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Fine Art students create live video with renowned artist


Fine Art students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are used to having tutorials with visiting artists – but not filmed live in front of an audience.

Performance artist Kathryn Elkin’s piece On First Impression was created last night during a live video shoot with second year students Jarvis Brookfield, Phoebe Ellis and first year Roo Rodgers showing some of their work.

Fig futures 1

Elkin and the students took on multiple roles including tutees, actors, subjects and crew with a fair bit of audience participation thrown in too. The resulting footage will be turned into a short film to be shown in The Gallery at DMU alongside the students’ work for the rest of the week.

Kathryn’s is the final performance to be staged at The Gallery as part of Fig-futures, a national series which brings the work of exciting and emerging artists to Leicester. It has seen a quick-fire series of exhibitions with one artist every week presenting their work.

Roo, who displayed two life drawings which she had done, said: “I can’t think of a better way to kick off the start of my uni days. I’ve literally been here for a month and a half and my work is on display in The Gallery!”

Phoebe, who works with film images, said: “It was a really fun experience. Instead of being a watcher I was videoing the whole thing. Kathryn is so engaging – I’m so glad this happened.”

Fig futures

Jarvis, who has two paintings on display, said having his tutorial filmed was an interesting experience. He said: “I wasn’t quite sure how to take some of the questions because I was second guessing whether it was part of a performance but a great project to be involved in.”

Kathryn said the idea came to her because she was fascinated by how people present different versions of themselves in different situations. She said: “We all have this difficulty of talking about what we do as artists and I wanted to explore that through a series of improvisations with the students.

“I’ll cut a few vignettes and keep editing them so the film which is shown in the Gallery will change every day. I’m quietly confident that I can get some good work out of this. In one of the interviews, I got an answer I wasn’t expecting and I found it quite affecting. It changed the tone of the piece and that was an exciting texture to encounter.”

Supported by Arts Council England, Art Fund and Outset Art, fig-futures follows the major project fig-2 in which 50 projects were presented across 50 weeks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 2015.

This series takes fig-2 alumni out of London to create work in four venues across the UK including DMU, the Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and Plymouth Arts Centre. It aims to create a new legacy of art work, as each artist will donate a work to the institution they exhibited in.

You can see On First Impression and the students’ work at The Gallery DMU from today until Saturday, open 12noon to 5pm.
Posted on Wednesday 28th November 2018

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