Work by City Lit Fine Art Student Iliana

City Lit Fine Art Course Year 2 Students - Interim Show

26 February 2021
Posted in: Events, Courses

To celebrate and showcase the work of our City Lit Fine Art Course Year 2 Students we are launching an online interim show.  

After a year in-and-out of lockdown, working mainly online with adaptation to ‘home-studio’ practice, Year 2 Fine Art students continue to show resourceful productivity and rigour in their individual investigative paths.

This is a snapshot of some of the work beginning to emerge after a term and a half of personal project research. The interim show is historically an important marker in the Year 2 journey; it is the result of a series of seminars where the group as a whole reflects on the progress of each person’s output and the responses it provokes. Images are selected collectively to best document each student’s research process. Text extracts that accompany begin to reflect upon, but carefully resist over-defining these emerging, still-forming practices.  

You can view the online interim show here > 

Iliana’s work reflects on the everyday labour that goes into making a home in the context of migration. She takes the marigold glove to be emblematic of this often arduous physical, emotional, hidden work. Marigolds also bring to mind low paid cleaning work, a sector where immigrants are massively over represented. Her work alludes to the challenge of trying to establish a safe and secure home in the midst of current xenophobic discourses and policies and/or whilst precarious external economic factors are a constant threat. (Image above) 

Aurelia’s work is influenced by mythology and history, particularly in relation to musical and dramatic performance. Initially large scale drawings attempted to map something of the experience getting into character, the ‘pushing through’ to occupy a different space. Locked down and with limited materials she thought about ways to physically portray this feeling, ultimately deciding to work with clingfilm. One big surprise was the incredible volume of the sounds her body made against the clingfilm and she has begun work on a sound piece which may potentially stand alone. 

Mark’s work is a meditation of sorts on how the natural and urban environment intersect. It began when the purpose of walking shifted during the first lockdown: no longer directed towards a destination, but becoming an experience in itself. Here, on pavements, he encountered the faded ethereal prints left behind by fallen leaves. This play between absence and presence creates an echo, perhaps suggesting something of how we carry within us these small interactions with nature, how noticing can inoculate us against the anxiety of feeling hemmed in by an unrelenting, often austere urban environment.

Sabrina’s project revolves around the physical properties of a growing collection of throwaway or low-key materials, often involved in packaging. Testing their innate qualities, she cuts, separates, re-orders and transforms them. She identifies touch as key, and this has caused her to reinvent her materials in quite unexpected ways, often resulting in hybrid forms somewhere between 2 and 3-D. The materials of their making are sometimes recognisable and sometimes not. Everything she produces comes almost entirely from detritus and her work’s delicate and complex structures ask questions about the volume of material normally discarded and by association, the impact of this on the wider environment.

Loss and ways to pay homage have been the impetus for Mina’s output. In the midst of an emotionally challenging situation, the sorting and rescue of a number of artefacts (predominantly animal figurines) perhaps marked the unconscious start of her visual research. Her work never tries to explain itself and is never explicit about its subject matter. Lately she has been making ink drawings of this collection of animal toys and ornaments, working with an old dip pen, its broken nib making a beautiful though scratchy line. In these works there is a tenderness, as well as something less human centric, and a real sense of her communing with her subject.

Sally is interested in how different approaches change the way a familiar object is experienced. Her project is rooted in rigorous research, examining the effect of iterative working in a variety of media including drawing, casting, collage, printmaking, painting and photography.  Throughout she has used a primary source artefact, a classic Bialetti espresso maker. It acts as a kind of catalyst for a restless experimentation and a rapid turnover of material whilst maintaining a common thread. The works she creates spark unexpected moods and associations leading to new areas of research which are pursued in a cycle of exploration and learning.

Claire uses fabric to make sculptures; sometimes dressed over armatures and at other times engineered to stand unaided. Her method has involved much research into region-specific techniques (sewing and embroidery) reflecting her interest in the way that fabric can bind both history and tradition. The material with which she works is often of personal significance: hand-me-down swatches with the capacity to trigger memories and associations for her. In this respect it is almost the embodiment of the individuals who donated it, making her constructions both relational and generational.

Domino’s project grew out of a fascination with airspace and how these immense three dimensional spaces exist theoretically above us. She took the space in her bedroom as a starting point for her investigations, dividing it up using cassette tape (exceptionally strong and lightweight) to create flat planes and 3D spaces floating in the air. After making a host of diagrammatic drawings in situ she gave form to these sections of space, making cardboard moulds and then casting them in plaster of Paris. The casts were satisfying, but it is the paper engineering required to make the moulds that really excites her imagination. 

James’s work appears delicate and fragile but at the same time can seem oddly disquieting. The paper on which he works is treated as a medium in its own right, intrinsic to the development of each image. It can be distressed, stained, scratched, pierced or waxed, and often calls to mind skin. His sketchbooks signal how his broader practice functions, with individual leaves often reworked over many months. His method is slow, meditative and often employs insistent, repetitive actions (whether this is scratching, rubbing, tearing his physical works or in the development of his stop motion animation).


City Lit Fine Art Course

City Lit Fine Art course is a two-year part-time progamme, led by practising artist-tutors; the course includes modules in Drawing, Painting, Moving Image, Printmaking, Sculpture and Performance. We encourage diverse applications from students with some basic experience of visual research – maybe drawing, photography or alternatives as outlined above. Admission is by short informal interview where we ask simply for a willingness to discuss work presented, and reasons for your interest in the fine-art course programme.

We are now registering expressions of interest for the 21/22 course which will offer both blended and studio options. Contact the course co-ordinators chris.hough@citylit.ac.uk or amandaknight@citylit.ac.uk for more information or to discuss your interest/application.