School of Arts

Visual Arts Student Exhibits Work at Jack Heath Gallery

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Master of Arts student Ms Caroline Birch exhibited her work at the Jack Heath Gallery in Pietermaritzburg.

Birch’s work comprises paintings, drawings and two installations in which she used innovative materials and experimental techniques, such as silk-screening onto sheets of dried wood glue.

‘This body of artwork, together with my dissertation, constitute my submission for a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. As I chose practice-led research (PLR) as my methodology for this study, the theory and art-making practice needed to constantly interweave,’ said Birch.

The dissertation and the exhibition are together intended to offer an investigation into the effects of unknowing on her artistic practice.

Birch’s research process led to the development of ‘in-the-dark’ methods, such as removing all reference imagery and planning strategies from her art making.

‘Engaging with the exhibition might thus leave the viewer feeling unsure of what they are seeing. Poised is intended to induce a pause in the usual stream of assumptions we wade in when viewing an exhibition. In stepping aside from this stream to await what comes next, one might discover unknowing,’ said Birch.

‘The work offers not an explanation, but an opportunity to experience “spacious unknowing”. As unknowing appears to be a situated and spatial experience, Poised I hope offers a way of engaging with it by drawing the viewer into the space of the installations.’

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