DMU supports contemporary artists across East Midlands


Students and other contemporary artists will benefit from two major initiatives this November, backed by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) in support of the visual arts across the East Midlands.

DMU and its students are contributing to an exciting programme of exhibitions, screenings, talks, live music, open studios, workshops and performances as part of Leicester Art Week.


Tiffany's award-winning portrait photography

Starting 4 November and running into January 2017, highlights include Simon and Tom Bloor’s new exhibition at The Gallery at DMU - Leicester’s largest gallery space – and a showcase of Fine Art MA student Tiffany Tangen’s award-winning portrait photography at New Walk Museum.

“This will be my first formal exhibition outside of DMU, which is a great opportunity and feels like a real achievement for me,” said Tiffany, whose photography depicts people in a zombie-like state.

Tiffany’s work will be shown alongside that of runner-up Alice Heaton’s, a DMU Design Crafts graduate whose stunning glasswork featured on the Graduate Fashion Week catwalk this summer.

First year Fine Art students will have their drawings on display as part of the Faiza Butt exhibition at the Attenborough Arts Centre, where they will also be delivering drawing workshops.


Colourful glasswork by Alice Heaton

The week is giving three DMU students – Philippa Pearse-Elliott, Amy Sanders and Indre Rimselyte – valuable volunteering experience at the Leicester Print Workshop where they will help to co-ordinate, promote and deliver the events.

Also kicking off on 4 November is the UK Young Artists National Festival, dedicated to the UK’s best young creative talents aged 18-30, which features DMU Fine Art alumna Heather Forknell as one of over 70 artists  to take part.

Heather’s collaboration with music producer Frank Sparrow brings audiences Velvet Exit, an experience billed as ‘a remedy for those alienated by squeaky-clean chart pop’.

It combines Frank’s bedroom-composed electronica music with Heather’s projection mapping and installation of 1990s video game nostalgia, interior design and a ‘curiosity towards dark web visuals’.


Frank Sparrow and Heather Forknell

Heather said: “It’s a great privilege and opportunity to have been chosen from hundreds of applicants for a festival which showcases the best upcoming artists in the UK.

“I’ve been making and showing since graduating from DMU in 2012, so it feels like a welcome recognition of the last four years of my work.

“DMU challenged me to think critically and gave me the space to develop my practice, as well as the language and curiosity needed to progress in the art world.”

Held every two years - alternating between Leicester, Derby and Nottingham – this year’s promotion of theatre, dance, literature, visual arts and music takes place across 15 venues and in the streets of Derby city centre.

Rob Brannen, Head of the School of Arts at DMU and a member of the UK Young Artists Board of Trustees, said: “It’s important that we work with partners to highlight the fantastic opportunities for visual artists across Leicester and the East Midlands.

"In fact, I'm pleased to see that our work with the UK Young Artists is recognised by the Arts Council in its latest publication aimed at helping arts organisations better engage with universities.  

“Both the UK Young Artists National Festival and Leicester Art Week are invaluable platforms for young artists to show their work to new audiences, meet fellow artists and inspire future collaborations."

Leicester Art Week is delivered by Leicester Visual Arts, a collaboration between DMU, Leicester Arts and Museums, Attenborough Arts, Leicester Print Workshop, Phoenix, Two Queens and Soft Touch, as well as Khush Nubian representing the independent artist’s voice.

Posted on Friday 28th October 2016

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