Welcome to the EQUINOX, Sheffield Hallam’s BA Fine Art Degree Show exhibition, devised and designed by our graduating students. The themes of the exhibition centres on the concept of the EQUINOX, meaning an equality of night and day, a celestial phenomenon that marks the change of seasons. The emerging themes from our graduating artists explore notions of equality and equity, opposing states, lightness, darkness, cleansing, and rebirth.
Artistic representations of the EQUINOX evoke Leonardo da Vinci’s Studies of Shadow Projections, 1492 to Olafur Eliasson’s Tate Modern installation The Weather Project, 2003. A fascination, spanning thousands of years, with the effects of the sun and the cast of shadows on our perception of the world. Between scientific knowledge and its application into art, harnessing light and shadow has been a fundamental principal of all artistic practice. To control the balance, and to hold in stasis, the moment when light and dark are in optimal relationship with each other, not as scientific fact but artistic illusion.
The exhibition space you are standing in, while holding this catalogue, is also a space that has
undergone a significant change from working studios through the year, to a temporary exhibition venue. This transformation is an important stage in the life cycle of our course, as our students evolve from academic students into professional artists. As one student reflected upon during the installation, how their artwork (and themselves as artists) has shared the same light and location, whilst in its creation, production, to its final presentation.
EQUINOX is organised into four zones, each thematically and practically brought together, led
by curation teams, developing skills and experience beyond their own individual practice
Zone A is a space plunged into complete darkness, punctuated by the lights of television monitors and projections, screens transporting you into alternative realities.
Zone B is a large expansive and open space demarcated by a dividing wall, allowing for associative connections to be made between works.
Zone C is a maze of more intimate and enclosed spaces where individual worlds share proximity.
Zone D occupies the outdoor courtyard, and alternative and temporary spaces for public presentation, film screenings and live performances.
As you move through the exhibition zones, consider the significance of night and day, light and dark, that have informed the final artworks on display. For example, while during the making, when day and night slip into insignificance, when the artist is at their most focussed and productive. Or, the play of shadows, the planes, accents, and highlights, that trick the eye across an illusion of three-dimensions on a two-dimensional surface. Or, the radiance of digital media technology and artificial light that emits from screens, whilst controlling the dark, to invite audiences to suspend one’s reality for another, to be immersed and to escape.
What we cannot escape, are the exceptional circumstances by which these artists and artworks
are presented today. The graduating students have experienced challenges and difficulties, both personally and academically, as we have adapted to life during a global pandemic, lockdown rules, and safety guidelines. Under these circumstances, students have endured, adapted, and have re-emerged renewed.
We congratulate all the BA Fine Art graduating year of 2022 and wish them all great success for every new EQUINOX to come.