U of R graduate students putting their artwork on the MAP

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: January 28, 2022 10:00 a.m.

An image from Raegan Moynes’ experimental video Worm: Digestion Issues.
An image from Raegan Moynes’ experimental video Worm: Digestion Issues. Credit: Raegan Moynes

Two University of Regina graduate students from the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (MAP), Raegan Moynes and Hooria Rajabzadeh, were recently recognized at the University of Montana’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) online exhibition titled ‘COHORTS: alone – together’. Of the 690 applicants from 102 different colleges and universities, the U of R was one of very few schools to have two different students’ artwork accepted and the only school to have two award winners.

With applicants from North and South America, the Middle East, and the UK, the exhibition is a peer-to-peer evaluation of MFA artwork and represents work from a vast array of content, material, and approaches.

“This exhibit represents the excellent work being produced by graduate students today and reflects our shared experiences through these crazy times,” stated the MFA student-jurors from the University of Montana and Montana State University.

Worm: Digestion Issues by Raegan Moynes Third Place

Raegan Moynes’ short, experimental video was created by deconstructing and reconfiguring the fragments of clothing in Moynes’ closet and explores the relationship between trauma, memory, identity, and the body.

“Inspired by my own lived experience, I experiment with Worm to represent the ways in which trauma is stored and processed in and through the body by using movement and video editing to relate to the viewer through a shared experience,” said Moynes.

“Moynes explores embodied trauma through this work, and while the sculpture and video itself may be conceptualizing this idea, Moynes’s shifting and squeezing of her work is giving space to physically push and move through this trauma,” said University of Montana student and juror Heather Schroeder. “Her breath is being shown as a powerful tool in moving through emotional or physical discomfort. A truly moving piece of work, which anyone with ‘digestion issues’ can most surely relate to.”

Moynes, who typically works sculpturally, stepped outside her comfort zone by using video as a medium for the first time, a decision that was made easier because of the support and guidance she has received as a student of the MAP graduate program.

“I wouldn’t be making art, let alone putting it out in the world, if it wasn’t for the generosity of my supervisor, Professor Sean Whalley, and the supportive and challenging environment created by the faculty in the MAP graduate program,” said Moynes. “So much about being an artist depends on the community around you and the quality of mentorship you receive. I owe a lot to my graduate education and its generous community.”

Women’s Wagon by Hooria Rajabzadeh – Juror’s Choice

In Hooria Rajabzadeh’s photograph, Women’s Wagon, two women are shown in the reflection of a train window in Tehran, Iran. Due to cultural barriers, it was difficult for Rajabzadeh to take any close-up photos of women in her home country, so she turned her lens to the window to depict their reflection.

MAP Student Art Exhibit
Hooria Rajabzadeh’s submission, Women’s Wagon, was selected as one the Juror’s Choice award winners.
Credit: Hooria Rajabzadeh

Women’s Wagon is a place where women can be seen side by side, making it possible to study their features, postures, and reactions to the camera,” said Rajabzadeh. “It might be inferred that their reflections are one step further from reality, but perhaps these photographs get us one step closer to the truth, the truth of women in our land.”

The powerful image of two women segregated by gender, with a cautionary symbol in the foreground, resonated with Susan Sinitiere, juror and University of Montana MFA student, who chose it as her Juror’s Choice Award winner.

“With expressions of complacency to the circumstance, each women’s face reflects aged experience and individual character,” said Sinitiere. “Even the slight tilt of their gaze upwards in anticipation of exiting to the platform felt symbolic in resemblance to religious female iconography, but contained within the context a hope for a just equality for women, the world over.”

Rajabzadeh credits the MAP graduate program for giving her the opportunities like this one to showcase her work internationally.

“One of the reasons I chose to pursue my graduate studies at the U of R was the faculty’s academic knowledge. They are truly brilliant and I enjoy learning from them so much,” said Rajabzadeh.

“I owe a lot to my supervisor Dr. Risa Horowitz, who was one of the main reasons I chose the U of R. Even while I was still in Iran or during my first semester when she was on sabbatical and had no responsibility to answer my questions, Dr. Horowitz’s constant support and kindness helped me feel valued and supported as an international student.”

For more information on the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance, visit their website.