The looong-awaited 2020 CSM MA Fine Art degree show is here! To say the past year and a half has been hard for graduating artists is a massive understatement. Seems like this year had every hurdle imaginable, for them; starting with the spiralling COVID-19 crisis and its domino effect of having their studio spaces closed, IRL workshops and crits cancelled — to having their much-anticipated degree show moving online. But FINALLY, after a long year of trying to make it work, we'e excited to celebrate the 2020 grads from CSM’s courses of MA Fine Art, MA Art & Science and MA Contemporary Photography; Practices and Philosophies here listed in alphabetical order:
Abby is a post-structuralist multidisciplinary American artist based in Berlin. She plays with the failures of anthropomorphic perception to create experimental abstract films and performances by use of different media such as music, sculpture, painting, and text. Utilising the philosophy of entanglement as espoused by Karen Barad, and Donna Haraway’s “The Companion Species Manifesto”, she aims to challenge the oppressive forces of capitalism through collaboration and using only recycled materials to make work. Her work interrogates characters we play for other people and ultimately how she, as an artist, performs.
Antony’s work focuses on landscape as an active, ongoing, relational process among the self, human and non-human actors; where the environment is continually re-imagined and re-experienced. He approaches his relationship with the landscape in a performative role—a concept that can encompass work in a variety of scales and contexts, ranging from photographic documentation, audio performances for a solo audience member, performances involving hundreds of participants walking, running or otherwise travelling through places, or involving activities.
Ropewalk is part of Catherine’s research into community, heritage and climate change. Catherine’s practice is an open process of collaboration with the residents of a small coastal community. In asking them to narrate their local environment, she allows places and stories to organically emerge from the overlapping history and geography of the town of Brightlingsea. The ropewalk is a local area of saltmarsh under constant threat from tidal erosion, and recently from development. Embodying fragility, resistance and ongoing-ness; the ropewalk is also remembered by the many who used to go ‘mud-flat-hopping’, a childhood game of jumping across its inlets, there.
Charles’ art is about loss. Loss of biodiversity, loss of pristine natural habitats, and loss of cultural diversity. His practice asks how is it that humanity finds itself on the brink of environmental catastrophe, and what does this say about us—both individually and collectively. Charles’ practice combines photography, printmaking and sculpture to navigate through real and imagined worlds; where myth and reality intertwined, and where what is absent, is more important than what is present. Truth cannot be found in the sensual but in the emotional response to what we have lost.
Chen Sizuo is a China-born artist and an earth-based artist. They work on paintings, moving images, and installation. Sizuo transforms their richly detailed graphic sensibility to androgynous characters in moving image praxis; empowering non-binary gender to contest the habits of perception, visually and virtually. Their works have been internationally exhibited in Piccadilly Lights, LUX, Somerset House (London, UK); Luxelakes A4 Art Museum (Chengdu), Times art Museum (Beijing), GCA (Chongqing). They were selected to be part of 2020 Bloomberg New contemporaries.
Claire McDermott has exhibited at Tate Modern, Watford Museum, UCL, and Newton Farm Ecology Park. Her multidisciplinary practice uses sculpture, print, and photography to link plants to the contemporary arts. Social and environmental thoughts are an important part of the artwork, but her initial focus is on the individuality and asymmetrical contours of senescence in spent flowers. Taking these curiosities as an initiative she creates a view to observe the irregularity and unpredictability aspects of nature. Mc Dermott artwork is currently held at the Himalayan Gardens, Kent and Crill Rialaig Arts Centre, Ireland.
Clytie Chenglu Bao
Clytie Chenglu Bao is interested in opening up a rupture in the everyday life, by creating a liminal space; an in-between, where familiarity is possessed and haunted by the uncanny. Her work is imbued with memory and often plays with the forms of the organic and inorganic. She finds her practice repeatedly returning to the private memory, revealing the lost, overlooked hidden narratives, intertwining with fables and magic.
The fascination for the colour blue began when Diane was an Undergraduate Optometry student. This particular enchantment was initiated by the inherent differences in the physiological structure, and neurological pathways that exist when dealing specifically with our perception of the colour blue. Diane’s art practice continually explores three important questions central to her dialogue – What is blue? How is blue? and, Why is blue? These featured artworks form part of a series of works that facilitate chemical reactions allowing for the scientific questioning of process versus outcome.
Ellie Niblock is a Northern Irish artist based in London, working with sculpture and digital technologies. She is a 2020 MA Fine Art graduate from Central Saint Martins, and there she was awarded a residency for Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Ellie has been supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland since 2016, and her work is part of their permanent collection. She has exhibited internationally in The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, The Mark Rothko Centre and LUX Gallery. Ellie was recently commissioned to create a public artwork for the F.E McWilliams Gallery in Belfast.
Emma Louise Moore
Emma Louise Moore’s work examines the movements and exchanges between people and nature. She is currently a contender in the National Sculpture Prize. Emma Louise was shortlisted for the Finglas Public Sculpture, with Sculpture Dublin. She completed her BA at Limerick School of Art & Design, and her MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London. She has exhibited in both Ireland and internationally. She had her first state-based solo show in Harlem, New York in 2019.
Erika Trotzig is a London-based Swedish artist, working in sculpture. Her practice is underpinned by an interest in what it means to be a body in the world; wherein she explores how structures of power, and the excess of late capitalism affects memories, histories and identities–of both individuals and the collective. Using the metaphorical possibilities of materials, as well as notions of instability and vulnerability as methodologies of investigation, she creates works that are both un-heroic and anti-monumental; where improbable meetings of material and construction methods attempts to access a playful aesthetic of failure. Trotzig has exhibited in the UK and internationally.
Qinming Feng is an interdisciplinary research-based artist and designer who graduated from MA Art and Science (Distinction Grade) at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and also holds a bachelor degree from Beijing Institute of Technology. He specialises in diverse media including interactive installations, visual communication design, and working with the transformation of bio-materials (urine) to rethink the production process. He tries to challenge the approach of how we observe and understand, to communicate through implementing new thinking.
Alike the bizarre concept -demons, mental state, uncanny, etc- which is dominating the concept and the form of the practice, there is another equally given interpretation more framed into the demands of the rational world. The portraits of my paintings talk for inner emptiness and meaningless of their existence which is perfectly adjusted to the modern lifestyle of our ruptured with God society
Giacomo Layet (1993, Venice-Italy) lives and works in London. His work explores the relationship between the individual and the urban/natural context in its everyday practice. His visual research takes its starting point from a collection of found objects and materials, which are useful to express personal narratives. In a process of appropriation and alteration, his practice adapts and transforms mundane objects into a suggestive form, creating an interplay between actuality and the imaginary with a humoristic undertone. The contrasting features of materials, forced to be in the same space, seem to confront themselves in an apparent balanced coexistence.
Giulia Federici is an Italian artist based in London. She gained her BA in Painting, Drawing and Performative Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome, during which she attended one year of study at the HfBK Dresden, Germany. She gained her MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2020. Working predominantly with sculpture, the artist interrogates the limitations of human interaction in conveying experience. Her work has been shown internationally, including at the Musei Capitolini, Rome, and Saatchi Gallery, London.
Heini King is a mixed media artist based in London. Her practice in painting and performance is informed by psychoanalytic theory and the notion of self in relation to others. King’s practice centres on the space of creativity – the “potential space” or “protospace” as Winnicot and Kristeva respectively designate it. Her work concerns itself with intertwining inner experience and the outer world. Repetition, variation and shifts in perception are central to the space that the work attempts to create. As an artist, she is particularly interested in how creativity can enhance the human experience both on a personal level and collectively.
Henny Valentino (b. Amsterdam, 1992) investigates representations of introversion and how introverts manoeuvre in societies geared around extroverts. He creates places that function as safe havens where solitude meets the external world, using installation, video and sound. Inspired by automotive and domestic landscapes, seeing them as an extension of the self. Personalised spaces guarded by fragile glass windows, glaring in the beaming sun.
Jacqueline Nicholls is a London based visual artist. She’s interested in handwriting as a form of drawing. The line that traced the internal thought, mediated through the body, language transformed into a physical presence. Exploring found lines’ potential, and how even when writing collapses, it still calls out. This has led to explorations in touch, embodied language, and the aura of absence. This interest in writing is informed by her Jewish heritage, a tradition that values textual interpretations as religious acts. Jacqueline has exhibited internationally, and her work is held in public and private collections. www.jacquelinenicholls.com
Jaeyeon Choi is a Korean artist working in London and Seoul. She primarily focuses on painting and installation. She creates abstract paintings through cut images and deconstruction theory. Her works explore boundaries between painting and space. She also explores her deepest emotions, primal gestures, and expresses that part of herself during the physical act of painting. Her painting itself is a relic of the action. It is a recording of the gestures made. It is her aesthetic remnant of something intuitive, earnest, idiosyncratic and free. She has recently exhibited internationally, at Art Zurich, Switzerland, Korea, France, Japan, USA and UK.
Jenny Klein is a multidisciplinary artist based in South East London whose work has been described as evidencing a ‘hyperawareness of surface as a repository of lived experience’. Her practice centres on themes of time, location, presence, and surface. Often taking geometric abstraction as a starting point, the surfaces of paintings and photographs are developed and disturbed by stitching and constructed textures to create ambiguous, elemental forms. Her work has been exhibited widely including shows at Saatchi Gallery, Crypt Gallery, Tate Modern, Harrow Arts Centre and in Italy.
John is a UK-based visual artist and Central Saint Martins graduate. He was raised between India and Bahrain, and sees himself as an outsider artist. His practice is grounded in man’s inability to see through illusions, stemming from trauma and isolation. He uses photography, contemporary philosophy, painting, sound, and video installations to emphasize the need to broaden the understanding of what is a private/ public space during these challenging times. His works have been exhibited at Tate Modern, Wrong Biennial and Lethaby Gallery.
K Blick is a South Korean artist based in London. She completed her initial degree in Tokyo, followed by her MA in fine art at Central Saint Martins in London. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy, Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery in London, UK. Blick’s work is in several prestigious collections such as the Bulgari Private Collection in Italy, and the Shahmoon Private Collection in the UK. Through the lens of contemporary society, the artist draws connections between the present and the past, creating new narratives that reconsider the myths and histories that we often take for granted.
Kathryn is a Midlands-born, London-based artist who explores themes of presence, nature, awareness, and interconnectedness–with a deep appreciation for lens-based image-making and its presentation. Working predominantly with moving images, photography and installation, she is fond of distorting images through experimental camera and editing craft, both digitally and with photographic film. Through her interest in the screen, she is keen to make known and exploit its actuality. Beyond visual imagery, Kathryn is a multi-instrumentalist who often creates soundscapes and soundtracks for her work.
Laura Giesdorf is a multidisciplinary German artist based in Berlin who engages with photography, video, performance and installation art. She earned her MA in Contemporary Photography; Practices and Philosophies at Central Saint Martins. Her work is exhibited internationally, including the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg and Tate Modern, UK. Additionally, she regularly delivers guerrilla performances in public spaces, such as measuring the German Bundestag with her body. Her work addresses the relevance of the cultural body with regard to identity formation. To do this, Giesdorf uses her own body, thereby unifying the role of the artist, the artwork, subject, and object.
The Pantheon expresses a topic that human beings have eternal anxiety and desire to break through the limitations of life and reach eternity, Lei’s artworks collage to express the relationship between human beings and human society. Lei is interested in new media art and digital technology to express the relationship between human beings and human society, Lei’s works considered colour, space and time, and how to use new technology to express our society, including futurism, mysticism, and political commentary. Lei’s work was shown on Tate modern, LUX image, West bund museum.
Liang Xiao is an interdisciplinary artist. She holds a ‘1st’ in BA Graphic Design (University of Wales) and a Distinction in MA Art and Science (CSM – UAL). Her work has been exhibited at Apiary Studio, Tate Exchange and CouttsArt... ‘Narrative Covid-19: From Wuhan to London’ was nominated for the Dean’s Collection2020 and shortlisted for the MullenLowe Nova Award2020, exhibited at the London Design Festival2020， received media coverage on the UAL, VICE, CGTV and others. She has recently been invited to give lectures at the China-Italy Design Innovation Hub (Tsinghua University) and the CAFA.
Louise is interested in links between art and health to form an internal dialogue with the self. An MA gave Louise space to explore deeper inquiry, researching how the language of colour can communicate directly with the human psyche. Abstract Expressionist style, allows the audience to create their own narrative within the composition making it a unique experience for each individual. Identifying a personal response, to the powerful compositions and silent language of colour; through subconscious nudges, emergent subtext appears through the correlation between the emotions of archetypes, unconscious motifs we share as a collective, mapping inner states.
Through the use of a wide range of media, Mariana Heilmann explores scale, interconnectivity and ways in which humanity is a meeting point between microscopic and global scales. Her thinking is informed by scientific phenomena such as symbiosis, decomposition, and cell evolution. Her work weaves and layers distilled information with her perceptions and interpretations of life systems. Currently, she is exploring the fungal kingdom through a collaboration with fungal ecologist Prof. Lynne Boddy. In addition, she is contributing to Alexia Pierre’s exhibition (Collapsing Scale) and developing OPUS with artist Yan Chen (Open Air Pop-up Studio based in Peckham).
Marion’s work focuses on human behaviour to highlight what she considers persistent discrimination in society. Her practice reflects on her experience as a woman and mother of three daughters. The Me-Too movement has served as a reminder that society continues to struggle with gender conflict. There also seems to be a revival including in politics of images of strong male leaders tied to nationalistic and populist ideologies. The resolution of gender conflict is a resolution of discrimination generally to establish more of a level playing field among all members of society and bringing higher utility for society as a whole.
Muriel is fascinated with haunted spaces and body horror. Working across analogue and digital media, currently focusing on watercolour and 3D modelling, she attempts to smear the boundaries between human and non-human, organic and inorganic, life and death, reality and fiction.
T̴o ̨find҉ j̷o̷y̛ ̛in d̶ec͢ay҉
T̴o cat̵ch̀ a gl̷i̴̡mṕ̴se of ̵the ̡̧ev͢è͢rla̢sti̕ng̷҉a̴͟ṕo̵ca̢lyp̴̢s̀̀è
Phan’s images present a visual vernacular, a way of communication that triggers emotions related to experiences. They’re conversations in and of themselves, speaking a language that crafts a world deeply personal yet presents non-literal ideas that surface aesthetically and are seen by all. These moments of self-dialogue surface perceptions of reality and deeply rooted reflections that are an entrance to his imagined reality. His works have been exhibited at Tate Modern and Lethaby Gallery.
Phil’s work responds to dysfunctional relationships between humankind and the natural world, which has initiated the Anthropocene and worldwide climatic and ecological disasters.
A Picture of Health: A Deep Connection was created in dialogue with three medical and one tree health scientists pondering the thought experiment: “What environmental factors affect the health of a dispossessed Londoner and an urban oak tree? How do they differ?”
Design elements originated with the scientists – including the transposition of haemoglobin and chlorophyll and the embedded haikus. It was co-created by Phil, the artist, with the trees offering the woodblocks for printing.
Raji Jagadeesan’s interdisciplinary practice is place-based; and travel to locations of historic, political, or cultural interest are an intrinsic part of her practice. By grounding her work in a particular physical location, she aims to capture a relationship between one’s physical experience of the world and their surroundings. Whether in her still or moving image work, or in her sculpture or installation work, she improvises with the situation and materials available in the moment; the process becomes unrepeatable, a chance happening at a specific moment of time in a specific place.
Richard’s work uses the phenomenon of electromagnetism to explore subject matter relating to humanity’s connection and disconnection with the earth. His work might be described as sculpture expressing mechanical gestures using magnetism and electronics to create a physical, yet invisible tension in each work. Richard is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors and is a finalist in this years ‘National Sculpture Prize’ currently on show at Broomhill Sculpture Gardens in Devon.
Rowan’s embroidered work explores bodies, illness, and how the experience of living in one’s own body is both universal and deeply personal. Their practice investigates how interior bodily experience can be communicated via exterior presentation; with skin masking internal truth, workings, failings, and providing encapsulating protection. Textural technical stitches are employed to sit proud of the surface inviting- but not allowing- a tactile interaction. Rowan graduated from CSM’s MA Fine Art with distinction in 2020 and has had work shown at the Science Museum London, the Saatchi, Elephant West W12, APT, and Quality Court in Edinburgh.
Sara Shishkova is a Bulgarian-Czech artist, working and living in London. Her practice encompasses sculpture, installation, drawing, writing and video. In her work, she discusses notions and means of the Alchemical opus and its relation to the workings of the human psyche, psychoanalysis and ways these could be conveyed into materiality, as a way of self-reflection. The image of the Black Sun – the dual other of the Sun, as an illustrative symbol of the self and its dualistic nature occupies a major role within her work, as do materials with a bi-formous affinities, such as varied waxes and liquids.
Sian Fan (1991) is an interdisciplinary artist currently based at Sarabande Foundation, London. She has exhibited internationally with venues including Tate Modern, British Council, and the ICA, as well as producing work with Channel 4, the BBC and Facebook.
Her work combines movement, the body and technology to explore embodiment, spirituality and human experience in the digital age. Through her work she hopes to discover new ways for us to coexist with technology.
Teresa Zerafa Byrne
Teresa Zerafa Byrne’s practice is concerned with the formation and recollection of memory and its vulnerabilities. In examining the relationship between sensory perception, awareness and memory, she seeks to understand which details of our experiences are significant and are selected to be committed to memory for later recall; how does recall affect the integrity of the memory? Applying a broad spectrum of processes to the details, she abstracts them to form an emotional response rather than a literal interpretation. She also explores the properties of materials and their inherent qualities, using multiple layers within her mixed media works.
Tijana Petrovic is a Croatian-born and London-based artist who recently exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery, in the Mall Galleries and at the London Art Biennale. Tijana explores the themes of inhibitions, vulnerabilities, and complex emotional states, such as nostalgia with an aim to cope with the anxieties in everyday life. She wants to turn the negative or mundane into aesthetically pleasing or comical, and break the boundaries of the uncomfortable by enabling discussion on difficult topics in light-hearted way. She combines real-life motifs in uncommon ways, and through deadpan humour, she talks about the difficulties in everyday adult lives.
Wilma Woolf is a Visual Artist. In 2020 she completed a Masters in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, graduating with a Distinction. Woolf's core concern is the extrapolation of political injustices told through data, collected testimonials, and the communication of this through artistic means. Utilising a successful career as a policy professional in the field of equality issues, her work manifests information in physical form. Woolf's work is noted for being repetitive and comprising of grid-like structures. It is multidisciplinary in its approach, incorporating installations, sculptural and 2D work, through materials such as concrete, photography, glass and ceramics.
Xiaohui Wu is a Chinese interdisciplinary artist living in London. She graduated from Tianjin Academy of Arts and continued her studies at Central Saint Martins I UAL, where she undertook a Masters in Fine Art. Her work is about the relationships, influences and transformations between the natural environment and human behaviour, with a particular focus on social issues. She works across moving image, photography, ceramics, sculpture, installation and painting.
Yang Li is an artist who graduated from Art and Science at Central Saint Martins and specialises in the combination and application of new materials and media. He has a keen interest in interactive art and new media visual art. His artworks focus on discussing the relationship between truth and definition. He hopes that through his works people will think critically about our world. With the deepening of people's understanding of the world, he tries to find a new field to explore more possibilities hidden beyond the limited cognition of truth in daily life.