The multi-coloured wall-based reliefs, made with plasticine on board, depict wild gardens filled with real and imaginary flowers and plants from around the world.
The project, which has the working title Plasticine Garden, explores the movement of people across the globe as traced through horticulture. Once complete the work will be displayed in one of Camberwell College of Art’s exhibition spaces.
World Art Day takes place on 15 April each year with the aim of promoting the enjoyment of art and its development. It was initiated by the International Association of Art (IAA), an artist-led, non-governmental organisation that works in partnership with UNESCO. The IAA exists to encourage international collaboration and to improve the economic and social position of artists.
He explained that the World Art Day project emerged from conversations with students about the philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of ‘Heterotopia’ and wider discussions about “otherness and crisis”.
Jerome said: “Heterotopia is a play on utopias and Foucault states that there are two types: heterotopias of crisis and heterotopias of deviation. They can be real or imaginary spaces created by people who, in relation to their society, fit into these categories.”
The technique used in the collaborative artwork was inspired by British artist Henry Hudson, who Jerome previously worked for as a studio assistant.
Artist Linghui Ng, a collaborator on the project, said: “I find it engaging and relaxing to work collaboratively with other artists. Moulding the plasticine with our hands is a direct way of handling the material and I particularly enjoy marbling the plasticine. Learning about Foucault’s heterotopias has helped me to expand my own practice, to explore memory and the domestic beyond routine and familiarity.”
Artist Ziqi Chen added: “The project has provided me with a new experience that is both similar and vastly different from my individual practice. While the exploration of philosophical concepts, such as heterotopias and otherness, aligns with my personal artistic themes of liminal space and dreamscapes, the use of plasticine to combine two dimensional and three-dimensional elements is a departure from my usual painting medium. It is inspiring to see how a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives can come together to create something meaningful.”
On the importance of World Art Day, Jerome said: “These celebrations help reinforce the link between artistic creation and society. It encourages greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlights the contribution of artists to sustainable development.”
About the IAA
Founded in 1952 under the chairmanship of artist Gino Severini, the International Association of Art (IAA) is an artist-led, non-governmental organisation working in official partnership with UNESCO. The objectives of the association are to stimulate international collaboration and to improve the economic and social position of artists on national and international levels, as well as to defend their material and moral rights. Since its foundation, IAA has negotiated and drawn attention to international agreements, declarations and other actions designed to facilitate the work of visual artists.
To find out more about the IAA, visit aiap-iaa.org
Images: Students at Camberwell College of Art and Jerome., Plasticine Garden, work-in-progress, 2023.