Ayeshah and Sarah break boundaries with contemporary art exhibition

Published: 13 December 2022 at 10:05

Two fine art pieces from the Curwen Bursary Exhibition

Inaugural Curwen Printmaking Bursary recipients show their work

Two of our MA Printmaking students, Ayeshah Zolghadr and Sarah Strachan, recently showed their work at Curwen Print Study Centre in Great Thurlow.

Their exhibition ‘Boundary Objects was the result of a collaborative residency awarded to the students as part of the inaugural Arts Scholars Curwen Printmaking Bursary earlier this year.

The bursary is open every year for applications from all Cambridge School of Art students with an interest in printmaking, allowing them to extend their existing printmaking skills, learn new techniques and further their printmaking practice at Curwen’s professional printmaking studio.

Curwen Arts said awarding the bursary to Sarah and Ayeshah was “…a unanimous decision based on the quality of their proposal and idea, which the Panel felt was highly original.”

The exhibition displays the students’ collaborative works in print and ceramics in conversation with the Curwen’s unique print archive, and was open to the public until 15 December 2022.

While Sarah’s work often converses with the vessel and concepts of the strangely familiar or familiarly strange, for Ayeshah it is the concept of the grid by abstraction. Drawing on theory from sociology, and science and technology studies, the duo recognise the vessel and the grid as boundary objects where information is used in different ways by different communities for collaborative work through scales.

A defining feature of boundary objects is their ability to ‘tack back and forth’ between being specific and abstract, which for the artists invokes the action of the printing press. Their proposition being that by translating their respective boundary objects through a conversation informed by the back and forth rhythm of a print press, they might resolve some of the anxiety of working across disciplines.

Sarah said: “Through this initiative we seek to reframe printmaking as a site of interdisciplinarity - a testing ground for ‘the important work…done at the surfaces between adjacent disciplines’."

Ayeshah added: "We acknowledge interdisciplinarity as a potential site of ambivalence, tension or a fertile ground for exploration and experimentation, which has prompted us to explore collaborative print-based works."

Curwen Print Study Centre Manager Emma James told us: “As a Fine Art Printmaking Educational Charity our mission is to preserve, foster and develop experience and skills that underpin the artist’s original print, in all forms. CPSC and ARU have forged links to support continued inclusion of printmaking within the Cambridge School of Art.CPSC created this funded Printmaking Bursary for CSA BA & MA students with a funding award from The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.”

The Curwen bursary will run again in 2023, pending review and funding. If you’re a Cambridge School of Art student interested in applying, look out for the Call for Applications later in 2023, or email veronique.chance@aru.ac.uk or CPPB@aru.ac.uk for more information.