Hafifa Ahmed, Ingrid Bale, Hana Lait, Morticia, Carol Sowden.

The river never tires, but waits in patience for new and returning believers


13 October - 10 December 2022


Blenheim Walk Gallery

Visiting hours

10:00am - 4:00pm Monday to Saturday

Preview: 12 October 2022 5:00pm-7:00pm

Location: Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Walk, Leeds LS2 9AQ

'The river never tires, but waits in patience for new and returning believers' presents five creative projects that explore notions of power inviting spectators to engage through a multitude of media: painting, sculpture, installation, textile, video and sound.

Presenting their research process via diverse creative narratives, the artists in the exhibition push forward and challenge conversations on processes of healing, ideas of vulnerability, permanence and reparation. As such changes, marks and memories become signals imprinted into bodies, souls and nature itself. Several of the artists’ works present the juxtaposition of ideas and concepts to unpick and capture their own lived experiences, while other works utilize natural materials and photographic images, which are appropriated and then inserted into new narratives.

The exhibiting artists are all graduates from the University’s longest running postgraduate degree, MA in Creative Practice, which offers a bespoke learning experience that encourages students to pursue an individual research interest.

Hafifa Ahmed’s A Passing Journey is an exploration of trauma and healing through visual representations of the reparation process of the wounded heart. The installation comprises of sculptures and prints operating at the intersection of the physical and digital realm. Through manipulating her sculptural pieces, new tensions are manifested from both explicit and implicit narratives. Moving image complements the 3D sculptures whilst constructing and deconstructing images in a dreamlike sequence. Sacred geometry and words of healing surround the sculptural pieces as a bridge to the spiritual realm. By investigating language on a meta level, Ahmed absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice.

For The Affirmation Cape, Ingrid Bale worked closely with a group, and collectively considered the impact that positive and negative words have on people’s growth and emotional state throughout life. Through participating in activities, they identified both negative words but also their own power or affirmation word. Bale has collected this material to sew a cloak with the embroidered words. The cloak provides a place to cancel those negative words and replace them with positive. The lining is pieced with found handkerchiefs that represent ‘the tears cried’.

Hana Lait’s Everything All of the Time investigates the efficacy and viability of using technology to present performance works. Thematically, this piece refers to the artist’s own experience of post-traumatic stress disorder and the therapeutic healing experience of engaging with Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing therapy.

Morticia’s A Story of the Past: Uncovering Hidden Histories is concerned with physical spaces and their ability to act as recording devices. A range of analogue and digital photographic processes are utilised in a process of investigating ways in which such spaces can contribute in the making of photographic work. Her methodology involves the use of St George’s Field (a former cemetery, within the University of Leeds campus) where she is leaving photographic work for varying periods of time. In this way elements from the surrounding environment leave their mark on it; she then uses vegetation gathered from the space to make anthotype images.

An Exploration of Lasting Materiality is a research project by Carol Sowden that focuses on ideas of permanency through looking into ways that natural materials can communicate an indelible physical imprint. Fluid materials were brought together in a surface-based context and with minimum input from the artist were allowed to freely converge and resist. The processes of fluidity, solidification and the responses from light and heat formed challenging reactions alongside the flux of movement. Left to explore their natural ability to demonstrate a tangible imprint these undefined moments were harnessed to produce paintings reflecting the driving force of nature's ability to leave permanent marks.

The exhibition is the culmination of the Building Research Culture project. The project supports the development of emerging researchers, the research environment within the University, the formulation of new narratives in artistic and curatorial knowledge production through collaborative working, and the sharing of expertise and models of research-practice. It is supported by the Enhancing Research Culture fund awarded to the University from UK Research and Innovation in 2022.

Join our mailing list