Private View: September 10th 2021 6pm - 10pm
Exhibition runs: Saturday 11th September - Saturday 18th September
(Dates open to the public TBC)
Two Queens, 2 Queen Street, Leicester, LE1 1QW
the word exhibition itself, to be honest, it sounds very hectic. the thought of doing it makes
me want to have 4 hands to do everything at once. but i understand, we need process. we
should enjoy every step because every step is a progress to reach our goal. though i know
that we are all struggling in this situation, we should also realise that we are not alone.
everyone is struggling and fighting their own battles. we can at least help each other out,
because 2 hands are never enough. the more help we give the faster we reach our end
Whether we are in a state of enforced pause and reflection or otherwise, every minute lived leaves a footprint. We choose to draw a line around each step, photograph it, annotate it, archive it, bring it out of its box to have conversations in bright glossy rooms with labels on the walls; and when we can’t do that, we meet online and hear each others voices through a speaker before we’ve ever heard them in person. We take what is fractured and dispersed and collect it to emerge together as one.
Five months into my MA coursework and Covid moves in. With everything moving online my uphill climb just got steeper. My reaction was to channel the emotions into a collaborative piece of work that offered a sense of community. Now we near the light at the other end of lockdowns, my closing piece explores the ‘New Normal’ looking ahead. Studies show positivity often follows a crisis. I ask you to respond to these questions:
Have our values changed?
Can we identify any positive outcomes?
At the beginning, it was a very big challenge exploring on scrap metal for my master’s degree. Being an upcycling artist, I want my work to help reduce waste, but I couldn’t get a junk yard or mechanic site due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the nation was on lockdown. After much time spent searching, I managed to locate a mechanic site for the scrap metal through a colleague. After the struggles to procure materials and difficulty accessing the workshop, I was finally ready to start working. I want my art to be seen from a perspective that rubbish can become ruby, trash can turn treasure and waste can give wealth under the right conditions.
As a sculptor working with materials is a drug, a sensory thing. Unless I can touch it and smell it, rest my cheek on it, listen to how it reacts when stroked or scratched or crumpled I do not understand it. Spending time in workshops evaluating, discussing, challenging the medium is a crucial part of the process. It is about reflection and growth. Covid took this from us. Covid forced me to think differently, how could I exhibit a sensory sculpture with no audience? I had to go digital, so I made a video and published my first book.
A new experience with different boundaries, more stuff to learn, more tears and frustration, disappointment and anger, I wanted to give up. The artist inside me, determined and creative, dug deep and drove me to face my fears and challenge failure. I engaged with people I had not met before, learned new skills and embraced this new way of being to make work I am proud of.
I turned my book pages into sculpture working with the material, reflecting what is in my heart coming from the very core of me. Without Covid this would not be.
My work is a culmination of precise mathematics, geometric shapes and inspiration from the natural world but since the pandemic the sculptures I create, hold much more personal meanings than seen before. During my year away from the institution due to the pandemic I was able to evaluate what I was portraying through my sculptures. The making process is fundamental to my practice. The qualities of my materials and the processes used were a reflection of my personal life. This discovery arrived at a moment of clarity, allowing me to become much more ambitious with my artworks. Perfect synergy.
Through the importance of decoration in people's lives and a love of beauty, the idea of redrawing old decorations in a modern way emerged. Four paintings will be displayed; each panel exploring decoration. The first panel represents the symbol of the Arab woman, and the second panel symbolises the Arab falcon with special decorations from southern Saudi Arabia. Two paintings with British emblems will also be displayed, the first a lion symbol decorated with European motifs, the second, a horse.
Creating art is an ever-evolving process, changing in reaction to the world around us as we discover new information or learn new skills. During such uncertain times it has become more important than ever to reflect on ourselves along with the changes in circumstance many of us find ourselves in. Our work has adapted into new forms, tackled issues we never thought we’d face in our lifetime, explored the future, and commented on the inequalities in the world. It has shown all our collective determination and strength to keep creating important art in these times.
My work has become about instinct that is deliberate and challenging, as well as lighthearted. My work explores the vagueness that sometimes lies between reality and narrative. Painting, photography and video meets the inspirational setting of Pilot House and a strange world is created.
I hope that our work will inspire challenge and provide solace for you in these strange times. We have become a tough group, not to be beaten; and hopefully what will emerge from this is something beautiful
Exhibiting work made by
Rahma Hassan Alharti
Jay L Clarke
David Wilson Clarke
Professor Zahoor Ul-Haq
support staff at DMU
and all the staff at Two Queens