2024 undergraduate thesis exhibition

08.05.24 - Room to grow: Visual Studies Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition features 18 student works

The 2024 Visual Studies Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition, Still there are seeds to be gathered, featured the work of 18 students across artistic disciplines within the Daniels Faculty’s Bachelor of Arts in Visual Studies (BAVS) program.

The exhibition marked the culmination of their undergraduate studies, and their thesis research has been collected in an accompanying publication and recently launched website.

On view at SPACE on King from April 12 to 14, the exhibition’s title stems from Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. “In the early weeks of our thesis course, our class held a discussion of Le Guin’s text,” write Ella Spitzer-Stephan, Satyam Mistry, Nusha Naziri, Auden Tura and Olive Wei in an excerpt from the exhibition text.

“The concluding statement, ‘Still there are seeds to be gathered, and room in the bag of stars,’ sparked an unknown feeling that borders the poetics of our completed time in school as well as a rethinking of our projects as ever-changing. As a ‘non’-ending phrase, Le Guin uses it to mark this text as ‘unfinished,’ citing the space for transformation and growth.”

From a visual response to the disconnect between quantum and classical principles of modern physics to work that integrates augmented and virtual reality into our surroundings, installations that reflect notions of belonging and personal collection, to research that investigates the role of a curator in contemporary art, or the translation of poetry from Farsi to English—the body of work presented by the students is complex and open to continued exploration.

“In the context of this exhibition, the research each student has taken upon themselves has not reached a ‘conclusion.’ Each thesis project poses a question vital to its artist, one that will continue to be explored beyond the scope of this exhibition,” the group writes.

Students within the BAVS program are deliberately left with ample room in their course of study to pursue other scholarly interests at the U of T. This flexibility is a fundamental component of the program, as it encourages students to bring those ideas culled from elsewhere to bear within their own artistic practice, allowing ideas and modes of thought that might be rooted in more conventional forms of making art to be openly refined and challenged.

Still there are seeds to be gathered featured the work of Evan Bulloch, Noemi Cabalbag, Paris Chen, Ashley Gu, Rania Haider, Joy Li, Alex Lyu, Satyam Mistry, Nusha Naziri, Salma Ragheb, Irene Song, Ella Spitzer-Stephan, Auden Tura, Janie Wang, Maxen Wang, Olive Wei, Nara Wrigglesworth, and Lilian Zeng.

Visit the website to learn more about their projects: academic.daniels.utoronto.ca/visual-studies-thesis-2024