Session 6: 18/10/21
6-8pm


Presenters: David Leal, Helen Blejerman, Mark Dean, Rachel Coombes
 



David Leal

Bio


David Leal (Lisbon/London) recently graduated in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins and has been exhibiting work that primarily takes the form of video and objects. Leal’s work reflects on three main subjects: vision, religion and sexuality. Coming from a family that believes it was struck by a miracle, his work emphasises the power of belief(s) and illusions, which necessarily inspects notions of sensitivity – through the senses, morals and/or experiences. He creates pieces that work as detectives, looking for something labelled as soul, not through logic or reasoning but, something with stains of (a) being. David’ has exhibited at Casa do Capitão and Azan.Space in Lisbon, and Tate Modern and St. Giles Church in London. He was recently selected for the 2021 Bloomberg New Contemporaries and received an  ‘Artists in Early Career Stage’ award from the Russian initiative Center Stage.


Presentation

David will, by jumping between some of his works, speak about how religion infected them, identifying how an interest in spirituality might continue to surface in one’s practice even when not obviously apparent. The presentation will introduce us to his longstanding exploration of the eye and how religion mines vision and vice versa —- the interior of the eye as an incubator of faith.


http://davidleal.net


Helen Blejerman

Bio


Helen Blejerman is an artist and writer based in the UK, originally from Mexico City. She is an associate lecturer in the Department of Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, where she has been, since 2009, actively interested in innovation for art education. Helen has just begun a practice-based PhD at Sheffield, with a scholarship from the Culture and Creativity Research Institute. She is exploring unidentified burials related to femicide in Mexico. As an artist she has been commissioned by the Guardian Newspaper and published commercial and academic work in the UK, France, and the United States. She co-wrote and co-edited with Nick Stewart As Sure as the Rain, which was awarded a Silver Laurel by the Independent Film Awards in Los Angeles, California.


Presentation

Helen will be presenting two pieces: a video that documents her work A Visual Theory of the Soul and a fragment of an audio piece she wrote and produced for the Being Human Festival. Both works emerged from her research of the grass area beneath Wadsley Church cemetery in north Sheffield and a plaque that says: “Below this grass area lie the remains of over 2,500 men, women and children from the South Yorkshire Asylum 1872- 1948”. Both works were funded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Sheffield University, and combine her reflections on her mother’s passing in 2018 in Mexico, with paranoid schizophrenia; also, her thoughts around her mother’s body being peacefully incorporated into the flora within the soil where she was buried. Helen will finish her presentation talking briefly about her International Lab for the Nature of Burials and Contemporary Fine Art.


https://helenblejerman.com
@HelenBlejerman


Mark Dean

Bio

Mark Dean’s video and sound work has been exhibited nationally and internationally since the early 1990’s, with examples held in collections including Arts Council England, Mudam Luxembourg, and the Saastamoinen Foundation, Finland. Exhibitions in 2021 include The Current Thing, Hopscotch Reading Room, Berlin; Radical Reel, Leeds Art Gallery; The Visitors, Morley Gallery, London. In 2009 Mark received a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists, and in 2010 was ordained in the Church of England, currently working as a chaplain to University of the Arts London, and coordinator of Arts Chaplaincy Projects.

Presentation

Having spent half a lifetime asking questions of the relation of religion and art, Mark has no answers, apart from the practice of religion and art in the same or subsequent breaths, a few of which Mark will use t0 inflate an expository balloon, hopefully to float in virtual space for 20 mins, or until it pops.

https://tailbiter.com
@chaplachap



Rachel Coombes

Bio

Rachel Coombes is a doctoral candidate in History of Art at St John's College, University of Oxford, where she is undertaking research on the decorative work of the Catholic painter Maurice Denis (1870 – 1943), a life-long music lover and close friend of French religious composers including Ernest Chausson and Vincent d'Indy. Rachel is broadly interested in the intersection of religion, music and the visual arts within the fractious culture of early twentieth-century France. She has an undergraduate degree in Music from the University of Oxford, and an MA in History of Art from the University of Birmingham, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Presentation
Rachel will use her thesis research as a starting point to consider the parallels between visual and musical articulations of spiritual encounters. Her presentation will address the religious culture of the turn of the century in France, focusing in particular on the work of the painter Maurice Denis (1870 - 1943) and the composer Vincent d’Indy (1851-1931). She will demonstrate how their religious motivations were bound up with attempts to reassert the relevance of medieval cultural practices within a modern age. While focusing on this specific historical period, it is hoped that the presentation will open up lines of enquiry relevant to contemporary interdisciplinary expressions of spirituality.

@r_coombes














Top
David Leal
FILTERS (or, Sigils, Ichthus, and their liminal smoke)
(film stills)
Upper Middle
Helen Blejerman
Chamaenerion angustifolium
(drawing)

Lower Middle
Mark Dean
Love Missile (7″ vs 12″)
(video still)

Bottom
Maurice Denis
Chemin dans les arbres (1891)




Contact:

Nina Danino  
n.danino@gold.ac.uk

Mark Dean    
m.w.dean@arts.ac.uk