University of Leeds is the alma mater of some extremely talented individuals. The city continues to be a hub for up and coming contemporary artists. Leeds Alumna Elizabeth Price recently received the prestigious Turner Prize award, showing the importance of keeping a close eye on the yearly crop of artists the university produces. Triptych, last year’s Fine Art Degree show, demonstrated the incredible depth and range attained by students over the course of their time here. Students are actively engaged in exciting projects that allow them to showcase their work. The Debut series is a space on campus that gives individuals a chance to do this, although others have displayed work in spaces as diverse as The Faversham and the Hidden Cafe. Leeds Student caught up with Fine Art undergraduate Imogen Pring to talk about her artwork and how she fits in to the network of artists at the University.
You are in your third and final year. How have you felt your work has been developing during your time here? Can you talk a bit about some of your recent projects?
I recently moved from painting to film. I found it difficult to find a point when I felt I could stop developing my paintings. I did a super-8 course and it was a lot of fun; really hands on, manual stuff. I quite like the idea that you can be filming a piece of work, changing it, but you only see the final outcome when its projected.Painting and Film are both forms of visual expression and they do share some qualities although on the surface they are different processes.
A lot of your film rolls look like you use ink or paint?
I’ve only just started to experiment with acrylic paint but ink works very well; it doesn’t block the light. Bleach also works well, creating a blue effect. I’d like to try stained glass paint, which is what filmmaker Stan Brahkage uses in his work.
Do you have any other influences?
Storm de Hirsh. She uses Kaleidescopes, which suggest ways I could experiment with methods of projection as well as filming. I’ve also been working with camera-less films, which are where you draw on the film roll. It can look really nice when it’s projected.
Are you exhibiting anywhere at the moment?
This week my work has been in The Debut Series, upstairs in 4 Lifton.
Some blogs have picked up on some work you did last year.
Yes, I made a wax head. That was at the stage where I was moving from paint to film and I really liked the idea of shining light though something. I’m a bit obsessed with playing with light! It worked really well in the space. I’ve also recently started my own blog. A lot of the other artists have sketchbooks where they can document their work but the nature of the medium I’m using means I can’t really do that.
I think Leeds has a really strong artistic community. What is like to for you as an artist at the university?
All the tutors are really nice. When I started out painting one of the things I noticed is that not many of them are painters. There’s only one painter, the rest are far more contemporary and conceptual in their approaches. Now that I’m a finalist I find them much more helpful.
Do you think they take you more seriously?
Definitely. In first and second year you are still exploring, trying to find what your interest is. When you find it and you are passionate about it the tutors respond and take more interest. We also have group crits. You can also go into the studio where all these other students doing different kinds of things and they give you feedback. Everyone communicates with each other.
You must all work quite differently. What practices occur in your studio?
One student has been working with books, making her own paper and recently scratching records. We have worked together on a collaborative piece scratching records and filming people dancing. Another students work on life drawing, photography and some are quite science based and political.
You can see more of Imogen’s artwork here.