In the months leading up to the graduate exhibition a little over two years ago, I had a Student Blog with a-n; www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/staffordshire-university-11, and I was interviewed by Richard Taylor for the ‘Blogger Profile’ which was published on this website: www.a-n.co.uk/resource/blogger-profile-sikander-pervez
This may be an appropriate place to start, to develop the conversation from the interview and show what I have been up to since then through various blog updates on this website.
The ‘Blogger Profile’ ended without revealing any plans for what I made for the graduate exhibition. Therefore, I have included photographs of the space in which I proposed to exhibit the work called ‘Gallery‘ (2013).
As part of the New Art West Midlands 2014 group exhibition, there were six prizes available. As I have mentioned in the previous ‘post’, I was living in London at the time, juggling full-time employment and constantly travelling up and down the country to make the work for the exhibition. Throughout this experience, I had completely forgotten about the prizes.
Much to my surprise, I discovered that I was the recipient of one of the six prizes; a solo exhibition on the fourth floor gallery at the incredible The New Art Gallery Walsall, for which I must thank the ever supportive Deborah Robinson.
I have attached a few photographs depicting my initial experiments in the workshop at The New Art Gallery Walsall. I will be adding many ‘blog posts’ which will include the entire experience from the initial experiments and work made as part of a residency, to the making of the work and the curatorial process for the solo exhibition, 30 January 2015 – 19 April 2015.
The first exhibition outside of the university setting I was a part of was New Art West Midlands 2014, a group exhibition spread across multiple venues across the West Midlands.
This was the second annual exhibition which was open to recent graduates from five universities in the West Midlands. The open call received around 150 submissions, from which 23 artists were selected to exhibit in prominent locations including: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and Grand Union.
I was very lucky to have been selected to have three works exhibited, one of which was new, across two venues; Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery & The Barber Institute of Fine Arts. I cannot thank Rachel Bradley, Lisa Beauchamp & Robert Wenley enough for their interest, selection and patience.
I proposed the new work, Plinth, 2014, to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Both galleries were on board to show the artwork, however, in the end, I believed Plinth to be more suited to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery as I was to exhibit Untitled (Castors & Chair), 2014 at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
At the time of the exhibition preparations, I was living in London in full-time employment and without a studio. I was having to travel to Staffordshire and Birmingham to recreate two works and make a new work. This entire experience could not have been possible without the generosity of Ali Reed & Ben Harding, who let me use their studio spaces in Staffordshire and Birmingham to make & remake works for the exhibition.