Student showcases therapeutic art installation
A final year University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has created a multi-medium installation as a symbol of mental relief.
Studying BA (Hons) Fine Art with a foundation year, Maariyah Patel wanted to explore different mediums such as 3D printing and textiles for her final-year art project as they helped her manage her anxiety issues.
The 24-year-old’s installation, ‘Feather Weight’, was made from a variety of shades and textures to create a feather-like trail of fabric structures.
Using grey-painted plaster bases and white hose vents, the architectural forms seamlessly camouflages into the gallery floor and walls. It was constructed from a PVC skeleton and has printed mesh loops that move with hand movement. Utilising the natural properties of polylactic acid, a polymer used in 3D printing, and different fabrics, each element works together to hold the sculpture’s shape.
Maariyah, from Lancaster, said: “The design showcases elements of imperfections to symbolise the mental relief humans experience when they no longer seek to strive for perfection.
"Whilst having the tutors available to help whenever you may need yet being encouraged to make mistakes and explore as much as possible, I feel I was organically able to discover my uniqueness and individuality"— Maariyah Patel
“Looking at elements of architecture and the forms becoming like a playground jungle gym, there was a real child-like playfulness that emulates from my work and the opportunity to be as experimental as possible meant that I was only limited to what my imagination could conjure up.”
Having struggled with anxiety, Maariyah found interactive mediums focused her attention on creating art that was therapeutic for her. She chose a degree in fine art due to the flexibility of art forms she could explore and the facilities available at UCLan.
She commented: “Whilst having the tutors available to help whenever you may need yet being encouraged to make mistakes and explore as much as possible, I feel I was organically able to discover my uniqueness and individuality.”
The former Central Lancaster High School and Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School pupil secured four industry opportunities through UCLan’s Careers Jamming Session. She will undertake four-week internships at The Bluecoat and Macclesfield’s Silk Museum, and she has offers from Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery and In-Situ. She is also considering applying for artists’ residencies and community art projects.
“I would like to participate in sharing the positive impact that the arts can have on mental health, whilst promoting its importance in culture/society,” said Maariyah. “I think I’ll go where the wind takes me and try any opportunities I may come across.”
Her sculpture will be displayed as part of UCLan’s Degree Shows, which showcases the work of final year undergraduate students from a range of creative courses, within the Faculty of Culture and Creative industries. The show will run until 24 June at UCLan’s Preston Campus.
Written by Humayra Patel