Tuesday, 27 October 2015

New Artist in Residence: Permindar Kaur

UHArts has a new artist in residence, working in the School of Creative Arts. The residency is funded by a substantial grant from the Arts Council of England and is supported by the School of Creative Arts, through provision of a studio space and access to the school’s workshops and technical expertise. Permindar Kaur will work within the Sculpture Studios amongst UH students to develop a series of new sculptural works for an ambitious solo exhibition in the Art & Design Gallery 18 March – 7 May 2016.

Alongside developing new skills and exploring new media, Permindar will engage in UH research across the schools of Creative Arts and Psychology, to inform her thinking around notions of belonging, fitting-in and watching. This blog will record the development of Permindar’s work, how her ideas develop throughout her residency, and provide reflections and responses.

Permindar is keen to consider how her work may be developed for space on offer in the Art & Design gallery. “I like adapting to different environments” she says. “The work changes depending on where it is sited”. She is looking forward to getting to know the space, and to investigate how it can add another layer of meaning to her work.

The particular features of the gallery are providing Permindar with opportunities to think about scale. While the space lends itself to working big, it also has nooks and crannies that would be ideal for small installations, representing different ideas that can be encountered as visitors journey through and around the gallery. She hopes to invite visitors to meander around the space on a journey of discovery, encountering artworks along the way.

The work may relate to themes that Permindar has explored in some of her other recent work: childhood and camouflage. Several of her previous and planned pieces feature ‘teddies’, suspended against backdrops of the same fabric. While audiences have found these scenes unsettling, as if the teddies are lurking, ready to pounce, Permindar is keen to point out that camouflage can serve two different purposes for predators and prey. She likes to think of her teddies as using camouflage defensively. She notes that, though audiences are initially unsettled by the hidden teddies, they soon soften to the teddies’ familiar, nostalgic form, and often reach out to stroke the fabric.

During her residency, Permindar wants to work with her teddies further. In particular, she is interested in the response to black teddies. It is fascinating, she observes, how simply making a teddy black can completely transform people’s interpretation of the work.

Permindar also hopes to develop new ideas and working practices during her residency. Her interactions with students and access to new materials, equipment and techniques within the School of Creative Arts’ workshops will help her to develop new methods and inspiration. Permindar also intends to continue conversations with Professor Karen Pine, Department of Psychology to explore her research into the psychology of clothing to inform concepts behind the works. I will be following her on a dedicated blog (here) throughout the residency to record how her plans for the exhibition develop, and how the residency has informed her practice.

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