CONFLICT was a group exhibition alongside 35 other artists from the MFA programme. It was the first show for this group and proved useful in starting to develop professional skills, including: collaboration; meeting deadlines; communication design; writing exhibition text; and responding to a given theme.
For my contribution, I worked on Two Bars of Gold (2018), a painting with acrylic and gold leaf on canvas. Reflecting on the agreed theme, I decided to use the mathematical equal sign (=) as a symbol of conflict because of the ongoing struggle to achieve or deny equality based on race, gender, sexuality, religion, class, age or nationality.
The use of gold also aims to suggest an overt representation of wealth, often a source of contention in itself. The style was deliberately simple inspired by minimalism and geometric art. I have much to learn in terms of painting techniques but the process, nonetheless, proved instructive and could be further developed over time.
My main role in this exhibit was shared with Luisa Rodriguez. We each volunteered to help with communication material, and we worked together to create the show label and information sheets. After several discussions between us, and consulting other members of the wider group whenever necessary, we decided on what we had to do and executed them accordingly.
We had shared tasks such as collecting data, proofreading and fact-checking, as well as designated individual tasks from writing a blurb and info sheet layout (myself), to printing the label and map poster layout (Luisa). Overall, I believe we worked effectively and efficiently as a team.
I personally learned practical lessons from the experience as a whole, particularly the importance of communication, compromise and basic respect between collaborating parties who each may come from different backgrounds and points of view, as well as considering the different ways that could help present a show (and the works and artists within it) in the best possible light.