Published on January 22, 2014 | by Edwige Dubois

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‘Unreal’ film success for Wimbledon graduate

Claire Flannery (left), Pryle Behrman (centre), and Sharon McElroy (right) at the London Art Fair.

Pryle Behrman (C), was impressed by Sharon McElroy’s (R) film, and the continuing work of Claire Flannery (L) and Made in Arts London [Benjamin Bishop]

Sharon McElroy, a graduate from Wimbledon College of Art, had her short film The Man I am Today chosen for screening at the London Art Fair 2014.

The ten minute video presented themes of masculinity, military uniforms and role models.

Pryle Behrman, curator of the fair’s Art Projects, described Sharon’s work as “very strong and interesting,” and said it engaged a “dialogue” with other artworks showcased at the fair.

Behrman said: “The thing about Sharon’s work that I really like is the meditation on the roles that people play and the reasons people chose to play those roles in society”

McElroy told Arts London News: “I’ve seen my name on the board, on the signs and leaflets. It’s a bit unreal.”

“To see it coming to fruition and to have interest is amazing, I’m really pleased,” she added.

The London Art Fair is the UK’s largest modern British and contemporary art fair, and was held at the Business Design Centre in Islington in mid-January.

Choice

Behrman and his team, discovered Sharon’s art work from a selection of films produced by other UAL students, in a proposal by Made in Arts London (MiAL).

“We are always very open about the film programme. It’s a curated choice so if we like it, it’s in and if we don’t then it’s not in, and unfortunately that’s the way it is” Behrman told ALN.

“There is a lot of self-doubt in art and we have to get through those. And when someone validates your work that’s great, but maybe you shouldn’t be waiting for other people to validate it.” Sharon McElroy

MiAL is a student and graduate-led enterprise, embedded in UAL’s student union, and promotes emerging artists from across the six colleges.

Claire Flannery, the enterprise manager of Made in Arts London, described the gap between graduation and employment as an “abyss” and embodies MiAL’s ambition.

MiAL is a commercial platform that helps creative talents to enter the Art market and to start selling their work.

“We are basically sitting between students and professionals from the Art and Design world.” Flannery concluded.

Long journey

McElroy started her studies at the age of 44 and went on a long journey of art education for nearly a decade. She completed a Foundation Degree in Art and Design at the University for the Creative Arts, followed by a part-time BA and then MA, both in Fine Art at Wimbledon College.

McElroy raises gender questions through her artwork, looking at the male bonds in, for example, football clubs or biker gangs.

She states: “Different masculine identities are manifested through role-play or through using signifiers, so that might be clothing, behaviour or speech”.

“There is a lot of self-doubt in art and we have to get through those. And when someone validates your work that’s great, but maybe you shouldn’t be waiting for other people to validate it,” she added.

 

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