20 October 2021

VCUarts Qatar MFA Graduate’s Work Makes it to Top Five at Prestigious Italian Exhibition

Project by alumna selected by international jury at Lost Graduation Show in Milan

When, in 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the mass cancellation of commencement and graduation events, students, such as Amna Yandarbin, a Class of 2021 MFA in Design graduate at VCUarts Qatar lost a chance to display their creative work to the public.

Recognizing this, the Italian art and design platform ‘Salone del Mobile.Milano’ invited graduates from the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 to submit their final year art and design projects, for an exhibition titled the ‘Lost Graduation Show’ curated by Finnish born design writer, curator and consultant Anniina Koivu.

300 design schools from 59 countries responded to the open call, in early June. The submitted designs ranged from furniture, through paintings and embroideries, to functioning devices for healthcare. From these, an international jury consisting of Alberto Meda, Francesca Picchi, Giulio Iacchetti, and Marva Griffin selected the five most outstanding works from the submissions to be highlighted at the exhibition under the banner ‘Best of Class 2020/2021’. Amna Yandarbin’s final year project was one of those.

“This exhibition gave me the opportunity to reach out to a global audience and connect with Noxci people there through my work,” Yandarbin said. “It was a very large design platform where there were a variety of professionally crafted designs from furniture to paintings and embroideries to functioning devices for Medicare, amazing projects that will take me forever to mention, and I was inspired by it all. Naturally, I was nervous about how my project would fare amongst such global artists. At the end, five winners were announced.

“I believe that I need to be the change that I want to see in the world. Yolkkh tells a story of 11 scarves that is a combination of the story of my grandmother, my mother and myself, throughout war, loss, trauma, immigration, to discover my true self and the sense of belonging. I was over joyed that my project was one of the 5 winners and the recognition made all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it.

“For this great honor I firstly praise Allah, and I thank my family for endlessly supporting me and looking after me within the past challenging years, and I thank VCUarts Qatar for supporting me as an MFA student, and for cheering me on and celebrating my achievement in this competition. Lastly, I thank The Lost Graduation Show and the Salone del Mobile. It was an amazing journey for me. For the first time in my life, I felt I was given the chance to express myself to the world through my designs. I hope there will be more in the future.”

Yandarbin’s thesis committee consisted of VCUarts Qatar faculty members Giovanni Innella, Leland Hill, Michael Wirtz, and Rab McClure.

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