Illustraition by Tricia Mercer-David
A pop-up exhibition by the YNA Collective
being human (NOW) was a Young Norfolk Arts Collective pop-up exhibition looking at all things human from young creatives in Norfolk, which took place at the University of East Anglia’s ‘Enterprise Centre’, on Wednesday 19th April 2023.
What makes us human? What inspires and enriches our everyday lives? Lived experiences, our relationships with others and the challenges we face in a forever changing world are just some of the many things that make us who we are.
But what does it mean to be human for young people right now? This is the question that the collective explores by creating visuals around words they had swapped with one another.
Each artist thought of one word to sum up what being human means to them. They then swapped that word with a fellow artist
and it became that artist’s prompt.
Poster Illustrated by Tricia Mercer-David
Adaptability, watercolour and ink on paper, 76cm × 90cm, 2023
Word given: Adaptability
I am a university student studying Year 1 illustration at Norwich University of the Arts. I am currently exploring different ways of experimental mark making in my practice. I was given the word ‘adaptability’ and made this my approach in both the medium and the action (method) of creating. Using free flowing paint and ink with no clear outcome in mind, observing and changing and growing with the flow, I feel this is the way of life and ultimately being human – constant adaptation.
Bulema Road, spoken word and film, 2023
Word given: Electric
As an artist I aim to celebrate and articulate human life; the joys of it, the miseries of it, the monotones of it, and in the same beat the dismays of it. It captures the journey of what it means to be alive really alive on a spectrum of artistic mediums. This experience is captured via the expression of film, photography and writing, which deals with topics involving the human psyche, which can be found on the website tllayid.art.
Transience, wood, paper, cardboard, found objects, clay, 5 x 4ft, 2023
Word given: Transience
I am an artist and film maker based in Norwich, for the Being Human exhibition I have created an altar which encapsulates the shamanistic roots of human consciousness and displays the psychic vision and terror at play in our subconscious and for those on the fringes of society. Much of the work is inspired by psychogeography and stone tape theory, and visualises the thoughts and hidden memories which haunt our homes and minds. This is a journey through the psychic undergrowth of Norwich and the mental landscape which is imprinted on our surroundings.
Untitled, birch plywood and pyrography text, 645 x 310 x 105mm, 2023
Word given: Identity
I produce artwork that explores the possibilities of material and form across mediums. The process of making is an important element of my practice. I do not impose meaning onto the forms I create, but instead invite viewers to question and interpret the form for themselves. My approach to the word ‘Identity’ was to reflect on my identity as an artist. I constantly question what art is, where I fit in, and how to pursue an art career when working full-time. Identity is open-ended and my artwork reflects this. I have manipulated birch plywood and experimented with pyrography text, where the words represent my inner dialogue as an artist.
Daily Struggles, acrylic on canvas, 8″ x 10″, 2023
Word given: Challenge
The word given to me was ‘challenge’. My reaction to this was facing the daily struggles of life. More than that, it was overcoming them. We humans are highly resilient, and I thought back to a cyanotype project I did with Genevive Rudd on weeds. There is a lot of beauty in weeds that people overlook, and I liken them to humans here in their adaptability and irrepressible nature. Thus, I drew a dandelion growing atop a mountain. I love the contrast between the size of the canvas compared to the scale of a mountain; this juxtaposition illustrates how a huge challenge for one person can be easy for another – it’s all a matter of perspective.
Tik Tok: @transience_arts
Facebook: Transience Arts
Dance With Me, lino print, digitally coloured, A3 print, 2023
Word given: Pride
‘Dance with me’ explores how pride is celebrated in day-to-day moments. I thought about the importance of safe spaces for individuals and communities to explore all aspects of our identities freely. I’m an illustrator, printmaker and workshop facilitator based in Norwich. I identify as a queer person of colour, my lived experiences and interactions with the space I live in inform the themes of my work. I enjoy using bold linework and bright colours to make playful compositions.