“It is been a pleasure to mentor Tom and Maria. Very pleased to now view the exhibition they have put together out of their experience of 2 months residency.”
Frank Abbott, artist and mentor for In Real Life Residency

“Amazing work and an amazing space. Wonderful to see the work of two young artists in a space together. Really great to see how they complement each other! ”

“Wonderfully, varied, interesting and thought provoking piece.”


In Real Life Exhibition

Artcore was proud to present In Real Life, an exhibition that exposes the contrasts and connections between reality and the digital world. As a result of a two-month residency at Artcore the show featured new works by the artists in residence: Tom Van der Meulen and Maria Cepeda. The works on display made use of new technologies, such as photospheric cameras and Virtual Reality headsets, and touches on themes of body image, social media addiction and online gaming.

In Real Life examined the digital world as both an outsider and a participant, and focussed on distinctions between the real and the virtual. The exhibition seeked to open a dialogue on the uses of digital technologies, our growing addictions to mobiles phones and other devices, and the ways we present ourselves online.

Maria Cepeda, a Fine Art student at Leeds University, works in a wide variety of mediums including ceramics, paint, photography, video and digital art. Her work is interactive and often includes wearable art and participatory elements. During the In Real Life residency, Maria created wearable artworks that replicate the different costumes and armours adorned by avatars in online role playing games. These wearable pieces are displayed alongside a Virtual Reality installation that can be experienced by audiences through a VR headset.

As audiences interact with Cepeda’s VR installation, the digital motion of the headset may lag behind the wearers movements. For Cepeda, these glitches reveal differences between the virtual and the real world; differences that may start to fade as VR technology improves. Her work explored the conflicts that arise from these blurred lines between the real and the digital world. These glitches also mean that each viewer will experience her artwork in a different way, giving them autonomy over how they interact in a digital environment.

How we present ourselves online is a key concern for Cepeda, she believes our use of digital technology alters how we perceive our bodies and the bodies of others. Through creating avatars and modified versions of ourselves on social media platforms and role playing games, the imagined images associated with our identities and appearances become distorted and warped.

Tom Van der Meulen, a recent Fine Art graduate from the University of Reading, creates paintings inspired by digital glyphs and images. His works appears as windows to a surreal, digital landscape and often extend beyond the canvases they occupy. Van der Meulen’s work is concerned by the aesthetic validity of flatness following the advent of digital reproduction; images of artworks are now shared so widely that many people become familiar with pieces of art without ever seeing the physical works.

The imagery used in Van der Meulen’s work presents a conflict between the benefits of digital technologies, and the issues that arise because of them. He acknowledges that digital devices have revolutionised the way we experienced art and visual imagery, and draws inspiration from the graphic elements that we see every day. Van der Meulen reimages these digital designs as painted forms making use of acrylic paints and household gloss, adding a reflective element that cannot be replicated digitally.

I.R.L. Exhibition Launch

I.R.L. Residency

Deadline to apply: Midnight 24/07/2018

Artcore invites artists to apply to In Real Life (IRL) a two month residency that asks the question of how the digitisation of the world is affecting knowledge, communication and relationships today. In an increasingly online sphere artists will consider how social media has radically changed our experience of the real. The residency will ask what does ‘real’ mean today?

This residency will critically explore how our curation of our online selves shape and redefine us transforming the way we interact with people and our environment, investigating two central questions:

  1. What extent digital art space democratises, educates and socialises the way in which our identity is consumed?
  2. How digitisation democratises and effect  artist identity by making art pieces accessible without time, money or location barriers?

The selected artists will be expected to research, document, and create visual experiments to interrogate the notion of over exposure and censorship. This residency will critically play with ideas of reality and how social media and digitisation affects our reflection on the world and influences our perceived models of connections.

Specifically, Artcore is looking for :

  • Artists with a commitment to developing their practice, and who seek dialogue and engagement with the local communities and the wider international contemporary arts and cultural sector.
  • Artists with an interest in how sharing space and collaborative working can inform the development of their work and how this residency will benefit their practice.
  • Artists interested in donating  a selection of the artworks produced  during the residency to be part of Artcore collection.

Residency Timetable:

  • Deadline – Please send your submissions by midnight 24/07/2018
  • Selected artists will be interviewed  on 02-06/08/2018
  • Residency start date: 13/08/2018 to 13/10/2018
  • Exhibition dates: 18/10/2018 to 01/11/2018

How to apply

To apply, download Application pack here.

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