Alumna celebrates artwork success in local exhibition

A BCU Alumna, who now also works at the University, is set to have her artwork displayed at a local gallery.

Aliya Perager, who graduated with a BSc in Film Production in 2018 before joining BCU as a Technology Enhanced Learning Technician in 2020, has had her artwork accepted in the West Midlands Open exhibition, taking place at The New Art Gallery Walsall.

The exhibition is celebrating the quality and diversity of visual arts across the region by being representative of and relevant to the broad communities and audiences in the West Midlands, as well as providing selling opportunities for artists.

Aliya’s work, titled ‘When I close my eyes’, is a mixed media piece which came about earlier this year. The piece uses acrylics, watercolours, oil pastels, modelling paste, acrylic pens, soft pastels and gold leaf.

She said: “I wanted to bring the magic and feelings that occur when I do actually close my eyes. The piece explores how the mind can sometimes be comforting with bright colours, and on the other side, the thoughts we may feel when we are down.

“I want to show how the mind is a wonderful thing. The central part of the piece is a face with flowers coming out of the head. For this, I hope to show it as a reminder that we must continue to 'water' our minds with friends, family, art and doing things that makes us feel great, for us to keep blossoming. That's why I have the watercolour drips, and the flowers, so bright and vibrant.

“I used patterns that related to my culture and also experimented with techniques that my mind wanted to see come alive.”

The exhibition is the first time Aliya’s work has been on display, but it is a talent the alumna has enjoyed since a young age. She said: “I have always been into art, even from a young age. My Dad likes to draw, and I think I picked it up from him.

“After graduating from BCU, my love for art grew and the degree definitely helped to get me where I am today. The skills I learned on my course, such as composition, colour palettes and using creativity, really helped me and continues to do so in my work today.”

Now Aliya is looking forward to seeing her work on display over the summer at the gallery. She said: “It is thrilling to be part of the exhibition. I was so excited when I finally received the email saying that my piece had been chosen.

“I was born in Walsall, and would often walk past the gallery and visit from time to time, so it’s really exciting to have my own work on display there.”

The West Midlands Open exhibition is now underway, taking place at The New Art Gallery Walsall until 25 September 2022.