DMU students curate thought-provoking exhibition

Immersive technologies, sculptural installations and holographic performances are at the heart of a compelling exhibition showcasing the work of 16 students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

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Unnerving photography by Talvir

The show demonstrates the breadth of work developed during DMU’s Fine Art and Digital Arts MA programmes, while giving students valuable experience of curating and marketing a public event, as well as the chance to unveil their final projects.

Expect to see ground-breaking practices, crossing boundaries between painterly composition and recycled materials, experimental video composition and fabrics, and virtual reality and interactive sound.

Fine artist Talvir Kaur combined art with psychology to present a film and photography drawing on her personal experience as a victim of narcissism in her family. Her work is inspired by re-watching family videos from her childhood and recreating scenes with help from her sister and peers.

The 28-year-old from Leicester said: “I hope that my own trauma can help educate people about narcissism – be it at home, in the workplace or at school – and can help both victims and abusers.

“I used to repress my feelings and felt very angry, but combining art and psychology has helped me come to terms with my emotions and has improved my mental health.”

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Interactive installation by Dahoo

Dahoo Yi, a contemporary artist from South Korea, is showcasing a floor installation of footprints made by bare feet in flour. It represents the nomadic identity she has adopted while studying away from home.

“My work conveys anxieties about repeated movement from one location to another, where the destination is unclear,” said the 24-year-old.

“By allowing viewers to walk through my work, it becomes a shared experience for all of us.”

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William's holographic performance

Video-art musician William Kitchener has built a 5ft 7in wooden plinth with an inverted pyramid on top, displaying a projected performance of himself playing a guitar to give the illusion of a hologram.

The 26-year-old from Hertfordshire said: “I’m fascinated by concepts like synaesthesia and the tension between the human body and machines, so my work is about putting a physical performance in a virtual space.

“My installation invites people to walk around it and take in the different aspects of my performance, which are projected on each side of the pyramid.”

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Self-portrait by Eleni

Cypriot photographer Eleni Koukkoulli’s large-scale self-portraits invite viewers to think about the contrast between the reality and the fictional world that people create through social media.

“I was photographing myself in a different period of my life when I was influenced by social media and I’ve tried to show that facial expressions can be false and can be constructed,” said the 23-year-old.

“My MA taught me that there is no right or wrong. There is only creativity and expression. Thanks to my wonderful professors, I’ve been able to achieve my dream of bringing my ideas to life.”

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A still from Laura's pre-recorded dance footage

Screen dance maker Laura Bryan has written an algorithm that randomly selects her pre-recorded dance footage and sets it to a selection of music she has composed and lighting options she has provided. 

The 23-year-old from Nottinghamshire said: “I’ve given the algorithm authorship and the outcome is never the same as you watch the film in real-time. It’s a play on whether computers can think for themselves and if they will take over the world. 

“People should come to the show because each artist brings something different to it. It might inspire you to think on a different level and connect with something new.”

Held at the Two Queens gallery in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter, the exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September from midday to 6pm, following a private launch tonight.

The artists showcased are Adam Day, Aidan Reece Cawrey, Barbara Rawcliffe, Dahoo Yi, Dan Glover, Eleni Koukkoulli, Heidi Thomas, Helen Jayne Gunn, Jacqui Booth, Laura Bryan, Mahra Almazmi, Qianhui Lu, Rhiann Tintor, Rochea Dyer, Talvir Kaur and William Kitchener.

Posted on Friday 13th September 2019

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