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Norwich University of the Arts

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For What It’s Worth is a unique opportunity to see the works of Damien Hirst, Mark Wallinger, Grayson Perry, Andrew Logan, Tacita Dean, Rachel Whiteread and many more together in the Gallery at NUA in Norwich, Norfolk. Selected by three MA Curation students from Norwich University of the Arts, this exhibition explores how artworks, developed in Britain since the late 1970’s, represent and challange the idea and meaning of value, moving towards varied and sometimes surprising interpretations beyond those of mere financial worth. Featuring a blend of painting, print, photography and sculpture chosen from the Arts Coucil Collection, the exhibition is arranged in three thematic strands exploring the notions of value and aesthetics (For What It’s Worth); the resonance and transformation of material qualities in objects (The Materiality of Small Things); and the political and economic resonances of value in contemporary social history (The Displacement of Value).

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Senior Lecturer in Textiles, of artworks made in response to a number of objects held within three archives; The Textile and Costume Collection at Norwich Museum, Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) and Suffolk County Council Archive. The new work is shown alongside photographs of some of the many objects that have inspired him. Les has mapped his exploration through the collections - looking at the opportunities for creative starting points that the objects provide and how connections can be made between the pieces and subsequent art work. A particular link is one made between the construction of the smock through the process of smocking and the ploughed land worked by the people who wore the smocks. The new work focuses on the idea of the fold, its role and purpose; the opportunity of concealment, decoration and practical applications, celebrating the skill and craft of book binding and stitching but also seeking to challenge traditional ways of working to make intriguing and fascinating contemporary objects. The exhibition sets out to find links, encouraging people to think about how the collections could be used and to consider how individuals could work with the material in new ways, inspiring them to make new work, learning from the past to make work in the present for the future.


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The Forum Trust and Norwich University of the Arts will bring artist and film-maker Tony Hill to two of Norwich’s top venues throughout November. Visitors to the Forum will find unexpected vantage points within the installation and film work on display in the Fusion Digital Gallery, a space ideally suited to large format projections. Visitors to the more traditional ‘White Cube’ gallery space at NUA, will find sculptural objects and moving image on display together to create contemporary artwork. Hill has consistently applied his interest in space, place, viewpoint and orientation to his practice. His bizarre and sometimes humorous vantage points make us rethink our assumptions about perspective, gravity, scale and movement. Developing his own camera rigs and ingeniously using mirrors and unusual lenses he exploits the great potential for film to make us see things differently and to show us the world afresh. In the NUA Gallery Hill will be showing two recent installations, ‘Doors’ and ‘Pool’, together with some of his filming rigs. Born in London in 1946, Hill studied architecture and sculpture, and makes experimental short films that are somewhere between sculpture and cinema. He taught film and video from 1982 until 2002 at the University of Derby, becoming Professor of Film at Plymouth College of Art from 2004 until 2011. He has been working as an independent film-maker since 1963, usually taking on all aspects of production and often developing and building his own equipment. He also works with installation, photography and sound. Hill has shown work at many galleries and film festivals worldwide. His awardwinning films have been broadcast across the world and published in both the UK and Japan.


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Born in the UK in 1986, Alec Cumming was raised on the Norfolk/Suffolk border with a garden that opened onto the gently undulating countryside. Cumming started wandering into this landscape sketching and painting from the age of ten, taking lessons from a local artist who taught him how to work with oil and canvas. Cumming Studied at Norwich City College where he took a Diploma in Fine Art followed by a BA (hons) in Fine Art from Norwich School of Art and Design (2004 - 2007). Always actively involved, following two years as Student Union President at Norwich School of Art and Design, Cumming was a founding member of STEW artist studios in Norwich where he still works today. Represented by Art 18/21 since early 2009, Cumming has participated in numerous group shows around the UK, hanging work alongside such personalities as John Hoyland, Maggi Hambling and Bruer Tidman. He has also held two solo shows London’s Mayfair. In 2013 Cumming’s work was shown for the third consecutive year at the India Art air in New Delhi. As for the future, shows in London and Singapore are forthcoming with a return to his hometown of Norwich at the end of 2013 and a solo show at the Norwich University of the Arts Gallery; a fitting tribute to this young Alumni. We all can look forward to a year of explosive creativity with baited breath.


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Concrete is the most widely used man-made material on earth. The application of concrete in architecture was extensively pioneered by the Roman Empire; the dome of the Pantheon remains the largest unreinforced solid concrete dome in the world. Today as the material of choice for infrastructure, it has become lackluster and monotonous. It forms the internal structures of large buildings upon which exteriors of glass and steel arethen hung. In 1974, Noah Da Costa at the age of 4, moved with his family to Norfolk where his dad began work at the University of East Anglia. Noah’s earliest memories are of playing around the concrete columns and walkways, which make up much of the university campus. Here the concrete buildings, conceived by the architect Denys Lasdun, left a lasting impression, and later after moving to London, nostalgia for the formed concrete architecture soon drew him to the Southbank Centre and National Theatre. It wasn’t until 2012, and after many camera walks around the area, that sections of the architecture, the forms and textures, became a focus for his lens. The images here are the end result of those studies of concrete.


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Launched in 2013, the Jerwood Painting Fellowships are part of Jerwood Visual Arts (JVA), a contemporary national touring programme of awards, exhibitions and events. Designed to provide crucial time and support to promising emerging painters in the early stages of their professional practice, the Fellowships offer three artists a bursary coupled with a year-long mentoring relationship. Anthony Faroux, Susan Sluglett and Sophia Starling were selected for the outstanding quality and potential of their work, and partnered by mentors Fabian Peake, Marcus Harvey and Mali Morris RA, respectively. This support is invaluable for emerging artists, particularly within the current financial landscape of the arts. Shonagh Manson, Director of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, comments: ‘The themes arising from this past year are brave ones; of risk, challenging habit and expectation and what has come before. The works they have produced for exhibition have benefited from an intense period of focus, conversation, reflection and making.’ Anthony Faroux’s installations are inspired by the imagination of selective memory and how objects can appear to be the residue of past experiences. To achieve this he creates composites of film, sound and painting that piece together the fragments of an image. Susan Sluglett exhibits large canvases themed on a royal wedding. Her seemingly frenetic execution is underpinned by slick, tightly controlled compositions, reflecting in paint the same conflicting emotions of the subject matter. Sophia Starling’s work explores the infinite possibilities for abstract painting in three dimensions. After wrapping long lengths of material around large wooden strains and pleating sections of canvas into circles before adding paint, she begins to partially undo the canvas, revealing a richly coloured contour interrupted by darts of bare canvas.

Sophia Starling, Fluor Red, 2013. © Courtesy Jerwood Visual Arts. Photography: thisistomorrow.info


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My main practice involves working site responsively. Kilkenny Shift of 2009 is the result of an invitation to make a piece of work for the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny. Here I was particularly struck by a set of servants’ stairs, which were hidden from the tourist trail frequented at Kilkenny Castle. It’s a place absent from heritage description but one I wished to expose through performative action. By contrast, Drift was one of the pieces I made for the Venice Biennale when I represented Wales in 2011. Here, rather than excavating something hidden, I chose to work directly with the iconic image of Venice but this time through the uncertainty of its reflection. The hand breaks the surface of the water and the perceived familiarity dissipates. My exhibition in Norwich will respond to the city. Having studied for my Fine Art degree at Norwich, I am already familiar with some aspects of the city but I acknowledge that many things have changed since that time. I would always question any assumptions. My work was last shown in Norwich at East International, so I am very much looking forward to reacquainting myself with the city and exhibiting at The Gallery at NUA.


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With four of its campus buildings showing the final work of its graduating students, the University is hosting its annual shows for the public as over 500 new graduates prepare to enter the real world. Works on display will include paintings and illustrations, fashion garments and textile patterns, sculptures, photographs, short films and animations, portfolios of graphic design work and video game demos. As well as being a public celebration of their achievements, the shows offer students graduating with degrees in subjects such as Fine Art, Graphic Design, Photography and Animation an opportunity to showcase their work to a host of employers, buyers and curators travel from all across the country to find the next big talent. Many students will sell their work at the event, while others will receive job offers or commissions.

The Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts presents a vibrant programme of exhibitions by internationally recognised artists, designers and media practitioners. Exhibitions are accompanied by seminars and lectures delivered by exhibitors, specialists and curators which enrich the experience of our students and public visitors alike. If you would like to bring a group of visitors to the gallery, including school visits, we may be able to arrange a tour of the exhibition or create an activity for your group. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or hiring the space, we offer a wide range of options to suit your requirements. For further information please email gallery@nua.ac.uk or call 01603 886385 Become a friend of NUA and receive a wide range of benefits including invitations to gallery private views, lectures and symposia, whilst supporting the arts in Norwich. For more information and an application form www.nua.ac.uk/alumni/supportingnua


NUA Gallery Programme 2013 – 2014