Cultural Connection: ArtAttack Gets the Inside Scoop on the Incredible National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan

‘…At the National College of Arts (NCA), we imagine a world. Not one world, but many. One for each of us, one from each of us, with these we write the autobiographies of our times, in objects, in lines, in mortar, and in perishable clay. In tracing ourselves, we leave traces. These are the traces that make our cities. Turn us inside out like pillowcases with that remembered smell, like shed skins. These are the traces that populate our nights, and from these traces we dare to dream again…’ – Excerpts from NCA teacher-students conversations

The National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan is a global centre for creativity, talent and artistic tradition. Originally founded as The Mayo School of Art in 1875, and rebranded the NCA in 1958, debate and discourse are encouraged amongst the students and faculty here, and this leads to a culture of understanding, individuality and tolerance. The art that comes out of this incredible place is some of the best in the world, the training exceptional and the diversity of the students in background, identity, ideology and language a major strength.

Teachers at the NCA nurture and push their students so that each one rightfully values his and her creative ideas and pushes their artistic practice to reach its height.

All this happens in a country who’s value is often overlooked by the international community; a country who’s goodness is glossed over for its’ bureaucratic corruption and troubled political history. It is easy to forget, if your only connection to Pakistan is watching the news, that this country, one of the cradles of civilisation, actually has an astonishing cultural and artistic history practically unmatched in the world. The NCA connects all their students with this rich history, as we hope the following interviews will connect our readers with it as well.

We are honoured to have had the chance to speak with three outstanding female NCA alumna, Class of 2016, Amani Iqbal, Sameen Agha and Komal Tufail, about their time at this esteemed institution, their artistic practice and their future goals within the art world. Suffice to say, these are powerhouse women and we can’t wait to see what incredible strides they take!

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ArtAttack Launch Exhibition Artists Announced!

 

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Massive congratulations to the 7 artists officially chosen for the ArtAttack Launch Exhibition from our #HangInChelsea competition.

The artists are:

  1. Massimo Agostinelli. American-Italian, but London-born artist, Agostinelli, is known for his ‘Word Play | Text Art’ works which have been exhibited in galleries in London and New York and are held among collections in major cities across 5 continents.

2. Samin Ahmadzadeh. This Iran-born artist and CSM graduate’s background in street       photography is combined with a passion of expressing her personal views on sociological and cultural matters of her country. Her practice continues to evolve with a specific focus on archival collections of her family’s cultural history.

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‘I want to show society’s excess through a surrealist and dystopian view of what we could become’ – ArtAttack meets Henri Charreau

ArtAttack meets one of London’s most exciting emerging artists, sculptor Henri Charreau. Brought up in Paris, Henri graduated from Chelsea School of Art and is currently doing an MA at Kings College London.

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I had the chance to speak with Henri about his artistic practise and current projects.

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Attention Artists: The SOLO Award 2016 – Call for entries!

The SOLO Award is an annual contemporary art prize established by WW Gallery in 2012, which recognises independent thinking, going it alone and taking risks.

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It is open to artists of any age, working in any medium. The winner receives a cash prize (£2,000) and a solo exhibition at the London Art Fair. 2016 sees the prize money doubled and the award open to international artists for the first time.

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‘Who says a mathematician can’t be creative?’ ArtAttack interviews ‘Metamorphosis’ co-curators Olivia Bladen & Alice Procter

Last year, for their annual exhibition, the UCL Art Society, put on a fantastic show entitled ‘Escape,’ which left ArtAttack impressed and inspired. So with this year’s show, ‘Metamorphosis,’ just a few days away, we jumped on the opportunity to interview exhibition director’s Olivia Bladen (ArtAttack’s own!) and Alice Procter to gain some insight into the curatorial process and what we can expect from this exciting emerging art exhibition.

ArtAttack: So ‘Metamorphosis’ is the theme for this year’s show. Can you tell me how this idea came about and what it means to you?

Alice Procter: As strange as it sounds… We were eating gnocchi in a park last summer, throwing words at each other in the hope that something would stick. I don’t remember who said Metamorphosis first, but it just made so much sense. We wanted something open, that anyone could look at and say, ‘okay, how can I relate this to my work?’, because every artist is always making a change or transforming something. It felt like a way of encouraging our members to step back and look at the process behind their work.

Olivia Bladen: We went through a long list of words it could be! Previous exhibitions had names such as Alchemy and Escape, and we wanted to keep the theme true to those vibes; something that was open enough to be accessible to anyone, but would still provide direction. As the curators, it helps to have a unifying aspect, obviously. But as Alice said, the process of change is inherently an artistic one, so none of the submissions felt really out of place.

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‘A big goal would to be able to create a change in the diversity and representations of race in fashion imagery.’ – ArtAttack meets Jazz Rakkar.

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ArtAttack have had the privilege of recently meeting Nottingham Trent arts graduate, Jazz Rakkar. This young photographer specialises in fashion, beauty and commercial imagery. Jazz’s approach to photography commonly has themes surrounding form, the pose and classic photography styles. During his time at university, he also explored and researched themes regarding race and identity in fashion. Having studied with Jazz myself, I have had first hand experience watching his passion and talent develop.

I have had the chance to ask Jazz some personal questions about his photography for everyone to gain an insight into his process.

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‘I think art has the power to transform the way that you look at the world’ – ArtAttack interviews Australian sculptor, Rosalind Lemoh

On 22nd January, 2016, ArtAttack attended the Art Rooms London press preview at the Meliá White House. The event showcased a number of carefully selected emerging artists from all over the world in a unique hotel setting – one artist per hotel room. The result was a village of art and an evening of exciting discovery. 

An artist who’s ‘room’ we never wanted to leave was sculptor, Rosalind Lemoh, who’s work is a beautiful paradox — industrial yet comforting, clean-lined yet nostalgic. Upon seeing it, we knew we had to get an interview with this rising Australian star as soon as possible.

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‘the way we were,’ Rosalind Lemoh; Photo Credit:

Damien Geary

ArtAttack: What is your first memory of art and what made you decide to pursue it as a career? Continue reading