Worcester Graduate Commissioned to Create New Work for Major Regional Art Exhibition

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A University of Worcester Fine Art graduate whose work is currently included in a major regional exhibition has praised the ‘fantastic support network’ in place at the University.

27 year-old Sarah Sehra’s work is being displayed at Birmingham’s Grand Union gallery as part of the 2014 New Art West Midlands exhibition, which is showcasing the work of 24 recent graduates from universities across the region.

Sarah, who graduated with a first class degree in Fine Art last year, explains: “Fine Art is a subject I have always been passionate about.

“The University of Worcester prepared me to face the challenges of being an artist and aim to achieve my highest expectations. These things don’t come easily, but there is a fantastic support network in place at the University; the tutors challenge you and allow you to really push yourself when it comes to creating new work.”

Since graduating, Sarah has begun working as a self-employed artist –  - and has developed some of the themes and approaches that she first explored at university.

“I draw on myths, exploring their layered histories and the way that stories change through folklore,” she explains. “Whilst developing some of my work at university, I was inspired by Icarus and the failure to take flight.

“This, in turn, prompted me to explore the Moerae – also known as the Fates, three sisters who control our destiny, whose story stretches back to before Greek mythology.”

Sarah has continued with this theme for a new piece of work that she was asked to create for the New Art West Midlands exhibition, devising a performance based on the story of the Fates.

“The work is made up of several performances which form a short film,” she says. “It is important to me that my audience experiences the performance in quite a visceral way.”

Along with this new project presented at Grand Union, another of Sarah’s pieces – Kullulu Kullulu, a performance developed during her time at university – will be presented at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

On being selected as part of the exhibition, she says: “It is an honour to be selected, and it feels great to be recognised as a professional, practising artist so early in my career.

“New Art West Midlands has given me the opportunity to develop my work in public and now I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I would encourage all future graduates to apply, as this has been such a great experience.”

New Art West Midlands is a Turning Point West Midlands initiative, which sees five universities work alongside four influential local galleries – Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Barber Institute of Fine Art, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Grand Union. Last year’s inaugural exhibition attracted over 50,000 visitors.