Left in a Safe Space showcases work by MA Fine Art finalists
MA Fine Art programme leader, Cesar Cornejo, takes a look at this year’s degree show, Left in a Safe Space.
We are delighted to present our MA Fine Art finalists — a group of six artists from China, Pakistan and the UK — who will share the work they have developed during their tenure at our MA Fine Art programme in this new exhibition at the University of Leeds.
During that time, they have critically challenged their ways of thinking and working, and have embraced new processes and techniques.
They have embarked on journeys — some conceptual, stimulated by the advice of our teaching staff and visiting artists, and also physically to some of the furthest locations in the UK — all while building a cohesive group, supporting and learning from each other.
Connor Shields, Shifted Matter (2023). Left in a Safe Space, MA Fine Art Degree Show, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds. Photo courtesy of the artist.
The six artists — Becky Huggett, Connor Shields, Farwa Rizvi, Jo Nash, Thomas Parker and Yifan Li — have come together to curate an outstanding exhibition of their work throughout the diverse spaces within the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.
Their work is found in the studios on the first and second floor of our school, with a site specific drawing installation on the doors of the lift. Further work is located in various spaces across all floors of the building, from the mezzanine to the third floor.
The artists have taken advantage of our extensive facilities to develop ambitious individual proposals, materializing their visions to a quality level and scale that is only comparable with those found in prestigious galleries and museums.
Yifan Li, It's your turn, 2023. Left in a Safe Space, MA Fine Art Degree Show, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds. Photo courtesy of the artist.
They also present a group exhibition in the Project Space on the ground floor, where we can witness the conversations between the different works and processes. These include:
- braille system to comment on the objectivity and relativity of the news;
- ecological commentary on human provoked disease on dying trees;
- dissertation work as an art;
- lottery games that explore ideas of popular culture and materialism;
- reflection on materiality of spaces and masculinity;
- Greek historical architecture and theatricality in society; and
- religious rituals through the lens of contemporary art.
Jo Nash, Pseudomonas syringue, 2023. Left in a Safe Space, MA Fine Art Degree Show, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds. Photo courtesy of the artist.
This is my first year in my role at the University of Leeds and as lead of the MA Fine Art programme. I can’t thank enough Professor Chris Taylor for his mentoring and advice, my colleagues for their ongoing support and the technical team for their commitment to assist in all aspects related to production. My thanks also go to the MA finalists for their hard work, trust, sometimes irreverent sense of humour and patience during this transitional period.
As evident in the exhibition, the group have made most of their time and resources that the university had to offer them, resulting in what is a highly professional exhibition.
Their efforts will only bring positive impact to their professional careers as they move forward, and we can’t wait to see how this unfolds.
Becky Huggett, Ascension (2022/3). Digital Print of 35mm slide collages in lightboxes. 240 x 160 x 63 cm. Left in a Safe Space, MA Fine Art Degree Show, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds. Photo courtesy of the artist.
About the MA Fine Art Degree Show
Left in a Safe Space runs from 14 to 18 September 2023 in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.
Full details about this year’s MA Fine Art Degree Show and the artists taking part can be found on the Left in a Safe Space website.
About Cesar Cornejo
Cesar Cornejo is an Associate Professor Fine Art and MA Fine Art programme lead in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.
Farwa Rizvi, کربلا ہو گئی تیار (Karbala is ready), 2023. Oil on canvas. 163 cm x 244 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.