UCA Farnham Student Success – Year 2 Arts & Media Exhibition

So happy with the success of our exhibition! Seeing all of our hard work finally come together was quite amazing. Very proud of all us.

BA and MA Fine Art @ UCA Farnham

This week the year 2 Arts & Media students held their end of year exhibition in the James Hockey Gallery. Supported by the gallery curator Richard Hylton and a team of specialist technicians, students had the opportunity to realise their work within this vast exhibition space.






Melissa Dodd







Max Leach



Tamara Lenz







Kamala Pugh




Ramuna Pun








George Lee



Georgie Fradley







Tamara Lenz & Vanisha Patel








 Melissa Harding





Natalie Ling




Laroux Hitchinson





Rena Ismailovaite






Vanisha Patel














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On Monday 28th April, Arts & Media second year came together in the James Hockey Gallery to put together our exhibition: 10C2D.


Most of the morning was spent figuring out what work will go where to ensure that there is a dialogue being kept between the work. During this time Tamara Lenz and I had to organise getting a TV screen to display our collaborative work. Due to lighting and other issues we were not able to use a projector to display our work. Upon getting the TV we decided to lay it flat on the ground to break up the gallery space. It was suggested by our tutor, Grant, that we arrange some of our other work on the floor around the screen to add to the work. Doing this we added several other of our works, including flags, the broken plates and the original tea cup piece. Combining these works together really came together well to show ideas of cultural hybridity.

Setting up my work ‘Appropriation/Appreciation?’ took a lot of planning and figuring things out before we got it up. I wanted the hang the 4 A0 acetate images from the ceiling. The afternoon was spent discussing how we could do this considering the options of using wire, metal hangers and fishing wire. Eventually we decided that the prints were light enough to be hung by fishing wire, using bulldog clips as connectors. To stop the acetate from curling I had to put pieces of doweling at the top of each image to keep them flat. With the help of a technician, my work was finally able to go up.

My work was positioned near the back of gallery hanging high enough so that it could be walked under but low enough to be viewed from a distance or up close. I’m very happy with the outcome of this work as the work depended so much on its presentation and there were times when I thought ‘my vision’ may not become reality but it did!

Tuesday 29th April: Private View

The opening night of our exhibition 10C2D was a huge success. The work was received well by our many visitors and there were a lot of discussions taking place about the work. All of the work really came together within the James Hockey gallery making an exciting space, despite our past reservations. It was a great night for Arts & Media, as we could finally showcase what we had been developing and working on for the past year.

The Dinner Party – Part I & II

Performance Piece with T. Lenz

Tamara Lenz and I have taken our collaboration further by filming a performance piece. We had previously discussed what our next step would be on from the dinner plates and decided the strongest thing to do was a performance piece featuring ourselves. We drafted a script for our performance called ‘The Dinner Party’, which would have two parts, Part 1 would feature us aligning rice along the painted henna patterns on the plates and Part 2 would show the plates being smashed. Whilst planning the performance we decided that for Part 2, we would buy more plates which would be sharpied with the henna patterns, as when we spoke about breaking the original plates, I in particular, could not bare the thought of breaking hours of hard work and dedication. We decided to dress in black and have our hair tied back for the performance to remove any cultural connotations. We also planned to film with a grey back ground which seemed to work well against the white plates with black lines and the black clothing. Creating Part 1 of the performance we wanted to play on the very bourgeois idea of a dinner party brought about by western cultures, often thought of as exclusive for those with prestige. We decided on the idea of aligning the rice on the plates showing the concept of prestige vs labour and also removing the use of a dinner table to enforce that. Derrida says western culture likes to think in opposites and this is a flaw in western thinking. So by bringing women to the table, or rather the floor, by doing labour the dinner is no longer a social, nice thing that is considered prestige, it instead becomes labour. This brings out the neutral area between the polarities. Creating Part 2 of the film we wanted to show the plates breaking informing the idea of wasted labour and expressing the frustration of it and showing that the dinner table is no longer a housewife’s pride.   IMG_9594 To film our performance we were assisted by two second year (BA Hons) DFSA students, Abdulaziz Lamlum and Jacob Dixon. We had one camera on a tripod which was continuous through the performance and a couple of others which were hand held to get different angles. I found the filming of the performance to be very strange as being in front of the camera is not something I am used to. However it was an interesting experience, filming part 2 especially as we Lenz and I both had the opportunity to break the plates. Doing this definitely did let out the frustration we had over labour and time spent on the plates but it was also quite difficult to bring ourselves to break them. The main ideas we wanted to explore within this performance piece are, Foucault’s attachment to the object, Derrida’s polarity thinking of the western world, the idea of prestige vs. labour and the idea of cultural hybridity. I feel that our performance piece definitely addressed these concepts well. 

The Dinner Party, Part I

          TWO EUROPEAN-ASIAN WOMEN with black clothing walk in to a
          gray background.
          The TWO WOMEN sit cross-legged as they prepare the layout of
          the plates on the floor.
          ONE WOMAN pours rice in the middle of their workspace.
          TWO WOMEN then align rice along the design of the plate.
          This continues until each of the plates are finished. The
          TWO WOMEN have to finish at the same time.
          When both plates are finished, the TWO WOMEN move the
          finished plates off frame. 

The Dinner Party, Part II

Plates are being dropped (with the rice) and broken. Alternatively, plates are being dropped (without the rice) and broken

  With our exhibition in May in mind, Lenz and I have decided that we would like to present this piece projected onto the floor, next to the remains of the broken plates to come together as a whole piece of work.

Artist Statement

Being surrounded in a world of mixed cultures, I never seemed to acknowledge the ‘clashes’ that occur within my own cultures and the cultures that surround me. ‘Traditional Hybrid’ and ‘Cultural Hybridity’ explore a hybrid that I am confronted with, fusing two very traditional aspects from being Indian and British.

Looking into this fusion of cultures, I found cultural appropriation rose to the surface. Are we learning to appreciate other cultures to coincide with our own or are we just being oblivious to it and disrespectful? ‘Appropriate/Appreciation’ allows the idea of ‘fusion’ to be physically seen. Each image can be seen as one yet together the acetate allows us to see through each image to the next, exploring the notion of on-going integration and interchanging.

‘Eurasia’, a collaborative piece with Tamara Jane Lenz continues to explore cultural fusion by challenging the idea of prestige vs. labour by presenting a performance piece. The archival remains of it look into attachment of the object and the polarity thinking of the western world.

Exploring the cultural hybridity that surrounds us and the globalisation we face together, I am ultimately raising the question: is cultural appropriation ignorant or just inevitable?

Cultural Appropriation Archive

Whilst researching cultural appropriation I have slowly been building an archive of images showing cultural appropriation within the context of Fashion. I intend to present this archive in the exhibition either using all images collating them together directly on the gallery wall or by choosing a select few (perhaps 4-10) and printing them on a larger scale (A0) onto pvc/acetate. If presented on acetate, I want to hang them collectively from the ceiling with enough space for interaction. I want the archive to show the idea that whether we like it or not, whether its good or bad thing, appropriation will continue to happen and this is what blends everyone together.

This archive will continue to grow and the collection of images will in expand. In the future, I would like to present all images or a selection of the strongest.

As well as creating this archive of images, I have also created an archive of cultural appropriation on Pinterest which has been a great source of reference and research for me.

‘Nothing Comes From Nowhere’

James O. Young and Susan Haley: ‘Nothing Comes From Nowhere’: Reflections on Cultural Appropriation as the Representation of Other Cultures

This essay discusses ideas of subject appropriation, (sometimes known as voice appropriation) addressing seven subjects of how cultural appropriation is debated; subject appropriation as a inappropriate name, misrepresentation, cultural appropriation and assimilation, harmful and accurate representation, privacy, authenticity and envoy (advocate). They are all addressed by considering the members of one culture (outsiders) representing members of other cultures (insiders).

Young and Haley state that all appropriation involves a form of taking which tends to not be obvious to those who are engaging in taking from the insiders. Even if nothing is taken by subject appropriation, it is still ethically dubious to represent another culture.

It is considered that nothing is taken by subject appropriation, as cultures do not own subject matters since they are thought of as public domain, that anyone can write about or represent from their own experiences, which questions whether the term ‘misnomer’ has been unjustifiably harsh.

Minority cultures have experienced misrepresentation in the past, which continues to occur within the fields of fiction and film giving the example of old Hollywood Western films which show Indians in a cruel manner. They say that misrepresentation is completely wrong, in the same way as belittling a person, it is wrong to distort all members of a culture.

However they discuss that it is not all bad if an outsider represents an insider suggesting that it could be more harmful if they are not. Giving the example of the American author Wallace Stegner’s novel Angle of Repose that explores the present and historical violation of Indian rights. The example shows that if outsiders always resisted from representing insiders and their cultures, it would not be a true depiction of reality and that insiders could be caused more harm by being overlooked than ignored completely. Sometimes we can learn more about ourselves through other people’s representations of us.

It’s argued that it isn’t enough to recognise that subject appropriation is wrong by outsiders representing a minority culture and aiding its integration.

Invasive prying to a culture can leave the individuals of a culture feeling violated. It can be extra sensitive for those of a smaller culture yet they say that ‘the right of a culture’s members to privacy does not rule out all representation of other cultures’.

Young and Haley argue that ‘every work of art is authentic in some sense’ yet it could be said that an artwork representing other cultures may be inauthentic as an ‘outsider cannot produce authentic expressions of insiders’ culture’ even if the outsider is fully educated within that culture, although aesthetically this does not make the work unsuccessful.

Only a person possessing a culture can truly understand it as they have the advantage of constant access to it. It is explored that this view is related to cultural relativism, where one can only look at other cultures from inside their own which provides a very different perception to its actuality. It is argued that we cannot attempt to understand other cultures until we exchange cultural information, so without doing this, we could be led to misunderstand.

Young and Haley conclude by saying that through suggesting something is an example of subject appropriation does not make it ethically objectionable. Some examples may be harmful yet the context of it needs to be identified. 


‘Appropriation of Religion’

Conrad G. Brunk and James O. Young: ‘The Skin Off Our Backs’ Appropriation of Religion

This essay discusses the widespread idea of the appropriation of religious beliefs and practices. There is an interesting opening to the introduction proclaiming that appropriation of religious beliefs and practices are ‘the most contested form of appropriation from Indigenous people’.

The text solely concerns itself with the appropriation that takes place when outsiders from one culture adopt religious beliefs, rituals or ceremonies from an Indigenous culture, over the objections of those concerned. Several arguments are put forward questioning whether people who adopt the religious beliefs and practices of other people participate in some kind of wrong. The three objections discussed are that it threatens cultural identity through misinterpretation and distortion, that it forms a type of theft and that it creates disrespect and offense.

Arguably all questions put forward can be considered as quite true to having an impact on several cultures today creating angst and frustration for those whose religions are being appropriated. Each objection is discussed with a way for these ‘problems’ to be resolved by the appropriators giving examples of what could be done. Essentially the underlying theme is the factor of respect, which needs to be evident in order for there to be a better understanding between those appropriating and those appropriated.


When looking at images of appropriation, I often question whether the culture being appropriated has disrespected or misrepresented. Religion is a sensitive subject and is something that should be respected. When researching I found that some images often showed conflicting ideologies through the representation of more than one culture. Reading ‘The Skin Off Our Backs’ Appropriation of Religion gave me a better understanding of the questions that are often raised when considering appropriation.

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Bindi and Cross Necklace