Interstitia: A cyber multiverse presents the works of 6 early career artists, graduates of the 2020 NTU Fine Art Cohort, and is the culmination of Grad Assembly, an online post graduate project developed by One Thoresby Street.
One Thoresby Street’s Graduate Project is a yearly programme, providing access and opportunities to the graduating cohort from project partner Nottingham Trent University. Typically the project offers access to OTS’ project space over the summer months, however the 2020 iteration located itself online due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
Over a period of three months, Grad Assembly provided mentoring in the form of 1-2-1’s, Discussions, and Lectures from members of OTS’ artistic community. These opportunities were geared towards equipping the graduates with first hand knowledge of how to take their first steps towards a successful art practice post graduation, with topics ranging from how to get exhibitions, to ‘having your own kingdom’ and ‘being in a gang’.
Interstitia tasked the artists with adapting their practices in response to the current situation, and since November they have been developing new works that situate their existing practices within the frame of possibility presented by the use of the web. Throughout the project the artists have been encouraged to take some of their first steps into coding and web development, enabling them to create their own online realms.
The project has become an amalgamation of the group’s own conceptual spaces, a multiverse of different paths and utopian potentiality. A recurring theme of personal worlds, escapism and digital utopias runs through the online space, intersected by an undercurrent that touches on a flipsides of anxiety, information overload, and reskilling into ‘cyber’.
Grad Assembly also included:
Extra thanks to:
Curation: Adam Grainger
Home Page Development: Matt Woodham
Divinum Enim Esse
Enter into a digital utopia bathed in pink: here, queer bodies are elevated to divine status, allowed to construct their own mythologies to escape the normative structures of gender and reclaim their own sexuality. Created from virtual collaborations with various queer artists in lockdown, ‘Divinum Enim Esse’ introduces a pantheon of mythological characters, with prophecies of fortune and caution. Explore this sumptuous world and click the figures to divine your past, present and future.
Alex Lennox-Warburton is a multi media artist with an focus in moving image, installation and collage. Their work explores intersecting ideas of queerness and identity, escapism and nostalgia, with influences from cinema and music, as well as the over saturation of imagery in the social media age. In their work they present fragmented narratives, drawing an awareness to what we choose to keep personal and make public, the disjointed experience of existing in virtual and ‘real’ spaces.
An image on a screen isn’t the same as a painting you can almost touch. Obvious, but it presents a challenge when you are only able to show said painting through a screen.
Light. That is the crux of the difficulty. So much can be altered by moving your head; watching a work as the sun moves across the sky, appreciating something in a different light when the sun sets. I have taken a series of photographs in 2 different forms of light – natural and unnatural – with the angle of light flowing from left to right. I hope that people will be able to see the many changes this variety in lighting brings that already exist within the painting. This is not about altering or heightening the painting, it is simply about showing it as closely to life as possible.
Another more subtle part of the exhibition is the minimalist approach for the display of the photographs. By having the pictures in a separate, full-screen window the clutter and context altering presence of ‘digital frames’ is diminished (a digital frame is anything inherent to the digital experience – website overlays, searchbars etc).
All of this is to allow as much focus to be directed upon the painting. The painting is everything. The themes of the painting follows many of my continuing themes, which can be found in my practice statement.
Ant Clee is a contemporary artist focused mainly in painting. Within his previous shows (Aesthetics in Tandem and Soft Corners) He exhibited painted works focused on layering movement and time over itself in order to create interesting aesthetic qualities and convey a sense of confusion on the viewer – is it all happening at once, is there a narrative? Currently Clee is focused on a more painterly approach; where his previous artwork included many drawn elements (charcoal and pastel on raw canvas), his more recent works include thick applications of paint, dilutions of pigment and stored brushstrokes. An interest in the body (something present previously but to a lesser extent, looking mostly at hands than the entire human figure) and the many anxieties created by living inside it, This more visceral painted approach feels much more fitting for the direction he is currently taking.
Clee is also a prolific writer, writing many poems and essays that explore personal issues of anxiety, depression, and the human condition. While these are currently unpublished, they undoubtably feed into his paintings and inform his artistic approach. Where the poems are often explicit in their feelings or experiences, his paintings, drawings and sculptures offer much less obvious readings, allowing the viewer to form their own relationships with the works.
My aim for this project is to try and convey different worlds without the aid of projections and sculptures, giving you a peak at the characters, and their world, a world that may at times make you feel uncomfortable or confused…
First you are drawn into colourful imagery, faced with a character full of colour, made out of soft, squidgy materials almost childlike in appearance. Even though the page appears fun and happy, is it? You will notice teeth on the tongue and a key dripping, delving into the idea of memories. Look further and images of childhood drawings appear.
clickity click click, to a spinning worm hole, taking you to another world…
With a fluffy cloud being, relating to storms … full of crackling energy, fall down the wormhole and see chaotic moving imagery, overbearing and destructive, multiple images and videos layered and confused …
clickity click click, to a reverse spinning worm hole, taking you back to where you began.
My alternate universes, which are usually based on real-world scientific CRISPR experiments, have now shifted in focus onto the blatant loathing and hatred of the poor perpetrated by parliament. My aim with this animation is to continue my work with hybrids as a surrealist element which communicates the dehumanisation of the poor and working class, as these humanoids roam around the place that they call home. The environment in question features landmarks of my own hometown, which has long been neglected and left to rot by those in charge, and where many rely on free school meals and live below the poverty line.
I am a working class 3D digital modelling artist who enjoys creating genetically modified fleshy hybrids in the form of animations and glossy digital prints. The biggest influences on my work are sci-fi and body horror literature, games, and films, especially early 2000’s video game graphics and the works of directors such as David Cronenberg.
You’re invited to indulge in a cascade of reflections and refractions
where oversaturated, technicolour psychedellia is materialized.
You’re encouraged to ponder the cosmic gamut
and to push the boundaries of your sensorial perceptions…
To consider different modes of being
to dream of different futures and realities that embody a symbiotic relationship with our universe.
A window into an imagined alternate dimension,
where anything is possible, where anything can be perceived
In every and any possible way…
What do you see?
The nature of infinity and the illusion of reality.
I am a moving image and installation artist playing with the physicality of colour and exploring metaphysical theories around reality. Fascinated by the similarities between the micro and macro cosmos, my work consists of vast masses of colour abstraction which entail transcendent ad ambivalent forms that are left open to viewers’ perceptions.
Interstitia & Grad Assembly are supported by funding from Arts Council England and Nottingham Trent University