Seven students from BA (Hons) Fine Art have used a week long artists’ residency at LOKAAL01 Gallery in Antwerp.
Their aim has been to examine the contemporary conditions of human transitivity in relation to the culture of Belgium’s second city.
Students Taylor Davies-King, Gabriel Drewett, Lily Lineham, Joanah Lopez, Jessica Thomas, Clive Timothy and Ru Yi say of their collaboration: “We are attempting to understand the perspective of the locals and their opinion whilst exploring Antwerp. We will be documenting, through mixed media, experiences and encounters in an attempt to emphasise the changes that have been created by current events. Our aim is not to be political but to express what we have discovered in our journey around Antwerp.”
The results were made public with an exhibition at the space, and these ranged from a stand selling an anonymous pink drink, at which the price was less for Belgian nationals and therefore a comment on inequality, to a video screening room to which the audience could only peer in through a small hole and watch footage of Antwerp terrorism prevention operations addressed to rows of chairs left deliberately empty. This gave the viewer a voyeuristic experience but also referenced the politics of exclusion.
Fred Vergaert, the host of the exhibition, introduced these young artists to the Antwerp contemporary art scene, and its people and places, providing an invaluable professional development opportunity. This exhibition marks a continuing relationship of career support from LOKAAL01, which is sustained beyond graduation and exemplified by Fred also mentoring two recent alumni of the course this year on an Arts Council England application.