Edinburgh College of Art: Until January 29th
The Edinburgh College of Art’s student’s exhibition, shows art from all five years of the MAFA course. The work has no one theme as to avoid restricting the students’ creative work, however there seem to be repeated themes showcased.
One of the most striking pieces within what seems to be a repeated theme of political commentary, upon entry is a hanging instalment by second year Isotta Page, described by her as “a personal protest instigating artistic action to fight political oppression”. It also pays tribute to the 2015 Venice Biennale exhibition where many artists used their art as a means of social and political movement.
Perrine Davari’s large painting depicts a French soldier holding a gun to a burqa-wearing Muslim woman. The scene reflects situations personally experienced by Davari on her year abroad in France in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015. The depiction of brutality of the French soldier contrasted with the passive Muslim woman, carrying her groceries back from the store, seems to be a commentary on how we should not lump terrorism with one race, religion, or culture.
Another recurring theme in the exhibition is of the female form. Included in these is ‘The Monthly Delight: A Lady’s Guide’ by Edith Pritchett that presented drawn images and quotes from current media issuing pseudo-instructions on how women should look and behave. The piece is arranged as a splattering of a menstrual stain, contrasting an unnerving reality against frivolous text. Pritchett first became interested in this piece after reading magazines such as Cosmo and realising how degrading some of their articles are.
On the opening night, the exhibition offered a free flow of drinks, however the exhibitionists have installed a new system where viewers must first find a bowl of shallots in order to use one as payment for a drink; an attempt to get viewers to see the art instead of heading straight for the bar. Thus the Sculpture Court is used well with the pieces of many media spread out, although better signage might have benefitted the audience’s understanding. Overall the exhibition offers a very thought provoking experience.
Image: Chen Zhao (Flickr)