From projection and painting to sculpture and installation, the entire spectrum of contemporary art forms will be shown at the University of Fine Arts, Art History and Cultural Studies, since the 2022 class will end their studies with their graduation show, sit with it
Behind the scenes, University of Leeds Fine Art graduates show the…
Since her father’s sudden death in September 2020, Fletcher has attempted to stimulate conversations about death through text-based public interventions, but is now using a variety of forms for her thesis.
“I wanted to look at charged objects,” Fletcher said.
“As soon as you see a coffin you think ‘body’ and then you say ‘dead body’ and then ‘death’.
“I play with it because it’s a coffin — but it’s not a coffin either.
“I think this symbolism that we give to objects comes out of nowhere to a certain extent. Why? It’s just plywood, it’s nothing special. I spent hours making it – but it’s nothing special.”
Fletcher, whose work Force Your Parents To Make Funeral Plans will be exhibited at the Royal Academy this summer, has mixed feelings about the graduating exhibition that will conclude her studies.
“It feels very exciting – I’m really excited for everyone to come in and see what we’re trying to do, but it actually makes me want to go ahead and stay here!” said Fletcher.
“It’s a real shame because about three months ago we all came into the studio and had these conversations that are so important and feel so good.
“But then we have to vacate the studios and we no longer have this space.”
In a hallway studio, Zoe Ley, a 22-year-old student from London, is also reaping the rewards of such conversations as she uses mosaic cutters to craft hundreds of small pieces that will eventually make up her showpiece, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, 2022.
“By my third year, I was a lot more open to using different resources,” Ley said.
“But what’s different this year is that people can come in and discuss their ideas and say, ‘Oh, you should use this stuff’ — the techs suggested I use jesmonite, and I hadn’t thought of that.”
Composed of jesmonite, tile adhesive and grout, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, 2022 is a Roman-inspired mosaic depicting a skeleton holding a wine glass emblazoned with the phrase “Live, Laugh, Love”.
“It’s about mimicking my own visual language and using it to create something that looks like it could have been dug up, that’s kitsch when you look closely,” Ley said.
“People have trained their entire lives to make mosaics, and it’s a very durable material.
“But now we’re putting that phrase on materials like plastic, or just decorating around the house. It’s quite an interesting contrast.
“I feel good, I feel like everything will come together in the end.”
With the excitement of the graduation exhibition over, Ley looks forward to exploring the thriving art scene beyond the walls of the school.
“I really like the atmosphere in Leeds,” she said.
“I think the art scene here is really good at the moment – there are so many places that have studio spaces and so many events that I always miss because there is just so much to see.
“So I really want to stay and deal with it a little bit more.”
Fletcher also intends to stay in Leeds, although they are already nostalgic about leaving the studio behind.
“I’m staying here in this beautiful city, I’m going to try to do a masters because it feels like that’s what I should be doing and I’m going to do some trade stuff on the side,” they said.
“I never feel happier than just seeing people making things and giving people a second opinion.