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Art graduates showcase work at prestigious exhibition


Four graduates from the University of Wolverhampton School of Art have been selected to show their work at prestigious venues across the region as part of a major exhibition.

New Art West Midlands 2017 is the annual showcase for exciting new contemporary art by fine art or visual arts graduates from universities across the Midlands.  Taking place from 18th February until 14th May, the exhibition will be held at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, mac Birmingham, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Worcester City Museum & Art Gallery.

Graduates Susan Brisco (film/drawing), Pamela Fletcher (painting), Jade Hamilton (sculpture) and Sarah Zacharek (photography/video) have all been selected to take part in the exhibition.

Sarah Zacharek, 30, from Shrewsbury but now living in Wolverhampton, studied for a photography degree and is now teaching the subject at the University whilst studying for a Masters degree.


She said: “My time at the University changed me.  I gained so much confidence, not just in my photography but in myself.  I didn’t go to university until I was 26 and I had no formal art-related qualifications.  I hated my job and didn’t know where my life was headed so I took a chance and went back into education to study something I loved.

“I'm so excited and proud to be part of this exhibition. I really enjoy talking about this work in particular, and the exhibition will allow plenty of chance for this. I hope to make new contacts, and I’m looking forward to seeing the work of my peers.”

Sarah’s work, Re:Discovery, is a collaborative project between herself and her late father – a documentary of the same journey taken 26 years apart which follows a route based on photographic negatives of her father’s trip to his native Poland in the 1980s with the hope of learning more about the man who died a few years after the photographs were taken.

Susan Brisco, a mature student who studied for a degree in Fine Art and then progressed to a Masters degree at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “'As a young girl I was told art will be your hobby and science will be your career so I went into science.  But art was always far more than just a hobby - it was a passion and now I’m an artist! 


“The University’s Fine Art staff guided me into creating intelligent and engaging pieces of art which explore the relationships between art and science. My heart’s desire is for a collaborative relationship where art can communicate scientific ideas and research.

“I'm excited to be working with the other artists and engaging with a wider public.  My selected art work is profiling issues of plant intelligence.” 

Susan followed the University’s SPEED PLUS business programme and benefited from business mentoring before launching her art career.  She currently teaches Life Drawing at the University and at Newhampton Art Centre as well as developing and delivering art-science workshops.

Susan aims to communicate 21st Century scientific research into plant neurobiology and bio-acoustics through the eyes of an artist.  Using layers of projected film, drawing and sound, she creates her own response to plant intelligence and communication.

Over 180 people applied to take part in New Art West Midlands 2017. The 31 successful artists were chosen by a group of three selectors: Jason E. Bowman, artist, curator and lecturer at University of Gothenburg; curator and writer Angela Kingston and the Birmingham-based artist Barbara Walker.  It showcases work including sculpture, painting, print, photography, installation, video and animation.

Now in its fifth year, New Art West Midlands has established itself as an important aid in developing the careers of artists. Previous exhibitors have seen their work purchased for the national Arts Council Collection and have gone on to achieve solo exhibitions in respected galleries.

The exhibition is organised by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery as part of the wider New Art West Midlands visual arts network initiative. New Art West Midlands 2017 is funded by Arts Council England and the university and college partners with support from participating host venues.

Pamela Fletcher is producing abstract paintings with an emphasis on expression created through process. Through an exploration of material and method, painting has become intuitive, figuration alluded to as a result of a sensuous relationship with the paint itself.

Jade Hamilton’s work conjures up a future post-apocalyptic scene where human beings have used up the earth’s environment and resources to such an extent that it is impossible to breathe independently.  Her sculptures make use of ready-made objects, planting and blown glass.


For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 9th January 2017

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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