‘As they were sitting there they heard a tumultuous noise, and with the intensity of the noise there fell a blanket of mist so that they could not see each other. And after the mist, everywhere became bright...’1
From the earliest examples of British prose in the 12th – 13th century in the branches of The Mabinogion, the cipher of tumultuous noise was used to denote the apparition of otherworldly or fantastical manifestations, or herald the beginning of an event or conflict with no other description as to its content. Tumultuous Noise draws upon this literary tradition to reunite the graduates from Leeds Metropolitan University's 2011 Fine Art degree course in the first of a planned series of survey exhibitions, timed at six-year intervals.2
Through an open invitation to the entire graduating year group, Tumultuous Noise invited participants to make a contribution in any capacity they saw fit, regardless of whether they still viewed themselves as practicing artists or not. Spanning subjects such as visual art, performance, filmmaking, social science and education, the project will provide a comprehensive overview of the group's divergent output, and function as a form of re-introduction and self-assessment for each member.
Presented as a cyclical model, Tumultuous Noise will continue at a different venue in the city of Leeds every six years, re-inviting every member for each iteration until no practicing members of the peer group remain to participate in the project. Hosted by blip blip blip the inaugural edition of Tumultuous Noise will begin this ongoing dialogue, warping the fabric of the exhibitionary format from a rigidly fixed temporality to an extended and nonF hierarchical condition that promotes cross-disciplinary discourse.
With little thought on the subject of post-graduation and the continuation of practice encouraged in students by the university at the time of their study the methods used by the 2011 year group to continue or abandon their practices provide a case study of existing in precarity during times of austerity. Addressing what happens to art students post- graduation once the security of the institutional confines of university, studio space provision and wider support networks are removed once and for all, the project charts the decisions made by the 2011 peer group relating to personal and societal views on the viability of their artistic existence which is hoped will provide valuable lessons and examples for future students.