Fine Art Visiting Speaker Programme 2014-15

Wed 22 Oct 2014

Rafal Zar

The formal and thematic darkness of Zar’s painting is offset by his absurdist sense of humour, creating contradictory and unsettling works. Zar confronts us with an ambiguous deviancy of sexuality and violence, a world of ice-skating characters formed of bones and hair and faceless creatures dressed to impress for a bizarre date.

Zar was born in Pszczyna, Poland in 1981. He has been based in the West Midlands since 2006. In June 2014 Eastside Projects presented Zar’s work at the Start Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, London. After being selected for the 2013 edition of New Art West Midlands, for which he showed at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Barber Institute, Birmingham, Zar was awarded the First Prize.



Fri 31 Oct 2014 

Erosion and Illegibility Symposium

The symposium sets out to interrogate the trope of illegibility and erosion in contemporary artistic practice. By looking at painting, photography and sculpture/ architecture the symposium explores the extent to which contemporary art denies ‘a palpable legibility’. Artists including Jane and Louise Wilson, Idris Khan and Maria Chevska will offer an original insight into the restriction of vision and legibility.

The symposium takes place at the New Art Gallery Walsall. If you would like to attend the symposium, please go to the website to register:



Wed 05 Nov 2014

Samantha Donnelly

Samantha Donnelly’s practice is primarily sculptural. She has a materials-led approach to making, underpinned by references to art history and popular culture – specifically photography, TV, film and advertisements. Her work is made through questioning, rephrasing and reworking a range of sculptural matter, mass-produced household wares, imported fashion bargains and second-hand finds in the studio over a period of time.

Samantha Donnelly was born in Manchester in 1978 and lives and works in Manchester. Solo exhibitions include ‘Reception’, Standpoint Gallery, London, 2012; ‘Contour States’ The Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2012; ‘Workroom’, Bloc Projects, Sheffield, 2011; ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, 2011 and ‘Compendium’, Vitrine Gallery, London, 2010.



Wed 19 Nov 2014

Dan Hays

Hays’ paintings present a paradoxical visual realm where immaterial pixel and physical brushstroke coalesce. The digital screen’s icy crystalline matrix, seamless deliverer of watery flows of information, is rendered by pigmented oily mud on a weave of fabric.

Dan Hays graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1990, he has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. He was the winner of the John Moores prize for Painting in 1997.

For further Information see:


Wed 3 Dec 2014

Rina Arya

Abjection and Representation

In this talk Rina Arya will be discussing the concept of abjection by applying it to a number of contemporary artworks.

Rina Arya is an art theorist who has a background in theology.  She is interested in a number of different subject areas including art, theology and spirituality, Francis Bacon, Georges Bataille, gender studies, aesthetics, critical theory, visual communication.

For further Information see:


Tues 16 Dec 2014

Andrew Burton

Cadre Lecture, 6 PM

Andrew Burton is an artist whose work explores the meeting points of sculpture, architecture and craft. His practice reflects an interest in materials and place. He has often worked in international situations, collaborating with brick makers and bamboo breakers in India, beachcombers in China and graffiti artists in North America.

His recent practice combines investigations into different materials, sites and approaches to making sculpture.

He has been invited to give lectures about his work in Universities across the world and has exhibited internationally.

For further Information see:




Wed 07 Jan 2015

Stuart Layton

Stuart lives in Worcestershire but was born and raised in Wolverhampton, which remains (along with the rest of the region) a key line of enquiry in my research. He has previously exhibited two of a trilogy of video works specifically related to the area exploring the reliability of memory, time and class system at Wolverhampton’s City gallery. The third and final instalment is about to enter post production. Consisting of a combination of found footage and new material having been shot in Wolverhampton and Dudley, the film will take the format of a layered, pseudo documentary, depicting personal memories and observations that will hopefully transcend its regional setting and have resonance with a much wider audience.