Coming together in a collective Response
Our art and design, arts and humanities, and social sciences students collaborated with Nottingham Contemporary on an original publication responding to the themes of the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus was a pioneering school of art, architecture and design established in Weimar, Germany in 1919.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Nottingham Contemporary have a close working relationship that stretches back to before the gallery opened its doors in 2009. One of the highlights of recent years has been the student participation project, Response. Combining work experience and a live project brief, Response sees students from the School of Art & Design, Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences working together to create a publication in response to the Nottingham Contemporary programme.
Response Issue 3 responded to Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus, and was launched at an event held by the students and hosted by Nottingham Contemporary on Thursday 20 February 2020. This lively celebration included music, poetry from the publication, and a performance by Christos Gkenoudis.
The publication comprises interviews, poetry, prose and photography, and picks up major Bauhaus themes as it explores alternative art education and its evolution. The project took place between September 2019 and February 2020 and the participating students found it ‘sparked ideas’ and ‘challenged views’, and they hope this new publication inspires new ways of reading and learning.
The team sourced and created a vast array of content through poetry, interviews, images and opinion pieces that explored the influence of the Bauhaus; sustainability in higher education curricula; gender equality; digital learning; the trans-lived experience and sex and relationship education; makeup; and the art school experience in the view of NTU’s fashion knitwear design lecturer, Juliana Sissons.
The first article, complete with original images by the student photography team, was an interview with NTU fine art graduate, visual artist, garment maker and makeup artist Christos Gkenoudis. Christos explores queer and drag culture, the Bauhaus, and his personal and professional experiences as an artist.
He told us: “It was a great experience to work with the NTU students on this exciting project. They were open and ambitious with the way they used my work, and it was an exciting experience to perform for the launch of Response Issue 3.”
Response was managed at Nottingham Contemporary by Katy Culbard, and supported by the NTU Employability managers in the three participating schools. The student feedback from Response demonstrated valuable work experience, the joys of being part of a close-knit team and the professionalism and high quality contributions of Katy and the Nottingham Contemporary team.
“As a philosophy student, it’s been so rewarding to work with students from different courses, bringing together everyone’s ideas, perspectives and working methods. It’s been a unique opportunity to collaborate within an international arts venue and produce something that we can all be proud of," said Jamie Robinson, one of the students involved.
It wasn’t just the students and University that benefit from this collaborative project. Nicole Yip, Chief Curator at Nottingham Contemporary told us: “We’re tremendously pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the students on Response for the third year running. They produced an impressive publication and delivered a lively and colourful launch event that invoked all the spirit of the Bauhaus. For us, it’s been a rewarding process to bring the project to fruition. We’re very proud of what they’ve achieved”.
Congratulations to all who took part in Response Issue 3, including: Lilah Bloom, Stefani Ermogenidou, Amy Matthews, Mollie Matthews, Casey Serghides, Rodilene Gittoes, Na Qing, Jamie Robinson, Elis Roes, Ishita Sharma, Neive Ward, Aria Kaloudi, Louisa Pisaturo, Gayatri Rana, Charlotte Saunders, Alice Stone, Piers Thorley with editing and proofreading provided by Katy Culbard and Anna Baildon.
Coming together in a collective Response
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