The exhibition program highlight the creative diversity of our community, as well as the eclectic range of materials and approaches involved in the individual art and design disciplines. It also provides them with opportunities to present the results of their current artistic explorations, and is intended to inspire and stimulate the creative activity of the University at large.
A unique opportunity to display their works at key locations in the building!
Organized by Patricia Brown and Hawa Stwodah
Faculty, VCUarts department of Fashion Design + Merchandising
Speculative History→Design is an exhibition from the VCUarts Richmond department of Fashion Design + Merchandising. It is on view from August 28 to September 22, 2022. This project incorporates the work of six junior-level fashion design students, gleaned from three studio classes and based on one overarching design prompt. The project invited critics from Los Angeles-based Novawear’s Global Citizens, a design think tank, platform, and brand for progressive change via design and social activism that champions inclusivity and diversity. The critics gave insight and suggestions on the brief, design development, and final presentation.
The students studied Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby’s speculative design theories and were challenged to imagine a specific time or event in history as though it happened differently or not at all, and how that alternate history would impact everything, including material culture. Students designed garments within their chosen concepts using an approach that reconsidered the traditionally binary gender constructs of male and female.
Classes involved in this project included Junior Design Theory and Illustration II, Cut and Sew Knits Design, and Menswear Design. Each student crafted a unique sartorial solution to the design problem through research, experimentation, hand and computer drawings, patterning, and the construction of three-dimensional garments. Through intentional design and storytelling, the students rendered speculative realities visible. Each garment represents a hopeful history or reconsideration of actuality: thriving peoples who were never colonized, a place where paganism dominated the spiritual landscape, and apparel that centers the medical needs of the individual, to name a few. Bringing materiality to “what if” considerations, this exercise in narrative garment-making points to the power of speculative design while demonstrating the interwoven nature of clothing and history.
Location: Saffron Hall, VCUarts Qatar
By the VCUarts Qatar FabLab team
Genesis is an exhibition by the VCUarts Qatar FabLab team that showcases the potential and advanced skills of the team and facilities.
All the pieces exhibited in Genesis shine a light on how making can influence the design process during all the stages of development, rather than focusing solely on the final outcome.
Additive and subtractive fabrication methods, including the CNC, laser cutters, 3D printers, and inkjets printers, were used, displaying the endless possibilities of utilizing VCUarts Qatar’s FabLab facilities.
Dana El Ladki
Location: Glass Display on the Ground Floor, VCUarts Qatar
Relocation: the Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Home
By Charlotte Rodenberg
“This work is a direct response to my relocation to Qatar from the United States. Upon moving here, I began to question my inherent idea of what home looks like. I became interested in the blocky, geometric villas (houses) in my compound (neighborhood). While I experienced feelings of dislocation, I found peace in the golden sunsets and cool shadows cast upon the landscape at sunrise and sunset. My sketchbook practice became a way of observing and reflecting on these new surroundings, recording the way light reflected upon the villas. These drawings became the foundation for this series of screenprints.
“The meditative act of printmaking, in this experimental style, allowed me to reflect on the imagery and build each composition organically. Each print is a monotype (unique print) using a set of silkscreen matrices, allowing me to further explore color, line, form and composition. The act of deconstructing and reconstructing the home image became a metaphorical and literal act of assimilation.
“As an artist, my practice has always provided me with a sense of identity. Previously, while living in Virginia, my work was a reflection of national and local politics. After arriving in Qatar, it was important for me to begin a new body of work which documented my life as an expat in order to adapt and find purpose here. Through this process of drawing, printing, deconstruction and reconstruction, I processed my location and changing ideological understanding of home.
“This reflection on home created a therapeutic foundation to stand, allowed me to establish myself as a local artist and find necessary purpose. The studios at VCUarts Qatar provided me with the essential time, space and community to make myself feel at home. My practice has allowed me to process emotions, adapt and assimilate to expat life.”
Location: Library Project Space, VCUarts Qatar