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Altered exhibition is celebrating transformation

Published: 11 April 2024 at 13:44

Work by Mansi Shouche

Work by MA Fine Art students will go on display in Cambridge’s Grand Arcade

Exciting new work by nine artists studying the MA Fine Art course at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is about to go on display to the public in the Grand Arcade in Cambridge.

Titled Altered, the exhibition showcases each artist’s own personal journey in their creative practice. The artworks use a variety of media, including drawing, collage, paint, print, photography, natural inks, textiles, and ceramics.  

The exhibition, which opens on Friday, 19 April, covers topics including identity, body image, family life, and transformation. Altered also refers to the personal stories of many of the students whose work will be on display.

Joining the MA Fine Art course at ARU’s Cambridge School of Art has been a long-held ambition for many and a life-changing decision for others. 

One of those is South African artist Olivia Bevan, who said: “Here I am in the UK; this was a huge personal goal of mine. Uprooting myself to come here has made me realise that home is so much more than just a place or a person. I think that this is woven into my art practice, trying to find a sense of home here and now through painting and print.”

Fellow student Ivanna Wilson, from the United States, said: “My work is heavily based on myself and how I perceive my body. I come from a very conservative Southern US state – this work is about reclaiming my body and the change I have experienced since uprooting my life to come and study in a new country.”

Many of the MA Fine Art students have local connections, but their stories also speak of transformation and following new paths. Declan Hoare said: "My practice draws upon the motivation of being told at school that I had no talent for art and should bring a book to class and read. Having now retired I have learnt that art is about a will and passion to create. That will and passion now drives my learning and practice on the Masters." 

Local teacher Ricardo Pimentel said: “I’ve lived and worked as a teacher in Cambridge for 35 years and have published several maths textbooks. So why the change? It's not really a change as I've always loved art, but now I feel I have the life experiences to make some art that says something. I still love mathematics, but there’s not too much room for conceptual art practice in the maths classroom!”

Natasha Green added: “From displacement and homelessness, my story is about overcoming adversity and a search for identity. As a Eurasian I wish to celebrate the hybrid identity and hope to find a sense of place in Cambridge, the city I was born in... I have come home in every sense of the word.”

The Altered exhibition will be on show in Unit 47 on the first floor of the Grand Arcade in Cambridge. The exhibition runs from Friday, 19 April to Sunday, 21 April, and from Thursday, 25 April to Sunday, 28 April (11am-5pm), and is free to attend.