Inner Workings: RCA Mres Fine Art exhibition

27 - 30 March 2023

Angela Da Cruz, graduate of London College of Communication, is a French artist who uses analogue photography to address the histories and theories of how the face communicates meaning. Researching the concept of physiognomy, and the histories of photography that brought it into modern consciousness, she investigates the effects of obscuring and revealing the face through experiments with time-based media and multiple printed materials. Movements are measured and expressions fixed in an always-vain attempt to understand what the face conveys, and how.


Bill Becker works across various media, often in response to a particular site, with found material from that site. Urban, semi-industrial, near-abandoned, hinterland sites between times, places and usages are a keen interest of his, especially in relation to their detritus, or what remains of what was there before. His practice revolves around uncanny archaeology, horror in the mundane, concepts of the public sphere, of control, resistance, intervention and interference. Key research questions include: what is anarchism and how does it develop; what are the aesthetics of the catastrophe?


Claire McDermott uses sculpture, photographs, drawings, sound and poems to make connections between plumed seeds, glass and the air. She reads biophysics to understand how the morphology and senescence of the seeds interact with our atmosphere as they float. McDermott’s microscopic illustrations are held at Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Ireland; her public sculpture ‘The Meeting Tree’ is installed at Newton Farm Ecology Park, London. She has exhibited at Tate Exchange, Watford Museum and University College London Hospitals. She graduated with a Masters in Art and Science from Central Saint Martins in 2020. 


Garance Querleu is an interdisciplinary artist-storyteller who translates neurodiverse experience through illustration, poetry and performance. Her research project ‘The Neurodiverse Imaginaries’ explores the potential of illustrated, symbolist books as companions and guides for those she terms the Invisibly Wounded. Her project is inspired by her experience as welfare representative for the King’s College London Intersectional Feminist Society, and as the carer of young, neuro-atypical girls. How might story, rhyme, colour, music, and archetypes contribute to theories of narrative medicine, becoming their own, transformative practices of care? 


Gonzalo Miralles is a Chilean artist specialising in sculpture, installation and socially-engaged art practices. He trained as a lawyer, and is the founding director of Juntos por la Reinserción, an association of more than 20 civil society organisations working for the social reintegration of people deprived of their liberty. Combining his legal training with study in contemporary art, he understands his purpose as an artist as raising awareness of the social problems that arise from the condition of vulnerability. In 2020, he was chosen as one of the 100 young leaders of the country. In 2022, his work was awarded best exhibition of the year in Chile.


Echo/Yuhan is an interdisciplinary artist who works primarily with time-based media such as moving image, text and sound. Their practice-based research investigates an expanded understanding of maintenance in the context of archival practices, where they engage themselves with work within archives, think about underground time and space, practice reflective writing and recycle visual materials. They are part of an artist collective 哼歌 Hebianhengge and have previously exhibited at Queer Circle, Southwark Park Gallery and Safehouse I. They live and work in London and hold a degree in Fine Art Photography.


Jinsi Zhang is an artist who locates her practice as on the threshold between analogue, colour-field painting and virtual reality painting. Working back and forth across the digital realm and canvases she describes as the sites of contemporary, lyrical, pouring painting, recalling the Chinese wash-ink landscape painting of her history, her work asks what it means to be in an in-between state, and how this state might be activated by post-cyberfeminists. She graduated from Chelsea College of Art with a Distinction in 2022.


Else/Xun is an artist and researcher who works primarily with moving image, text and sound. Their practice-based research investigates the condition and operation of support in relation to derivative modes of knowledge production, where they practice an expanded form of authorship through gathering and sharing, recycling and translating. They are part of an artist collective, 哼歌 Hebianhengge, and have shown and spoken at Queer Circle, Southwark Park Galleries and Manchester China Institute, among others. They work and live in London and hold a degree in Fine Art Photography.


Persian artist Shahrzād addresses themes of repression and protest in her work, focusing on the experience of women in Iran and the wider diaspora. She draws on a rich inheritance of poetry and literature, reclaiming a vernacular of symbols and archetypes to explore the psychological impact of the colonisation of women’s bodies and voices, and the corresponding narratives of resistance and dissent. Her work is at once poetic and political, incorporating photography, sound, text, installation and works on paper. Through her work as an artist, activist, archivist and storyteller, Shahrzād seeks to catalyse social engagement as a means to stimulate systemic change.


Melbourne-born artist and researcher Myvanwy Gibson plays with the idea of a non-anthropocentric art, a notion developed through intense experimentation with the relationship between sound and technology. Utilising a triadic methodology in which technology and man are considered other to nature’s central position, her practice creates an environment for nature to present itself via evocation rather than imitation. She has previously exhibited at The Australian Centre of the Moving Image, Melbourne; The International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, New York; and The Autonomous Biennale, in Venice. Her research papers have been published in Academia Letters magazine and in the IAEA New York and Vienna proceedings.


Nicola McEvoy is a transdisciplinary artist, working predominantly with digital and analogue video. Her practice-based research investigates the liquid materiality of CRT TV, and how it can be appropriated as an instrument of magick in a practice that she calls ‘Television Alchemy’. Following the radical approach of chaos magicians, she is interested in how critical theory can inform magical systems that aim to disrupt the hegemony of capitalist realism, unveiling esoteric realities and alternative modes of being: divine, feminine, disruptive. “At the thresholds of consciousness mercurial revolution takes place.”


Samantha Wilson is a figurative artist whose drawings and paintings go in search of the visual tension between resolved and unresolved forms. Her work contemplates social, political and cross cultural human experiences, with a recent focus on mass displacement within Europe. Informed by her ongoing collecting and archiving of photographs, her paintings reimagine the photographic image. Watercolour, powder pigments, charcoal and oil paint are pushed and pulled to reveal and conceal bodies, faces and identities, intentionally straddling abstraction and narrativity. Works call for empathy, illuminating cross-cultural differences, and ultimately the necessity for compassionate relating, regardless of race, age, gender or political status.


Shirley Renwick is a sculptor and sound artist based in London who creates sensitive objects which participate with air. Her practice-based research investigates ecological acoustics, sub atomic science, sound, the digital realm, and art from the posthuman, nonhuman, subhuman and current human position. Her background is in the media and music industry. Her qualifications include Foundation, Slade, UCL, London; BA Fine Art (First class honours), Chelsea, University of the Arts London; MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art, London.


Shiye Xiao is a London-based artist working across painting, drawing, performance and moving image, whose interests lie in traumatic human experience, concepts and representations of memory, and the poetics of care, most recently in relation to dance therapy. She has participated in the organisation and planning of Chinese ‘psychological healing’ activities, and has contributed to research projects on the mental health of former soldiers. Her qualifications include Foundation, Central Saint Martins, and BA Fine Art, Chelsea, University of the Arts London. 


Weiyu Dou is a multidisciplinary artist who investigates states of longing across painting, sculpture, writing and travel. Her auto-led practice revolves around the temporal, geographical and emotional dimensions of her own relationships with lovers once held then lost. Travelling in search of them – dreaming them, too – she ruminates on the temperature and colour of their skin, which she re-figures to re-experience in her journeys across mountains and rivers. She studied oriental painting at Hongik University in Korea, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Painting from the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in China in 2022.


Yanna Marie Orcel is an African-American collage artist, painter, sculptor, performer, writer, activist, and community organiser whose work focuses on representations of the Black community. Her background in art therapy informs her practice-based research and her approach to creating. Her work plays on the juxtaposition of being both triggering and healing; aggressive and caring; vibrant and dark. The artist currently resides in London where she researches the impact of creatively caring for people of the African diaspora through group meditation, art making, and listening. 


British-Indian sculptor Yasmin Watts addresses what we might learn about human interaction in the urban environment through the migrant’s experience. Utilising her former practice as an architect, Watts creates theatrical settings inspired by the forms and scales of the city to place her alienated sculpted human figures within. Playing with proportion and position, gesture and expression, Watts asks: what do humans, as a fundamentally social species, need in order to thrive? More specifically, what might a sculpture practice bring to understandings of what it means to live with one another, in heterogeneous urban communities structured around principles of inclusivity and care? 


Mahxium Ogyen Chung is a London-based artist, writer and filmmaker, born in Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan. Mahxium’s practice shifts back and forth between poetry, sculpture, installation, performance and moving image, through which he translates and appraises Buddhist concepts of Emptiness (Śūnyatā) in structures, Self/Non-Self (Ātman/Ānatta) in identities and Uneasiness (Duḥkha) in life. Each translation is an attempt at a retracing of a past event: a walk, a glimpse, a touch, a situation, an oversight. These events invite him to describe his practice as a form of object-making and weighing, caught between a deathless artefact and a lively nothingness. 


Zilai is an artist and researcher who works across sculpture and sound. Her works often align and are energised by sonic metaphors. With a nod to animism, a belief system which perceives all things as uniquely alive, her research addresses the anthropoid and symbolic aspects of ancient instruments. She makes her own instruments, producing rhythms through Digital Audio Workstation, and then creates ambient-rich installations which engage audiences, encouraging them to move in relation to the object. Juxtaposing spirit and form, her works ponder the relationship between craft, automation and ‘voice’. Zilai graduated with a BA Fine Art from Chelsea, University of the Arts London in 2022. 


Yinchen Li is an interdisciplinary artist from Taiwan. Her ceramics-based research is devoted to the sociability of vessels, and the fluidity of materials, such as the inconsistency of the slurry state, a mixture of clay and glaze. The ethos of Taiwanese tea culture allows her to develop a novel type of ‘tea communion’, by generating an altered space-time that mediates relations between people, orientating their bodies through the socially-choreographed codes of serving and drinking tea. This part of her research developed through collaboration with Nicola McEvoy when she was an exchange student from MA Ceramics Art at Kyoto City University of Arts in 2022.