Aftermath: Nottingham Contemporary

MA Photography, Graphic Design and Illustration students responded to issues and concerns raised by the exhibition Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance to create new work that connected to them.

I always find it fascinating to witness all of the opposing interpretations to the same brief – it was evident that each individual had responded to a different aspect of the exhibition. This infers that certain sections of the original display had had the most impact on them. What I love about art is the idea that there is no right or wrong, with each individual simply expressing their personal emotions and understanding about a particular subject matter.

The responses all involved diverse practices, including 3D, illustration, animation, graphic design, textiles, etc. One piece that stood out to me was, ‘Somewhere in between,’ a mixed media installation which looked almost like a space-age suspended meteor rock with different surface temperatures – warm and cool tones occupied different sections. I am still unsure how this was crafted; however the projected light against the dark background highlighted the delicate creases and folds. It gave off mixed messages and unknowns, which I interpreted as a symbol of how we defend ourselves, alongside dreaming of stranger worlds.

‘In Knots’ and ‘Biomimicry’ I also thought were very successful, although one was a tulipwood installation and the other ink on paper, they both obtained a striking balance and poetic nature between full and empty; I am always drawn to the more minimal outcomes. They also reminded me of the connection to mother-nature and motherhood as an overriding theme.

I thought the repetition of imagery was powerful and really emphasised the message. These created patterns which are what drew the narrative inside of my head. How I perceived these, will more likely than not be different to anyone else who looks at the same piece – I believe it is all determined by the stories we want to believe, largely based on our own experiences.

Rachel

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