Adam Chodzko is hosting the Ash Walk on Saturday 25th August from 2-4pm. He will lead a walk into the near future as part of a funeral procession for some of the UK’s last remaining ash trees.
https://www.theashproject.org.uk/ is a cultural response to ash dieback in the Kent Downs, celebrating the cultural, natural and social history of the ash tree, to present a series of artists’ walks in 2018 through ash landscapes in Kent, encouraging study and providing an intimate, conversational way to explore the landscapes.
An award winning artist, Adam Chodzko uses a wide range of media including video, installation and performance. His work is characterised by a keen curiosity, exploring the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour – the gap between how we are and how we could be. With a few surprises in store for walkers, along the way, this walk promises to be stimulating, interactive and surprising. The walk is FREE but needs to be booked in advance. To book go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ash-walks-adam-chodzko-tickets-44858540101