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Artists to showcase work looking to the future, now

Published: 27 August 2021 at 12:14

Still from The Uninvited Guest by Jenny Souter

Cambridge exhibition allows visitors to connect to sensory aspects of the visual arts

UK and internationally-based artists from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have emerged from COVID-19 lockdowns to put on an exhibition which allows visitors to connect to the sensory aspects of the visual arts.

The exhibition of work by students from the MA Fine Art and MA Printmaking courses at ARU is being hosted in the Ruskin Gallery and studio locations at Cambridge School of Art, and includes artworks using a range of media including painting, sculpture, drawing, print, moving image, sound, and ceramics.

The Future N:ow exhibition explores significant themes including sexual harassment, humanitarian crises, mental health and the environment. 

Each artist’s practice has developed from their own unique viewpoints, creating dialogues around introspection, social commentary and alliances through collaboration, which all exist in their own temporal worlds, giving the audience a glimpse into the future, now. Highlights include:

Katy Drake’s work on speaking up in relation to women's experiences of sexual assault and sexism uses the recognisable Blue Plaque icon and print to highlight hidden locations of sexual misdemeanours, where the victim felt unable to speak up at the time.  

Welding Draper passionately empathises with the world’s ongoing humanitarian crisis whilst examining “prosumer culture” – where an individual consumes as well as produces – through the use of video collages, poetry and sound.

Deborah Suzanne Lander’s videos and drawings show us that death, initially seen as a bleak and painful process can provide a positive outcome that can be celebrated and cherished.

Ian Phillips McLaren’s video-sculptures characterise separate aspects of his identity, performing independently – as talking heads – but at the same time, collectively creating a single self-portrait.

Sachiko Purser highlights the growing number of animal extinctions and loss of habitat in hybrid prints combining traditional techniques with new technologies.   

Jenny Souter ‘s video projections explore art as a bodily-led experience. Working with a researcher at University of Cambridge, the video and sound installation is inspired by a patient’s experience of a hallucination. 

Dr Véronique Chance, Course Leader, said:

“Whether it is mental health, the environment, sexual harassment, mortality or human nature, the work shows that these artists are in tune with the very conditions in which we are currently living. At the same time, as the title of the show suggests, they are also looking ahead to the future."


The exhibition is open at the Ruskin Gallery at ARU from 3 – 9 September. Opening times are: 10am to 4pm daily, and 90-minute timeslots to visit must be booked at https://thefuturenow.eventbrite.co.uk

A virtual promo event is being held on Thursday, 2 September from 6pm until 7pm. This can be accessed at https://creativeshowcase.aru.ac.uk/events/culture-calendar/the-future-now-virtual-pv/

Exhibitors include:
Kira Barnard, Anna Dermitzaki, Katy Drake, Welding Draper, Deborah Suzanne Lander, Rita Matika, Liz Mills, Ewa Pandera, Melissa Pentney, Ian Phillips McLaren, Sachiko Purser, Kayleigh Reed, Jenny Souter, Florence Steerment, Shane Wimbledon.