University of Leeds


The University of Leeds
Fine Art Degree Show

Exhibition · 14-19 June 2013 · 10am-5pm
Symposium & Late Opening · 17 June 2013 10am-8pm

Rebecca Adams · Jack Bell · Akeelah Bertram · Victoria Birkett · Isabella Brinsmead
Michael Burrell · Bethany Cowley · Niamh Crowley · Kim Diamond · Thomas Edwards
Phoebe Eustance · Alexandra Fellows · Laura Feltham · Hannah Gomersal · Ellen Hancock
Sarah Harrison · Alexander Hunter · Katie Iveson · Angela Johnson · Rebecca Jones
Joshua Kallenberg · Nayoung Kang · Se Hee Kang · Ellen Lapper · Carrie Mallows
Clare McCormack · Jessa McLaughlin · Anna McQuillin · Sophie Noble · Ashleigh Owen
Emily Palmer · Tamsin Pearson · Joanne Pilcher · Jessica Pinkus · Imogen Pring
Ella Sergeant · Dominic Viall · Harriet Wiseman · Matthias Höhl · Cora Grüssel

Rebecca Adams

The work I make derives out of a reciprocal relationship between drawing and three-dimensional making. In an attempt to explore imagined architectonic environments, it is through this relationship that interesting visual architectural languages begin to manifest. I am interested in the act of making as an act of consciousness and awareness of an existence. In relation to Heidegger’s Building Dwelling Thinking, I am particularly interested in the manner in which we dwell as being extensions of our identity, reflecting our very being in the world. I am attracted to Avis Newman’s conception of drawing, as being the nearest equivalent to our operations of thought. When one encounters a drawing and traces its line, one is provided with direct access to the artist’s generative thought process. Drawing allows for endless possibilities and potentials, and through its temporal qualities the line creates a sense of something always becoming and unfolding. It is this conception of drawing that is at its essence, and thus within my practice, a reciprocal relationship between drawing and three-dimensional making can occur.

The process in which I work is exploratory. I am interested in the ability to create and construct in order to reshape a reality through architectonic art making, and am interested in an aesthetic overlap between visionary and vernacular architecture. My three-dimensional work derives from drawing, but allows for imagined environments to be realised in space. They are normally comprised of model type structures alluding to a reality, but functioning solely within the imagination, never to be tried and tested.

Jack Bell

'Tart of Pliers (Self Portrait)'

Akeelah Bertram

Retina as primary screen.

Victoria Birkett

I create art out of the environment I am in. When in Australia, I take photographs of Australia, when in Uganda, I take photographs of Uganda. So when in Leeds, I take photographs of Leeds and the environment in which my life takes place. I take photographs on my trusty Pentax K1000 camera, process the 100 ISO film and develop and print in the dark room. This physical process of creating prints that come to a resolution as a single print and as a series is where my practise lies, as well as developing an experience of interacting within that environment, which is Hyde Park, Leeds.

Isabella Brinsmead

My work looks at the unspectacular normality of absence.

Michael Burrell

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.

The signals of everyday life - so full of potent warnings and brave new old fears - need to be interrupted as much as possible. It’s only takes a little tweak or two and suddenly everything can be ridiculous. It’s very simple and the more interruptions the better: it only takes a few too many Ikea catalogues and one too many body-images and bam: everyone’s screwed. It’s the moral duty of art - insofar as art has a moral duty - to challenge a few of the presumptions our cultures make of us and we of them.

Places and people are the main focus. How can we interrupt how we see them? Some cheap costumes and some blinking lights might be a good start. Pull in some things that’s aren’t meant to be here in the ordered and nice-seeming narrative of the world. The idea is to get us to pause for a second and point out to one another the strangeness of the dream. Why is it Christmas in here? Who’s hiding under the sheet? Is it weird that plastic dinosaur toys are made of dead dinosaur reprocessed into smaller dinosaur shapes?

Unanswerable questions. And so off we go, slouching towards Bethlehem.

Mapping journeys and memories through large-scale works one paper. In my work I aim to create an alternative view of landscape and the experience of being in, or moving through, a place, producing multi-layered images which incorporate cartography, slide projections, photography, personal memories and other elements.

'Female on Sofa' acrylic on black paper, 59.4 x 42cm, 2013

The subject matter of the nude has always been of great interest to me and I have supported this by adding the element of life drawing. I have found that by looking at artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and the relevance of changing the surface plane from the easel to the floor brings the element of chance to my work by allowing the paint to bleed and flow. By editing colour out of my pieces and focusing on trying to depict the form using light and dark has been a challenge but worthwhile in my development as a painter. The energy and marks I have achieved on a smaller scale I want to transfer to paintings. I have found artist Dan Coombs extremely influential not only because his practice and paintings of the nude are of great interest to me, but because he highlighted ways to focus on painting, that the use of different media will allow me to scale up my ink drawings and smaller paintings onto a larger canvas and allow me to focus entirely on the painting process.

Online portfolio:

"The artist is the athlete."
- Matthew Barney

Jab, Cross.
Jab, Cross, Hook.
Jab, Cross, Hook, Hook.
Jab, Cross, Hook, Hook, Rear Leg Roundhouse.
Repeat 10x

Straight punches till failure
Repeat 2x
10 Jab, Cross, Hook, Spinning Back Kick
Run 20 Metres and Back
10 Burpee’s
Run 20 Metres and Back
Repeat, Complete for time 4 minutes

Drawing influence from Matthew Barney and Rebecca Horn, my practice explores the mental and physical approach to Kickboxing techniques and training. I use these techniques, in conjunction with drawing attachments/devices, to create different marks and impressions using charcoal and ink. The performance of this process creates a vocabulary of gestures and movements, making the performance the focal point of the work. Areas of my practice also explore the way in which training is approached with regard to training logs, diet diaries and the manner in which mental toughness is forged. The mind set in control between the ring ropes or in training is not the same as the one in everyday life. This mental transformation is of particular interest to my video work, looking at the way the body and general demeanour is changed when approaching these activities.

Researching the idea of occupying space, particularly the relationship between social and spatial 'orientation' and 'disorientation'.

I am on a crusade to normalise the female genitalia and reproductive systems. The unhealthy aesthetic and fashions for labiaplasty, waxing and scenting mean that female bodies no longer belong to the individual and I want to challenge this. By normalising the vaginal form I want to reclaim the ownership of my body. Women’s bodies have become a political battlefield and a marketing tool. I intend to raise understanding of women’s bodies as natural and belonging to no one. I work in mixed forms of media preferring to adapt my methodologies to the subject rather than vice versa. My research is incredibly comprehensive although I am keen to use myself as my best research material.

I display my work in a cabinet of curiosities. Prior to public museums, the rich would display spoils of colonial voyages and pseudo-scientific artefacts in rooms devoted to advertising the wealth and influence of its owner.

The original cabinet creators claimed ownership of pieces that came to them in ways we now see as immoral. I want to reverse that situation and use that confidence of ownership to legitimately reclaim my body that I feel detached from.

Cabinets of curiosities would have included examples of taxidermy, art, historical artefacts and scientific artefacts. Although some of these were genuine and have helped to develop our understanding in many disciplines the cabinets themselves were pseuedo-scientific and the owners were less than concerned over their authenticity. This mirrors my concerns over the devaluing of natural female forms in comparison with the fashion for artificial “enhancement”.

The objects displayed were sometimes genuine sometimes fake but were all given value by their inclusion. My use of this cabinet setting gives value to my work and my argument. I have spoken of ownership over the body and the cabinet raises this issue once more. However, the building of a cabinet has opened up some interesting discourses on the value of art and information. By placing a piece in the cabinet, on display, I give it value. I assign the piece with worth. Naturally, I started with pieces that I deemed to be finished Art. With a capital “A”. However, as the project developed I began to see the value in support work that allowed me to develop. The cabinet of curiosities would advertise the owner’s knowledge of the world and were chaotically packed. I have an opportunity to create the sum of three years of university and 22 years of experience that plays with the value of knowledge.

one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty twenty one twenty two twenty three twenty four twenty five twenty six twenty seven twenty eight twenty nine thirty thirty one thirty two thirty three thirty four thirty five thirty six thirty seven thirty eight thirty nine forty forty one forty two forty three forty four forty five forty six forty seven forty eight forty nine fifty fifty one fifty two fifty three fifty four fifty five fifty six fifty seven fifty eight fifty nine sixty

I am concerned with exploring the potential of the viewer and their reaction when viewing or engaging with artwork. Often I work with scientific method, experimentation and collaboration as a means to catalyse this potentiality. Conditioned by the exploration of the viewer and due to the nature of experimentation the theme of failure in all forms is often present.

Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere.

Modern art. Sort of an odd name for an art era really, and being that the era we are in now is named as post-modern would mean it technically should have come from the future due to the definition of the word. So therefore maybe old modern art should have been re-named by now so new art can still be called modern art.


Some things only happen for a second in the groggy heart of the night between dreams and realisation of consciousness, feelings that can’t be recreated but are beautiful.

In the heart of winter. Darkness triumphant. Conscience and stability mind clear efficient heightened emotions. Pagan brain chemistry. Chemicals creating emotional dimensions. Brain chemistry isn’t reliable if it was I’d be articulate and talented all the time.

Stop my single minded childishness, stop drowning on bullshit and make what matters and is significant stand out like bullet holes in my father’s skull.

Say the right thing to feed your ego, the bugs listen and salute.

Kiss asses, salute and suffocate me suffocate me and all my creativity

My work uses the subject of travel to investigate what is real and what is illusion, raising the question or curiosity of what is possible. I want to play with these binary oppositions and explore their fluidity looking at them not as fixed ideas but as relative, interchangeable constructs. With the use of photography, image manipulation computer software, film and television and social media at present, the places we can experience becomes vast but what sort of experience do we have? Through my own ‘real’ travels and ones that have not yet come to be, I play with narrative and personal experience to allow the viewer to wonder what is conceivable today and what reality can be, suggesting it maybe isn’t as fixed as we believe.

Our whole experience of travel has changed, from how we find our next adventures, to booking and what we do whilst there. Cameras become an extension of our arms. Our fingers are forever on the button ready to take the next snapshot of ourselves (on our digital cameras with endless amounts of memory on SD cards). We record every moment of fun and interest to almost ‘prove’ our trip’s worth. Social media then becomes the platform for the trip to be shown and broadcast for everyone else to see. Whilst we are on our adventures, moments are recorded in a snap with Facebook in mind. We want an image of the snowmobile we just drove across a frozen river on or the reindeer steak we just ate in the café in the middle of nowhere.

This body of work explores how the mood of a person affects the way they perceive the world around them. I am interested in how depression and anxiety can distort an individual’s perception and I am currently trying to articulate this sense of alienation and destructiveness which anxiety and depression causes through corrupting photographs with nail polish remover and image manipulation. Use of colour, textures and strong contrasts are also important in my work to display emotions felt when the work was produced. I am also interested in how destruction can be aesthetically pleasing to a viewer.

I like to allow the viewer to bring their own interpretation to what the work means which is why I am moving towards abstraction.

I am currently inspired by the works of Elizabeth Magill Sightseeing 2012; John Blakemore’s The Garden photographs, Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer.

Chance. Choice. Note. Denote.

I am a 22 year old art student with a one year foundation at Chelsea college of arts, a year of Art and Design at Leeds University, and am concluding three years of Fine Art at the same institution.

My practice primarily tackles our perceptions in regard to science and art. Through imagery I explore the overlaps in these ?elds and speci?cally our approach to knowledge and authority when it is presented as either scienti?c, or from the arts. How these systems of knowledge can and have been abused and misunderstood has directly in?uenced my latest work. These works take the form of drawings, presented with materials that carry a context of authority and tradition. I hope through this method of adopting visual symbols associated with science, overlain with drawings created from ?ction, to mirror and there by, make aware the tactics used by pseudo-scientists in presenting their own ?ctions and warped truths under the banner of more socially respected institutions of knowledge. Out of this, I hope also to raise questions on the subjective nature of all scienti?c knowledge, and our susceptibility to entrust certain ?gures, institutions and websites as a source for objective truth.

‘I Am Not a Slug’

My work travels with me whenever and wherever I go. It is installed in random and visually unrelated places, such as a swimming pool, library, hospital and so on. Mixed, collected or attached together to form a larger installation, the individual sculptures and whole piece are no longer recognised as slugs. They are just a part of the bizarre and weird visual art, I am experimenting with. I am interested in site-specific art, for the visual enjoyment or tactile experience of the audiences as they interact with my work and the atmosphere the large pieces create.

They might share a similar figure to slugs but the burning, explosive destruction separates them from this identity, they become something else. Do not call them slugs.

I hope people can enjoy the random, weird and bizarre experience of my art.

'Singing Stones'

The work is a pile of sculptures that I made, which audiences can take away with them if they want. I have been interested in making works that are ephemeral, works that change in time. The major influence has been Buddhist philosophy, which I consider as life philosophy rather than a religion. The ideas such as not attaching to what I have and what I know, and seeing everything as interconnected and transient, has always been the source of inspiration for me. In this project, the influence is still there.

However, regardless of theoretical background of the work, what was most important for me in making this work was that I simply wanted to give my art to people without any exchange, just like gifts.

For me and many other practising artists, art is not something special. It is like sharing of food, having a conversation or giving a present. Some people might just throw my sculpture away, but some might enjoy ‘receiving’ a piece of art, which is usually ‘exchanged’ for a certain value. In this project, my art is a ‘gift’, and a gift is something that is enjoyed twice, first by the giver and then by the receiver.

When the sculptures are clustered, there is not much to see; there may be just colours. They become much more interesting when looked closely. A stone might be singing when listened attentively, the sculpture might be dancing when it is watched on a palm of an audience.

Where are you from? Britain. No, really, where are you FROM?

My current practice is exploring the notion of assumptions and stereotypes through the concept of identity. This has invited the study of my own family history and ancestry, in particular, picking out the unknown and grey areas which have encouraged presumptions over my ethnic origin. I intend to present these findings in order to challenge and explore the role of being and ‘looking’ British in today’s multicultural society.

For photographs see:

Do we have time for handmade goods in this digital age?

Through my investigations into the ways in which Fine Art and Design cross over, I began considering the varying levels of dependence on skill and human presence in these fields. I create work that takes visual elements from the two different areas making the viewer question any existence of similarities.

My work is a visual homage to the handmade, incorporating the act of making and often involves the tools used as a part of the finished piece.

Objects created are stripped of their physical form and displayed using ghostly projections of film or photography. Slow paced but hypnotic videos form the majority of my work, which quietly lament the declining significance of craftsmanship.

This body of work consists of portraits made using traditional printmaking techniques on found or sourced materials. It deals with changes affecting urban working class communities, particularly looking at issues around value, power, place and displacement.

I’m interested in the relationships and tensions between materials and how these may begin to form narratives if handled with precision and sensitivity. I work from particular subjects that are of personal importance to me but which connect to more general social and political issues and I aim to create works that act evocatively on the viewer. I’m interested in how artistic strategies might offer a means of resistance. The work comes from close and sometimes collaborative relationships with places and the people who live and work in them and a wish to acknowledge their lives.

There are many levels of reality and competing stories of experience – from television and advertisements to what we are taught at school. I am intrigued by the gaps that exist between these representations, by the idiosyncrasies and absurdities unaccounted for by theories of what constitutes reality. I enjoy the dance among intuition, intellectual questioning, emotional charge and the viscerality of paint.

I'm interested in exploring how the imaginative connections between a collection of objects can resist scientific taxonomies- a categorical logic, that so many artists and professionals use to make sense of the objects they collect. Also in speculating the history of these objects, in absence of its creator and of amateur making.

The more I read artist statements, the more I dislike them.

I find that they never say anything that can't be summed in 15 words or less, or by having a gander at the artists’ websites/blogs. If the artwork can't say it on its own, then the work is the problem, and no mind-blowing epic of an artist statement is going to save it.

I have no idea who decided that artists should write their own statement (frantic Google search, still no answer) I think it must have been some power-crazed artist facilitated by some edgy, underground, understaffed gallery. But whatever, they exist.

Now the artist statement is compulsory, even though it is hard enough building circumstances that enable someone to work well. Never mind figuring out, ahead of time, what it is that they are going to create. By the time we have worked that out, it's already changed.

I was foolish enough to try and create something without first writing a manifesto detailing what and why I was creating. I am a counterrevolutionary tool of the bourgeoisie, I know.

I am not saying that artists shouldn't interpret their work; context, research, and subtext are important and can enhance the viewer's experience of the piece. However, getting an artist to historically and culturally reference their artwork in an objective and critical way is kinda setting them up for the big fall. I mean, artists are visual people; they make to communicate visually… Descriptive writing requires a whole different tool box to visual communication.

If artists wanted to/could express themselves though the written word then they would be writers. But they are not. They are artists.

So I found a website that produces an artist statement for me ( I tailored it to fit my work a bit, but here, this is my artist statement:

My work explores the relationship between borders, the edge of a work, and the absence of the frame.

With influences as diverse as Wittgenstein and L Ron Hubbard, new combinations are synthesised from both mundane and transcendent textures.

Ever since I was a pre-adolescent I have been fascinated by the endless oscillation of the mind. What starts out as triumph soon becomes manipulated into a manifesto of defeat, leaving only a sense of nihilism and the unlikelihood of a new reality. As shimmering forms become clarified through diligent and critical practice, the viewer is left with a glimpse of the darkness of our future.

An interest in the afterlife and taxidermy has motivated me into producing my own series of work, questioning what happens to our bodies once we leave this world. Combining this with imagery from what I believe to be representational of the animals last few moments on earth, I have created a surreal body of work. I feel that in a society where we have unlimited access to knowledge, our imaginations are filtered out. Science has allowed us to have a very clinical and ‘matter of fact’ view on death, which is positive to a certain degree. However I feel that because of this there is little magic or mystic which we usually find in the unknown. Taxidermy seems freezing a moment in time, similar to taking a 3D photograph. It is this concept that has inspired to consider what the last few moments of an animal’s life would be like and how this could affect them if there was more to death than a decaying corpse. Within my work I aim to encourage the viewer to accept a change in their views on death, by incorporating images from the everyday, I believe it helps this change to take place in their subconscious. By presenting elements from the comfort of the recognisable, I hope to subtly entice the viewer into using their imagination.

My aim is to create evocative sculptural pieces using the power of the strange as a tool to seduce yet repel the viewer.

Endorphin Rush, November 2012, installation detail.

“Noted sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer says of this "wicked pleasure" that "the taste of chocolate is a sensual pleasure in itself, existing in the same world as sex." The reason? Chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins, natural hormones produced by the brain, that generates feelings of pleasure and promotes a sense of well being…much like sex itself.”*

Chocolate is marketed as the ‘girlie’ treat; a ‘naughty’ pleasure for the more gentle sex to indulge in. If chocolate does indeed trigger the same emotional responses as sex, then maybe it empowers women: why bother with all the messy tangles of human association and those dirty men-folk when you can get all of your emotional satisfaction from food?!

Follow me on Twitter: @JoannePilcher1


What is it that brings about a sense of the uncanny, a feeling more commonly experienced in art than in life?

With the influence of Surrealist filmmakers such as David Lynch and through the use of a variety of forms from photography (both digital and analogue) to sketches I want to try and create a relationship between a series of images that can evoke a sense of the uncanny. The uncanny is something that we feel and experience, not think or imagine. In this sense a personal narrative can be created from one’s own subconscious associations to the images. My aim is to raise the question of what it is about certain images that gives us the sensation of having experienced them before, yet not consciously, and how this subconscious material influences the way we see and in turn perceive art. The filmic quality my pictures possess also draws references to dream, nightmare and flashback imagery and in turn how nonsensical imagery can evoke the uncanny.

I create Super 8 film that is experimental, abstract, nostalgic and personal. It is film that I can experiment with at any stage, whether it be whilst filming, developing, or projecting. Super 8 is not only about the aesthetically pleasing outcome for me, but also about the entire process of how the images are created. There are endless possibilities with which Super 8 film can be experimented, and I feel that the outcome of my film should become an aesthetically pleasing experience for the viewer also. The lack of sound that comes with Super 8 is something that I am currently exploring. By watching my films with sound/music, the rhythm changes how the film is received and so by doing this I have found myself exploring the debate of digital vs. analogue, and the continuing abstraction of my films.

The vast majority of humans are unconsciously stripping the photograph’s omnipotence, through over mediated repetitive images.

How many photographs do you need of the same pose, and same smile and same composition? We are forgetting that the simple act of observation is a sacred process.

I'm interested in recreating these fleeting moments in history sometimes for a time no longer than the original moment. Working largely in 2d but also 3d, focusing on perception, and how immersive environments can alter your sate of mind, I create performative and traditional art sculpting with materials that are not usually used to sculpt with. My fascination with Materiality leads me to labour over the relationship between digital perfection and the vulnerable analogue, allowing space for the mistake or a beautiful accident.

Incarceration, disconnection and isolation of both the body and mind have been the main themes throughout my work.

Drawing and sculpting and photography all play a role in how I express these traces of the past.

The constructed too often masquerades as the natural. A constant questioning of what seems to be marginal is necessary in order to interrogate our collective presuppositions. Perhaps it is in the insignificant that we might find some fluidity in the seemingly rigid question of reality? I attempt to create work that immerses the viewer and forms a private experience for the individual.

'Kaufland sagt danke'