Once Upon a time, and Now!

Postgraduate students from the Curating MA at the School of Arts have launched a new virtual exhibition entitled ‘Once upon a time, and Now!’.

The exhibition was due to take place in the School’s Studio 3 Gallery but has moved online due to COVID-19. It can be viewed here until Thursday 18 June 2020.

Through the exhibition, curators Diletta D’Antoni, Inês Mourato and Junwei Chen invite viewers to rediscover the history of women with the influence of the goddess Isis, an Ancient Egyptian deity.

Featured artists include Nancy SperoDavid DeweerdtNooji StudioAlaa AwadJames PutnamAna Maria PachecoSilvia PaciClaudia Niarni, Bin Luo, Nicole WassallAlmagul Menlibayeva, Bin Zhao, Lu Han, Crisia Constantine and Mary Kelly.

Inês Mourato said: ‘Isis was an omniscient deity endowed with magical powers. Her supremacy over all the gods reflected the recognised status of Egyptian women. “Wiser than a million gods”, Isis had a complete knowledge of the heavens and the earth. Yet she also incorporated human qualities – a natural balance of good and evil – that ordinary women could relate to. This exhibition combines and juxtaposes different historical cultures and beliefs in order to rethink women’s liberation by listening to their glories and sufferings throughout history.’

The curators have also produced an exhibition catalogue, which can be viewed here:

Hair: Textures of Belonging

With work by
Marina Abramović, Sonia Boyce, Sonya Clark, Monique Goossens, Yuni KIm Lang, Zhu Tian, and Jayoung Yoon.

Curated by Dr Eleen M Deprez and Dr Sweta Rajan-Rankin

Due to Covid-19 the exhibition had to close on 18th March 2020

In this exhibition, we engage with hair as a material as well as metaphorical space by which questions of gender and racialized belonging can be explored. It is a conversation between the artist and their use of hair as material and allegory, and the audience, who can become aware of their own entanglements with the art work, each other and the wider world.

Hair is not just hair. This exhibition reflects on the social, political and aesthetic significance of hair. With its different textures, grooming practices, interpretations, and symbolic values, hair provides a unique and timely entry point to understanding racialised and gendered belonging among different communities. Artists have long used hair as a material in art practice. Here, they explore hair as a material with affective potential and as a signifier of identity.

Hair can be a treasured and celebrated expression of personal identity. Grooming or presenting hair (shaving, styling, colouring, braiding, covering, curling, straightening, weaving, etc.) is a performative element in social enterprise and a visible, powerful marker of identity and belonging to one’s community.

But, hair as beauty practice can also be an instrument of social control. Eurocentric and sexist aesthetic beauty norms fuel an in industry that sees many people enduring painful, expensive, dangerous procedures to attain so-called ‘good hair’.

In Hair: Textures of Belonging, we explore hair as a material artefact but also a narrative tool to explore stories of belonging, exclusion and collective identity.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Leading Light: At the outer limits of photography

Leading Light:
At the outer limits of photography

27 sep – 12 nov
Mon – Fri: 10am – 5pm

Leading Light brings together recent works by international artists and photographers. The exhibition presents experimental ways of image-making and examines the exploitation and manipulation of the photographic process.


David Claerbout
Elias Heuninck
Junko Theresa Mikuriya
Chloe Sells
Eva Stenram
Maarten Vanvolsem
Corinne Vionnet

Curator: Dr Eleen M Deprez

Supported by: Creative Campus and the School of Arts