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Postgraduate Research students explore dynamic practice through Unfolding Narratives 3

Graphic which reads 'Unfolding Narratives 3'.
  • Written byChloe Murphy
  • Published date 11 April 2023
Graphic which reads 'Unfolding Narratives 3'.
Image credit: Olly Corps.

Postgraduate Research (PGR) students are an integral part of the community at London College of Communication (LCC), bringing together applied practice and creative analysis through doctoral studies situated within the broader landscapes of Design, Media and Screen.

Each year, Unfolding Narratives provides an opportunity for PGR students to exhibit work that reflects on the different forms and stages of their learning journeys. Characterised by an extensive scope of research subjects and methodologies, they experiment with diverse modes of presenting work-in-progress through media ranging from sculpture, film and sound to drawing, performance and archival materials.

In the third iteration of the series, this year’s exhibition features projects that consider themes such as representation, autobiographical expression, alternative pedagogical tools and the connections between memory and archive – unfolding and evolving the process of doctoral exploration while representing the dynamism of student practice.

Hosted in both the Upper and Well Galleries at LCC, Unfolding Narratives 3 will be on show from 11-20 April. This will be accompanied by Unfolding Live, a programme of events that will activate gallery spaces on Thursday 13 and Wednesday 19 April. The latter will also be complemented by a final panel discussion with exhibiting students and LCC’s Associate Dean of Research, Dr Pratap Rughani.

“Understand, reflect upon and communicate contemporary issues”

First-year PGR student Julia Schauerman explained that the exhibition provides audiences with opportunities to explore the applied development of creative practice while shining a spotlight on the evolution of ideas.

“I wanted to take part in Unfolding Narratives 3 as it gave me the opportunity to present my emerging creative practice, which is in its very early stages. In addition, being part of this cross-arts show offers the possibility of my work being experienced by people who might not normally be drawn to sound art. I believe it will be a fascinating exhibition, with works reflecting different stages of the research journey.

“I’m presenting Imagined Boundaries, an acousmatic story that I co-composed with writer and eco critic Joanna Dobson. This type of composition involves the setting of recorded spoken word within composed sound scenes. In this work, loss is explored from different perspectives and scales, weaving the story of Joanna's personal loss of a brother into a much bigger story of the loss of bird biodiversity.

“I chose to present Imagined Boundaries at Unfolding Narratives 3 as it was this work that inspired me to undertake doctoral research on the development of a method of collaborative creative practice with which to understand, reflect upon and communicate contemporary issues.

“Since starting my studies at UAL, my creative practice has gained depth and rigour due to a number of reasons: the expertise and experience of my supervisory team, Dr Adam Stanović and Professor Cathy Lane; membership of various communities at UAL, which has enabled a sharing of experiences and insights such as the Post-Graduate Forum, Centre for Research into Sound Art (CRiSAP) and Sounding Knowledge Network; and also regular sign-postings of opportunities to present works.”

“The tools to be more confident in my voice and my creativity”

Fellow PGR student Meher Shiblee highlighted the fact that the exhibition provides a space for innovation and experimentation, showcasing meaningful works developed as part of a vibrant research community.

Unfolding Narratives 3 felt like a unique opportunity to showcase my research with the wider LCC and UAL community and, at the same time, allowing myself to be a bit more experimental. While my PhD is theory-based, I chose to step out of my comfort zone in order to incorporate some practice into my work.

“For this exhibition, I’ve drawn comics that depict my research journey so far. Something I’m keen to highlight is the work I’ve done with the fans of the comics I’m looking into for my PhD, and the content I’m sharing at the exhibition includes pieces from my fan interviews where participants talk about why representation matters to them. I think fans are such an integral part of comic culture that their voices simply cannot be ignored when discussing issues of representation. This is actually my first time drawing comics, and I can’t think of a more creative and supportive community to share this experience with.

“Doctoral study at UAL has been an extremely rewarding process so far. Being included in such a creatively diverse community means that there are always new people who inspire you, and your creativity is always valued. I’ve been given the space to experiment with and learn new things from those around me, which have enhanced my overall project, as well as giving me the tools to be more confident in my voice and my creativity.”

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