‘Piece of Mind’ Exhibition – Students’ Viewpoint

Every so often GUAP take on two students for a week-long work experience, where they learn what it takes to run and contribute to a new-media platform like ours. Read on for a student-led perspective on the 'Piece of Mind' exhibition currently on at Somerset House.
by ELSIE CULLEN Jul 15, 2022

Written by Anthony, 17

Harlesden High street presents an intriguing art space that” celebrates ungentrified neighborhoods of London and provides resources for underrepresented artists”. The displays seek to examine the metamorphoses of the functions of our personal spaces, where we carry out many activities.

Upon entering the “Piece of Mind” art space, visitors find themselves intrigued by a prominent display of what looks like raging flames engulfing the corner of the room. Tyreis Holder’s piece ‘For Ti (2021).’ The installation includes a multi-coloured 100% yarn Tufted rug; the work seeks to lament and explore the incursion and perhaps destructive effect on our homely and personal spaces by the fire of external influences. The artist’s works distort the room’s perception in a way that represents the distorting effect external influences have on our personal areas.

Foolishness Follows Feet. (2022)” – cowrie shells, beads, gold wire, paper, hand embroidery on Airforce 1 – is another nod to the assault on our domestic and sacred spaces as the yarn engulfs and surrounds which distorts the original shape of the Air Force 1s.

Your eyes are then drawn to Ocean Baulcombe-Toppin’s work, ”blessedwithcarribbeansunlight.com (2022)”, which seeks to examine technology’s impact on the groundedness of all things we experience in our personal spaces and perhaps beyond. Baulcombe-Toppin’s holographic representation of eucalyptus, a historically sacred healing tree, seeks to magnify the notion that all things are grounded. In addition, the piece aims to question whether technology has taken away the authenticity of things and has led to them ultimately being viewed to be in the realm of illusions. It was an intriguing, visually aesthetic piece that briefly and concisely portrayed the artists’ thoughts.

Elsewhere, Anna Sebastians “ Persephone (2021)” – a painting, oil on paper- explores the contemporary evolution of myth about astrology, a portal to the outside. It’s a fascinating abstract piece, which could perhaps take on a different meaning for different viewers.

Using sculptural re-interpretations of previous photography works by Casandra Burrell, 雅YA’s “0612181712 (2021) seeks to depict uncanny domestic atmospheres where a build or body appears scattered or distorted into independent parts which then contort and merge as they interact with their surroundings. The piece investigates self-reality and social existence, and the art articulately depicts the artist’s thoughts.

KO___OL, “Violent Prayers”, (2022) – 7-inch digital photo frames, video, music, memorabilia, 17’37”is an initially unassuming addition to the exhibition; however, KO___OL makes use of his audiovisual art form to challenge the idealised moments of the routine of life in Nigeria through the lens of family, and work and social gathering via the setting of the bedroom. KO___OL’s piece is in tandem with Farrah Riley Grey’s ”we felt seen today,(2019)”. – woven synthetic hair -. The piece hangs above the exhibition space’s fireplace like a dismembered organ, uncannily reclaiming its space as an autonomous entity. However, when seen with KO___OLs work, it loses its potency as the piece instead becomes a keepsake from a loved one, keeping with older customs of keeping hair as a token when far from home. The work is very abstract. It takes a bit more effort and attention to extract the meaning of the art. 

The Piece of Mind exhibit is a socially aware collection of art pieces from a diverse range of talented artists. It depicts the conflict between the sacredness of personal space and the impact of outside influences, such as working long hours and temporary contracts. As the boundaries blur, the exhibit explores the challenge of true rest — a genuinely fantastic display.

Anthony

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Written by Jackie, 17

Piece of mind is an exhibition that was curated with a selection of multiple talented artists.

This exhibition mainly focuses on the perspective of private areas in which less time is being spent. The decrease in time can be attributed to new and existing influences in their life, such as long work hours or virtual work, as well as being made to keep up social media appearances. 

When entering the exhibition room, the consumer sees a slightly disturbing sight of the collection. This sight that is seen can be only described as invasive, given away by the direction that this art is travelling towards the ceiling to ensure that the rest of the room is transformed to be completely unrecognizable. 

For Ti‘, created by Tyreis Holder, emphasizes that with the invasion of foreign materials into private areas, the bedroom goes from being a recognizable area that one can find comfort in that being regarded as strange as the perception that is seen around the rest of the exhibition apart for two items that have been found to have a distorted look to the shoes. 

Tyreis Holders’ piece that contains the widely known and recognized Air Force 1s, has been transformed into an entity that looks out of place but is still slightly recognizable to those that looks out of place but is still slightly recognizable to those that are fans of the shoes. In this depiction, the shoes have transformed that further ties in the role of the foreign material that has invaded the exhibit on the other side of the room. ‘Foolishness Follows Feet‘ gives the message that the items that we have and see every day are not able to avoid being changed but rather will become a reminder of what has changed and how it continues to affect us in our day-to-day lives. 

Moving onto other parts of the displayed exhibits seen in ‘Piece of Mind‘, there were a set of videos with some hair around it that were stationed under some hair that helped link the whole project back together. The looping videos, named ‘Violent Prayers’, are

used as a string that allows the artist, KO___OL, to keep memories of his loved one. The subject’s loved one of KO___OL is seen in some of these looping clips wearing durag that was placed alongside a multitude of other items which may have been used to help him through the day-to-day activities. 

Alongside the day-to-day activities that are being played as the central part of KO___OL’s piece of art, hair within the durag is found to serve as an integral reminder of the loved one, which is in stark contrast to the artwork ‘We Felt Seen Today‘ created by Farrah Riley Gray, that sends the message that the hair can stand on its own as a single, autonomous entity that can reclaim its own space above the installation of videos. Both of these pieces are used to help highlight older practices of keeping hair as a token to keep a reminder when found in a place far from home. 

The oil on paper piece that is titled ‘Persephone‘, the creation of Anna Sebastian, is used to show the changes and compromises that are being made in a bid to dissociate themselves from the activities that they would be carrying out in the bedroom when they would be carrying out during working hours in a proposal to allow themselves to be able to relax. The end of the cave that is shown in ‘Persephone‘ is shown to be a portal to the outside in which they would be ‘free’ from all of the obligations that they would have to complete within a day in the same private area that they would allow themselves to be able to relax within. 

0612181712‘ further feeds into the ideology that the body is acting independently of other body parts while still being able to interact with the environment. 

Silicone creations ‘0612181712‘ and ‘2611191446‘ further adds to the rest of the exhibition with the simple yet strong message that the body is being separated due to having to spread the time throughout their lives, from the long hours that are being worked to the time that is spent on social media to help contribute to resting in private areas. 

The whole exhibit is set up in conjunction with each other to help with the intent of seeing the difference that is held between productive areas and difference that is held between productive areas and private areas that are becoming increasingly difficult to be separated by the human mind due to changes within our lives.

Jackie