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Chelsea students at Xhibit 2019

While doing what my mom told me to, three images with text by BA Fine Art student Aikaterini Mimikou
While doing what my mom told me to, three images with text by BA Fine Art student Aikaterini Mimikou
While doing what my mom told me to by BA Fine Art student Aikaterini Mimikou
Written by
Gavin Freeborn
Published date
24 October 2019

Later this term, applications will open for Xhibit 2020, a group exhibition coordinated by Arts SU London, UAL’s students’ union, showcasing the work of current UAL students from all levels and disciplines.

An essential gauge of creativity across UAL, Xhibit was co-founded by Angela Robinson and Chelsea alumnus Kit Hammonds, who studied BA Fine Art before being elected Vice-President of the students’ union. Each year, all current students are invited to submit work for consideration with no themes or constraints on material or medium.

This summer, Xhibit 2019 took place at The Koppel Project in London, a cultural centre for international and local artists whose work emphasises social engagement. Describing the subject matter of the work on show at the time, Sophie Risner, Events and Exhibitions Coordinator, Arts SU said: “With a range of works investigating migration, displacement, feminism, mortality, and cultural and religious identity, alongside current concerns such as Brexit and gun control, Xhibit 2019 is our most politically engaged exhibition yet. Complementing these works are commentaries on personal wellness and happiness – apposite concerns for students who increasingly face high levels of stress and anxiety. Xhibit 2019 charts how students are navigating and communicating their lived experience through their chosen art forms.”

This year’s exhibition featured work from 3 Chelsea students. Here, we take a look at their submissions.

Reloading the gun, conceptual painting by PhD Research student Emma Drye
Reloading the gun by PhD Research student Emma Drye - Credit: Emma Dyre Caption

Emma Drye, PhD Research

Reloading the guns - Oil on board, 240 x 150 mm

Before the 'spaghetti western' shifted the territory, star actors' on screen characters in 'westerns' were particularly clearly drawn - their morality, identity and social function in sharp focus. This threw the 'extras' who were played by less professionally visible actors with more ambiguous character and function into stark relief. What are they doing? Their narrative is unreliable or unknowable. There is something in that dynamic that I can relate to as an artist - an extra in the model of John Latham's incidental person perhaps. I feel it is important to cherish unknowing and respect the gaps between us; retaining a hospitality and critiquing overly stated positions.

Aikaterini Mimikou, BA Fine Art

While Doing What My Mom Told Me To - Video installation, mixed media (iron, ironing board, projector, speakers) 1 minute 12 seconds

Why do I have to put the dirty towel to the laundry?

Why do I have to separate the socks to dark and white?

Why do I have to select the correct cycle?

Why do I have to put the washing powder?

Why do I have to put the fabric conditioner?

Why do I have to take the clothes out of the washing machine?

Why do I have to put the sheets on the drying loft?

Why do I have to secure the underwear with pins?

Why do I have to collect the shirts when they dry?

Why do I have to iron?

Why my brother is watching me, watching television while I am ironing his pyjamas?

Because that’s what my mom told me to do.

Untitled conceptual figurative painting by BA Fine Art student Lucy Neish
Untitled conceptual figurative painting by BA Fine Art student Lucy Neish - Credit: Lucy Neish Caption

Lucy Neish, BA Fine Art

Untitled - Oil paint, plaster, sand, sawdust and oil pastel, 140 x 100 cm

4 Limbs spread, a fold of skin, breasts flopping, flesh coming out, flesh going in. I use biomorphic androgynous forms to explore the idea of the body, bringing together remembered experience and gathered imagery. By layering and removing elements through the process of adding and scratching away, the painting is no longer a flat image, rather a structure that is built and moves forward into the space. Encounters and meetings are important in forming the composition of my work. I aim to heighten the tactility of the surface by adding materials such as plaster and sand to the paint. The texture results in a 'siren song', encouraging the viewers' desire to touch the surface. This reflects our need for human contact and the relationships we form to establish levels of physical intimacy.

Find out more about Chelsea's courses

Applications for Xhibit 2020 will go live in early December 2019