Ramp Gallery visit gives fashion students’ fresh perspectives

It’s been a busy few weeks for Artist Neda Nourmohammadi & Ramp Curator Wendy Richdale. Since the opening of Neda’s exhibition “Patiently, Insistently, Intensively” on 1 November, Wendy has seen the gallery alive with learning experiences. While teaching “History of Fashion”, Wintec tutor Rebekah Harman identified the themes of symbolism, cultural identity and politics present in Neda’s work. She brought her fashion students to Ramp to view the show and discuss the work with Neda where they made connections about  these themes and how they influence fashion.
We recently caught up with Rebekah to hear about her students’ experiences at Ramp Gallery, her thoughts on interdisciplinary education, and her fresh perspective in creative communication.

Was the show at Ramp Gallery directly related to your teaching papers at the time?

Reasonably, I was teaching a History of Fashion module and we had just finished looking at New Zealand culture and fashion, and were discussing cultural identity and communicating with other cultures. We discussed ideas around individual identity, then broadened it to looking at how we interpret other cultures. We considered what assumptions we make about other cultures and how cultural appropriation affects the fashion industry.

How did you interpret the content of the show and relate it back to your teaching area?

Particular parts of the show related well to the class including Neda’s use of motifs, symbols, fashion and colour in her work. Neda uses art to convey important messages about society and politics in Iran, during the Fashion History module students have been analysing historical fashion and learning how society, culture and politics can influence fashion and vice versa.

What do you think your students gained from their visit?

The students were interested in how different Iranian culture was to their own culture. One student commented that it highlighted just how important it is to really understand different cultures when designing, not to make assumptions based on popular media. The class was interested in how colours have different symbolism and meaning in different countries.

Do you think it’s important for students to view creative work from outside of their chosen discipline? Why?

I believe it’s very important for students to view creative work from outside their chosen discipline as it opens their eyes to different ways of seeing the world and in doing so gives them different tools to communicate with.

Ramp Gallery is hosting a relaxed conversation with artist Neda Nourmohammadi, about her current exhibition Patiently, Insistently, Intensively over coffee and biscuits this Monday 13 Nov, 12 – 1pm, 2017. All are welcome.

You can find out more about our Fashion pathways here.