MA students to exhibit unique artwork at city centre gallery

Diverse artwork by talented De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students is making its debut this weekend, at a gallery located in the city’s Cultural Quarter.

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Sonya's porcelain petri dishes

Showcasing the range of work developed during the Fine Art and Digital Arts MA programmes, the exhibition is a chance for students to curate for a public event and to unveil their final projects.

Held at Two Queens, an artist-led gallery co-established by a DMU graduate, it will be open to the public on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September from midday-6pm.

After graduating from DMU with a degree in Design Crafts in 2011, Sonya Viney took a job as a technician at a sixth form college to enable her to continue creating her work. Hoping teach at university level, she returned to expand her knowledge of Fine Art.

The mother-of-two from the Isle of Wight is exhibiting an installation of black porcelain petri dishes, as a critique of Hermann Nitsch’s controversial art involving performances defiling animal carcasses.

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Landscape in oil painting by Xinrui

She said: “My work addresses the ethics of killing animals in the name of art and feels very much like a protest. I chose to work with porcelain as it’s a material that’s both strong and fragile.”

Xinrui Hou is displaying five oil paintings depicting landscapes she captured during train journeys.

The 25-year-old from China said: “Nature always touches me and it’s a feeling I really want to express through my work. With my studies coming to an end, my collection is also a way of recording my love for Britain.

“The course has given me great freedom and time to concentrate on artistic creation, with meaningful advice and inspiration from tutors.”

The relationship between the viewer and the image is the focus of Chris Ashlin’s photography, which explores everyday spaces at night and raises questions about what is beyond the frame.

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One of the 10 images featuring in Yee Shan's projection

“I’m inspired by the suburban landscape and the interaction of the space. Sometimes these spaces are rarely acknowledged and they are often passed through without much consideration,” said the 23-year-old Photography and Video graduate from Northamptonshire.

“I want the viewer to become submerged within the work and form a relationship with a ‘person’ or ‘subject’.”

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Yee Shan Lai is exhibiting a projection of a looping video of 10 manipulated images with the same foreground and different backgrounds. Her work questions what the future is and shows how she imagines it to be, based on her travels.

The 25-year-old from Hong Kong said: “DMU supports students not only academically, but also financially. I always got my test prints for free, which really helped me out.”

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A still from Garry's video game

A video game in the same style of the Nintendo Entertainment System is featuring as an interactive installation by Garry Foster.

“The game itself is a political parody of contemporary issues,” said the 24-year-old from Dudley.

“I was inspired by artists such as Feng Mengbos, Cildo Mereiles and Banksy while making the game, which is a response to the sensationalism of political issues in the mainstream media.

“The best thing about Fine Art at DMU is the facilities you can access. If you really go off the beaten track of the course, you can find yourself working with music technicians and glass experts.”

The 14 DMU artists exhibiting their work are Chris Ashlin, Karim Baradei, James Chantry, Ed Durrant, Peter Flint, Garry Foster, Xinrui Hou, David Hughes, Chi Kei Kou, Yee Shan Lai, Viktoria Kovalcikova, Bandhana Rai, Stephen Rhead and Sonya Viney.

Posted on Tuesday 4th September 2018

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