Students make their mark at prestigious exhibition

Published: 12 October 2020 at 12:00

Ayeshah Zolghadr

Work by ARU artists is selected from more than 4,000 entries across Europe

Two Masters students from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) are exhibiting their work at the prestigious Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2020, which is touring the UK this month.

MA Fine Art student Joe Dean and MA Printmaking student Ayeshah Zolghadr (pictured) are among 56 artists from around the world who are exhibiting 71 drawings at the event, coming through a selection process of more than 4,000 submissions.

The exhibition includes work by artists at all stages of their careers, and is currently on display at Drawing Projects UK in Trowbridge, Wiltshire until 31 October. It will move on to Dundee, London (9-22 January 2021) and Bournemouth over the course of the next few months. A prizegiving will take place at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London where first prize is £8,000.

Ayeshah’s work explores relationships and communication through repetitive action and is influenced by an architectural background, mathematical investigations and an interest in digital technologies.

Her submission, Circling the Square, I, draws on these themes. Ayeshah said:

Circling the Square, I traces repetitive walks made by my father from 7 February until 21 May 2020, looping the square outside of his home multiple times a day, following varying paths. Through the practice of walking, he seeks control over his medical anxiety and ongoing stroke recovery. 

“Initially recorded by my father via the Strava platform, forming a way to generate line drawings, the work expresses an abstracted visual database that transcribes 116 meditative walks, where the greater the distance covered, the smaller the satellite representation becomes, with the line quality reflecting the mechanism used to capture them.”

Joe’s video Southern Trains Loop captures a journey between Cambridge and Brighton by layering and looping small segments of footage. Joe said:

“This began as a spontaneous meditation on a frequently revisited journey and has gone on to inspire dry-points, pastel drawings, an artist book entitled London Bridge to Blackfriars and a series of large-scale woodcuts on Shoji paper. The films serve the same function as drawings in that they enable me to explore layering, fragmentation and the rhythms created by form, colour and texture.”

Dr Véronique Chance, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for MA Fine Art & MA Printmaking at ARU, said:

“I'm incredibly proud of Joe and Ayeshah, especially as this has happened at a particularly challenging time during lockdown. It sends such a positive message about artists, resilience, the creative spirit and making the most from adverse situations.

“It's great news not only for both students and the university, but also for the spirit of the exhibition in the importance and recognition of drawing itself as a primary means of artistic expression.”

Meanwhile, fellow MA Fine Art student Sarah Strachan has had her work selected for the Society of Women Artists Open Exhibition 2020 which is running online until the end of the year.