Chichester University art students showcase all they have learnt

Jazmine Saunders
Jazmine Saunders

Diana Martins finds looking to the future with confidence as she contemplates the Fine Art BA Degree Show 2019 at the University of Chichester.

The exhibition in the university’s artOne building has its preview evening on Thursday, May 16 from 6-9pm and is then open to the public from Friday to Thursday, May 17 to 23, weekdays 11am-6pm and weekends 11am-4pm.

And as she prepares to move on, Diana is delighted at the progress her time in Chichester has allowed her to make: “I came here because of the uniqueness of the course and the studio space, unlike any other university. The resources are great and it has been very liberating. But it has also been a very intimate experience. You get good one-to-one. The tutors are amazing.”

It all means, as she says, that she has been able to develop her own language as an artist: “Before I did all the usual photo realistic work, but now I have got my own style that I am developing. My work is about human bodies, intertwining them and linking them. I use the same figure, but I try to create space for alternate reality. It is the same figure but in different positions. There are parts that are more photo realistic, but it turns abstract in other parts. There is that flux among the elements.”

Diana, who is orginally from Jersey, will head back to Jersey after her degree, but is hoping to move to London perhaps in a couple of years time where she will try to make it as an artist: “I just want to keep experimenting and also researching. Having confidence that I know what I am talking about is the next step.”

Also graduating this year is Jazmine Saunders, creator of a piece called simply Jo, a piece also called Tree Woman.

As she explains: “My work is about intertwining humans with nature. We are nature.

“I love watching the David Attenborough nature programmes. I love being out in nature and walking around. My work is a reminder that we are part of the natural world. I work using Jesmonite which is a resin-based plaster which means that it is stronger, but it is also lighter and can be put outside.

“I want the piece to be open to interpreation. I had the Apollo and Daphne story as a big inspiration for my work, where she turns into a laurel tree. This is the Daphne story.

“My work is also about feminism. It is about female empowerment, about being female in the world, about being equal and about us all having equal rights as human beings.”

And the good news is that Jazmine feels we are getting there: “I think we are more equal than we have ever been.”

Jazmine is interested in communication: “We all have auras. Spirituality and mindfulness come into this. Underground, roots can communicate with each other, and we now communicate with each other through a series of cables that create the connections which enable us to reach each other through screens. We plug into the screens and we plug into technology, but at the same time we do forget to recharge ourselves spiritually; we really do need to make sure that we take care of ourselves.”

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