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The allure of the aesthetic - and how not to draw conclusions

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Frankopan Hall and online

Is beauty in an object, or in a concept? Materials have the ability to seduce or distract us from the truth, and beautiful things often mask ugly realities.

In this talk, Murray will share examples from her own practice of interdisciplinary interactions to explore the meanings and roles we ascribe beauty and aesthetics in art, literature and science.

If we concentrate on the presentation, we might miss the realities of material production (limited resources and waste products), of context (slave labour and inequality), and of politics (maintaining and reinforcing power or control). In the absence of absolute values, truth and beauty of concept become apt solutions to arbitrary sets of rules which we have ourselves constructed.

The talk will be followed by a hands-on workshop exploring the question ‘What is drawing?’

We will use experimental drawing techniques to explore questions of perception, cognition, value, intent.

Drawing is a wide-open territory and we get to decide the rules.

Book your place via our Eventbrite page.

More about Melissa Pierce Murray:

Melissa Pierce Murray’s practice considers how engagement, interactions, objects and materials can facilitate and deepen awareness of our place in the world.

Often interactive or participatory, her sculptural works use an aesthetic driven approach to interweave materials, emotion and narrative, creating a tactile allure and unnerving edginess. With a background in science, literature and art, she draws on broad knowledge and inspiration allowing an agility of thought and making.

Recent exhibitions include Falling and Rising, an interactive sculptural landscape (Artwalk Wakefield, Wakefield Cathedral, 2022) and Undisclosed, an exhibition seeking to raise awareness of Modern Slavery (The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, 2022). Murray is an Arts Council DYCP grant recipient.

This talk is part of the Intellectual Forum series.

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