Christ Church Arts Week

Ashley Cluer, Project proposal for sculpture, 2021 Christ Church's annual celebration of the arts is happening throughout Christ Church this week. The centerpiece of Arts Week is the Ruskin students’ exhibition, for which they produce new site specific artwork that is installed throughout the College. This year Ashley Cluer has produced a large-scale abstract installation challenging the rigid rectilinear architecture of the Hall staircase. Nearby Eleanor Thompson's anthropogenic geese sculptures dot the stairs gesturing toward our close relation with our non-human kin. In the announcement boxes throughout College, Rubia Southcott has produced a poster inspired by Yasunari Kawabata's short story “One Arm” that calls into question the objectification of the female form and includes the artist's phone number inviting the audience into a discursive arrangement. Dominkia Kolenda's sensitive photographs of the body raise awareness about endometriosis, a disease experienced by ten percent of all people with uteruses. A video installation by Joanna McClurg in Sir Michael Dummett Lecture Theatre focuses on the Belfast-based political art group, Gael Force Art.  

Front cover of zine celebrating the 40th anniversary of women at Christ Church by Em Poncia, with the assistance of Bianka PetrovaIn addition to the Ruskin students’ exhibition, GCR member Kumeri Bandara has installed a large work entitled “Forgotten Negatives” in the Ante Hall. The installation of monochromatic drawings of queer bodies of colour sharply contrast with the existing portraiture in Hall, passionately and defiantly showcasing the broader spectrum of life. Jack Z. Chen commissioned a new film and installation by Dominika Kolenda entitled “B.R.E.A.D.” that will be screening throughout the week in the Sir Michael Dummett Lecture Theater. Em Poncia with the help of Bianka Petrova has but together a full-colour zine to celebrate the 40thanniversary of women at Christ Church, that includes newly commissioned texts and artist contributions, as well as a map of the artworks throughout College.  

Continuing throughout the week are events including hands-on workshops on painting watercolours, terrarium-making, and tote bag fabrication from Christ Church dish towels. A foraging workshop by Jericho Kitchen takes students beyond the walls of the College to learn about culinary culture in nature. Maddy Routon has organised a panel on cultural production in autonomous spaces, exploring the possibility for art and culture beyond the limits of the institution. The Edgar Wind Society is inviting Desmond Shawe-Taylor LVO, previous keeper of the Queen’s Pictures, to unpack how art functions at the juncture of the museum and the state.  JCR President Giulia Da Cruz and JCR Arts Rep Jack Z. Chen have organized a relaunching of the JCR's own collection and its rental scheme by showcasing the entire collection in the JCR and highlighting new additions. Despite the viral adversity of this past year, the wide range of artworks and activities show students have been particularly keen this year to celebrate the diverse and living culture of the arts that remains vibrant in college. 

Jason Waite (GCR Arts Rep)