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Fantasy Exhibition Project

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

I spent most of last week finishing up my fantasy exhibition project with my group, so this week’s entry will focus on that project.

Our theme was (dis)Connection, which I picked because it related to my own work on dissociation and detachment. For the exhibition, I wanted to make sure that the theme wouldn’t be treated as a binary (i.e connection vs disconnection) but rather a continuum to better reflect lived experience, in which it’s not necessarily one or the other and where it is constantly evolving. I also wanted to look at how making and consuming art is effective in rekindling connection.

The first artist I picked was Celia Paul. I chose to showcase her work as it tackles her relationship to herself and those she is closest too (most notably her mother and sisters).

In my presentation, I chose to reference the following quote about her by Zadie Smith, comparing her to Lucian Freud, who was in a relationship with Paul for a decade:

Freud painted the visible: flesh, breasts, eggs. Paul’s work is a visionary account of ineffable qualities, like love, faith, silence, empathy.

Her work expresses that ambiguity I was talking about: depicting both a sense of proximity to the subject, expressing love and compassion, and detachment, causing a feeling of yearning, melancholy and solitude. Depending on the piece, she leans into one more than the other, but most of the time these feelings are conflated.

The other work I showed was a series of colour studies by JMW Turner. Even though Turner’s work focuses on the outside world, most of his paintings were actually done in the studio. As such, they tend to be based off sketches or memory.

These studies convey the mind-eye connection Turner developed, which allowed him to portray such striking seascape paintings, especially before the existence of cameras. It also makes you wonder how much working from memory, rather than from a picture, might better express the impression made onto the mind’s eye.

Besides this research, I worked on the creative space with Ludwika. In the exhibition, we wanted to encourage the audience to actively engage with the works and themes explored in the exhibition. As such, we wished to somewhat bridge the gap between the audience and the artists (this was also done by featuring both ell known artists and local ones). Here’s the work I did for this part:

Overall, I’m rather pleased with our Fantasy Exhibition Project. I think our concept is quite compelling and I enjoy the variety of artists we featured. It was also refreshing to work with other people than my flat mates for once!


Paul, Celia, Self-Portrait (London: Jonathan Cape, 2019).

Smith, Zadie, ‘Self-Portrait by Celia Paul’, New York Review of Books, 21 Nov 2019.


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