Retroactive Roundup: MA trip.

15 11 2008

Retroactive Roundup is a series of articles covring events from my recent or distant past which have relevence to my year of study. You’ll be noticing a lot of these in the coming weeks, as I recap the first 2 months of the MA. – Walsh

A Grand Day out, so to speak.
Splitting into groups and (for us nottinghamites) playing tour guide to the international students for the day.

After the Brewhouse yard and the skymirror, I can’t really say I was feeling the interest too much. Outside of an oppertunity to socialise with my new mates, I was just retreading Nottingham for the umpteenth time.

At the NAE though, my ears started to perk up a bit.

Newly opened, the new art exchange was exciting and new, with some decent quality artwork on display;


What did really strike me though, was the theme of the exhibition, “Black art” (or something to the same effect). I hate these terminologies,  “black this” “black that”, “white this”, “white that”.

Whilst I realise that it is important to recognise the contributions of different ethnic groups in art and design, I would of thought the content and style of their work would be enough of a clue to that, without having to slap the word “black” or “white” or “insert ethnic group here” on the front of it.

To me, it’s terms like this that subconciously drive segregation. Categorising creative output by race seems counter collaborative and accidentally defiant of any other ethnic groups contributions to the the genre.

Yes, it’s important to have and to cherish art with different flavours and backgrounds, but they should be side by side, basking in comparison and similarity, echoing the world we live in.

On the  quality of the work itself, most was interesting, some brilliant – the chalkboard sound installation piece in particular.

But for me, being the illustrator I am, the highlight of the place (and the day) was wandering outside and encountering a fantastic graff’ wall by the local “oxygen thieves”;

Graff wall




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