Jun 16 at 19.00

Between Artists: Conversations in Fine Art 

Event Participants
Emma Talbot (Artist), Anni Mara (Photography student), Jenkin van Zyl (Artist), Olivia Topalian (Sculpture and Environmental Arts student), Susan Pui San Lok (Artist), Niketa Shetty (Painting and Printmaking student), Professor Rebecca Fortnum (Head of the School of Fine Art)

How do artists converse?  When they get together, over beers or on zoom, do they want to talk ideas? Techniques? Politics? Are they guarded with each other or open and generous? Where do their curiosities lie? And what might a younger artist want to discover from another, a little further down the road?

For this showcase event SoFA has developed, Between Artists: Conversations in Fine Art, a series of three interviews conducted by GSA Fine Art students with artists at different stages of their careers, all currently showing in Scotland. Photography student Anni Mara dials in from Iceland to ask Emma Talbot about her recent exhibition, Ghost Calls, at Dundee Contemporary Art, amongst other things. Sculpture and Environmental Art graduating student Olivia Topalian meets Jenkin van Zyl as he completes his large-scale installation at Tramway, Machine of Love, as part of Glasgow International.  Another GI exhibitor, susan pui san lok, exhibiting her multi form exhibition, 7×7 at both Wasps venues, is interviewed by Niketa Shetty, a student from Painting and Printmaking.

These exciting new interviews will be followed by a live discussion by the students with Professor Rebecca Fortnum, Head of the School of Fine Art, to explore what we can learn through the correspondences and differences, they have discovered.

Bio: Emma Talbot
Emma Talbot (b. 1969, UK) studied at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art. She currently holds the post of Tutor in Painting at the Royal College of Art’s School of Arts and Humanities.

Her work has previously been exhibited at Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Arcadia Missa, New York; GEM Kunstmuseum, The Hague; Petra Rinck Galerie, Düsseldorf; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Drawing Room, London, The Freud Museum; London; Galerie Onrust, Amsterdam; Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen and Tate St. Ives, Cornwall.

In March 2020 she was awarded the 8th Max Mara Prize for Women in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery London and Maramotti Foundation Italy, and through this award is working towards a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2021/22. She is represented by Galerie Onrust, Amsterdam and Petra Rinck Galerie, Düsseldorf.

Bio: Jenkin Van Zyl
Jenkin van Zyl (b.1993 UK) is an artist who lives and works in London. Van Zyl’s recent projects have been initiated through guerrilla filmmaking undertaken on the ruins of Hollywood movie sets; combining film, sculpture, and performance in narrative installations.

In these films fantastical communities–––of stunt cowboys in a foley sound studio, ghouls breeding cakes in buried aircrafts, and inflatable beasts hazed at a desert fortress–––enact bewildering rituals that play with the limitations and expansiveness of the body.

Conjured with a distinctly queer experience of the world, one that is attentive to the potentiality inherent in role-play, van Zyl’s films act as the compulsory yet optimistic laboratory for the construction of new identities. Here binaries of the front and back-stage, self and other, desire and revulsion, and ruin and repair are playfully thrown out in favour for multiplicity, instability, and deviance.


Bio: Dr susan pui san lok
Dr susan pui san lok is an artist and writer based in London. She joined UAL in June 2018 as a Reader, and was appointed Professor in Contemporary Art and Director of the Decolonising Arts Institute in October 2019. She was formerly a Reader then Associate Professor in Fine Art, from 2013 in the Faculty of Arts and the Creative Industries at Middlesex University. From 2015 to 2018, she was Co-Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project, Black Artists and Modernism, led by UAL in partnership with Middlesex University, with Professor Sonia Boyce as Principal Investigator. She has also taught at the University of East London, Goldsmiths College, and guest-lectured widely, including at Alfred University, New York; Birkbeck College, London; Concordia University, Montreal; Courtauld Institute, London; Reed College, Portland, Oregon; Royal College of Art, London; Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London; UAL Central Saint Martins and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts; University of Leeds; and Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

susan’s practice ranges across moving image, installation, sound, performance and text. Projects include the solo exhibitions ‘seven x seven’ at Glasgow International Festival (2021), ‘A COVEN A GROVE A STAND’ at Firstsite, Colchester (2019), ‘RoCH Fans & Legends’ at QUAD (2015) and CFCCA (2016), ‘Faster, Higher’ at MAI/Montreal Arts Interculturels (2014), and various commissions for Film and Video Umbrella, De La Warr Pavilion, BFI Southbank and Cornerhouse / BBC Big Screen. International group exhibitions include Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), the 1st Asia Biennial and 5th Guangzhou Triennial (2015-2016), and shows at SITE Sante Fe, Hong Kong Art Centre, Shanghai Duolun MoMA, Beijing 798 Space and Gallery 4a, Australia.

Rebecca Fortnum is an artist, writer and academic. Fortnum studied at Camberwell College of Art, Corpus Christi College, Oxford (where she studied English), Newcastle University (MFA) and Kingston University (PhD). She has had solo shows at the Natalie Barney Gallery (2021), Semmer, Berlin (2015, two person), Freud Museum (2013) and the V&A’s Museum of Childhood (2012), as well as numerous group shows including most recently, ‘Motherline’, Flowers East (London), ‘Sleepy Heads’, Blyth Gallery (London), ‘49.5’, 601 Art Space (New York), ‘Phantom Limn’, Dovecot Studios (Edinburgh) and the Royal Academy Summer (Winter) Exhibition (London). A monograph, Self Contained, with essays by Maria Walsh, Graham Music and Louisa Minkin was published by RGAP in 2013. In 2019 she was elected Visiting Research Fellow in Creative Arts at Merton College, Oxford, where she developed her painting project, A Mind Weighted with Unpublished Matter.  This was published by Slimvolume in 2020, in a book designed by the Fraser Muggeridge Studio with contributions by Gemma Blackshaw, Melissa Gordon and Richard McCabe.

Fortnum has held an Abbey Award at the British School in Rome, individual awards from the Arts Council of England, the British Council and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation amongst others, and has received research funding from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, KU Leuven the Association of Flemish Universities as well as a Space for 10 award for mid-career artists. Her book of interviews, Contemporary British Women Artists: In Their Own Words,was published by Bloomsbury in 2007 and On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, a book of essays that examines contemporary artists’ processes, which she co-edited with Lizzie Fisher, was published by Black Dog in 2013. She is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Painting published by Intellect.  Her most recent book, A Companion to Contemporary Drawing (2020), co-edited with Kelly Chorpening, includes her chapter, ‘A Dirty Double Mirror: Drawing, Autobiography and Feminism’, which explores the feminist potential of the ‘autographical’ in work by Frances Stark, Emma Talbot and Nicola Tyson.

She has been a Reader in Fine Art at University of the Arts London (Camberwell Chelsea Wimbledon) and Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University, where she led the research programme in Fine Art and the Master of Fine Art programmes and Research Lead for the School of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art.