Fine Art students return to Surface Gallery with NTU Festival: The Part Versus the Whole

Four group exhibitions ran at the Nottingham city centre gallery, marking the return of this annual collaboration

Capitalism Stole My Virginity installation shot. Photo courtesy Katie Bishop
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Capitalism Stole My Virginity installation shot. Photo courtesy Katie Bishop

Students on our BA (Hons) Fine Art course have been showcasing their work in a series of group exhibitions at Surface Gallery this month. The annual festival, now in its seventh year, presents the opportunity for students to establish themselves outside of university, bringing their exciting emerging practices into the city.

This year the two week-long festival was entitled The Part Versus the Whole, taking the concepts of collectivity and individualism as a point of departure. The first week saw the opening of two exhibitions: Memory-Images and Capitalism Stole My Virginity.

Memory-Images installation shot. Image courtesy Heidi Chan
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Memory-Images installation shot. Image courtesy Heidi Chan

Memory-Images reflected upon ideas of how memories are triggered, turning the gallery space into a ‘time container’ of media spanning ready-mades, sculptural assemblage, immersive installations and more. Curated by and featuring the works of Heidi Chan, Que Chan, and Benjamin Rostance, Memory-Images ran from Wednesday 21 to Saturday 24 March 2018.

Heidi Chan said of the show: "It's challenging and rewarding to curate an exhibition and show some works to audiences outside university."

Running at the same time was Capitalism Stole My Virginity, an exhibition featuring ten artists whose practices deal with consumerism in capitalist societies. Through video, sculpture, painting and performance works, capitalism and identity were traversed, with ideas around masculinity and femininity, materialism and politics interrogated.

Curated by Agil Abdullayev and Katie Bishop, Capitalism Stole My Virginity showcased the work of Agil Abdullayev, Katie Bishop, Pádraig Condron, Charlie Dean, Christos Gkenoudis, Demi Hill, Tiffany Hunt, Phoebe Neil, Jake Moore, Takudzwa Mukomberanwa, Aiden Slee, and Tiffany Slowick.

Erm, What? installation shot. Image courtesy Emily Stollery
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Erm, What? installation shot. Image courtesy Emily Stollery

In the second week of the festival, visitors encountered exhibitions by two emerging artist collectives. The erm Collective presented their inaugural show Erm, What?, featuring moving image, installation, sound and writing works challenging the notion of the art exhibition as a complete, confident concept.

Artists Katie Bishop, Heidi Chan, Rosie Elston, Harry Freestone, Marilyn Jones, Megan Kelly, Tiffany Slowik and Emily Stollery asked questions such as ‘what if the artist doesn’t know what they’re doing?’, in order to celebrate the diverse expressions of unknowing or incompleteness. Erm, What? ran from Wednesday 28 March until Saturday 31 March.

Emily Stollery commented: "We've really enjoyed being able to freely curate an exhibition of our own outside of university. We want to thank Surface Gallery for the opportunity, and thank all of the wonderful artists involved for helping us put on the exhibition!"

Again sharing dates, NORN Collective presented Four Hang, Four Walk, Four Stand Skyward. The gallery space was transformed into a landscape of fossils, stalagmites and stalactites, with theatrical lighting and sound loops creating a dystopic backdrop for collective artists Adam Grainger, Caitlin Hickling, Chloë Laycock and Alison Squires to give performances as inhabitants of this ambiguous location.

Fine Art students return to Surface Gallery with NTU Festival: The Part Versus the Whole

Published on 31 March 2018
  • Category: Culture; School of Art & Design

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