I am the space that I am

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28 June - 9 August 2018
Upper Gallery

A collaborative project between BA (Hons) Animation ProductionBA (Hons) ArchitectureBA (Hons) Fine ArtBA (Hons) Costume and Performance DesignMArchMA Fine ArtMA Illustration.

I am the space that I ampresents a selection of works from an on-going project, Collapsible Spaces: Places of Temporary Refuge, Camouflage and Ritual,led by Siân Bowen, Professor of Drawing. The project invites AUB students and staff to explore the mutability of space and the ‘expanded field of drawing,’ through a series of interconnected drawing workshops, discussions, ‘pop-up’ shows and associated research. The title, taken from Nöel Arnaud’s poem, L’état d’ébauche, reflects how imagination, remembrance and experience of our inner worlds merge seamlessly with the physical spaces which we inhabit and traverse.

The exhibition focuses on works resulting from week-long sessions Siân has conducted in the CRAB Drawing Studio over the last year. Emphasis has been on testing out new propositions for drawing and expanding thinking through making. Sessions have covered a distinctive range of approaches to the processes, materials and tools of drawing; drawing and the subjective voice; damage and the creative impulse, and light and the drawn surface. Selected texts by writers including Joseph Brodsky, Junichiro Tanizaki, Yi-Fu Tuan and Susan Stewart have also provided a platform for discussions on how drawing holds the potential to signify meaning, articulate ideas, convey knowledge, express feeling and encourage reflective experimentation.

Light, Darkness and the Spaces In Between, involved AUB Course Leaders and Deans working together through drawing practice for the first time – joined by visiting tutors from India.  Further workshops involved students from MArch & BA Architecture; MA & BA Fine Art; BA Costume and Performance Design; MA Illustration and MA Animation. 

Okoshi-ezu (folded drawings) invited participants to respond to miniature, folding architectural structures of 16th century Japan. 

Firefly Basket considered the mutability of temporary spaces from a different departure point – a rare portable 18th century Japanese paper, folding teahouse with an extraordinary quality of light. Eight full-scale (1:1) folding structures were then created. 

Between Place and Spacesaw MA Fine Art students respond to these immersive environments and differing concepts of place and space, whilst MArch students consolidated two full-scale folding ‘teahouses’ which will be shown during the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. These varied structures will not only continue to offer temporary spaces in which new works may be created – but also hold the potential to be completely reconfigured through future interventions.


The collaborative spirit of the project is reflected in the exhibition’s selection and curation – a dialogue between AUB staff and participating students from MArch and MA Fine Art. Special thanks are extended to Simon Beeson, Ed Frith, Simón Granell, Peter Symons and Willem de Bruijn for their insightful input.