Watermelon Solidarity Art Academy

Watermelon Solidarity Art Academy

11-14 June 11am-5pm | Launch event Saturday 8 June 1-7pm, All welcome

Stanley Picker Gallery presents Watermelon Solidarity Art Academy by MFA Fine Art student Alina El Assadi as part of Kingston School of Art’s Degree Show. The MFA Fine Art Degree Show continues at Penrhyn Road.

The Watermelon Solidarity Art Academy is a semi-fictional art academy. All of the academy’s merchandise presented here, was made by its students with the aim of creating a sense of community and expressing the values of the academy. There is a leaflet detailing the academy’s aims and the courses it offers. The courses cover traditional disciplines yet adapted to accommodate current political and decolonization discourses. The presentation at the Stanley Picker Gallery is designed for the an imagined university open day, focusing on the identity of the academy. For further information please check out the academy’s Instagram account.

Kingston School of Art’s Degree Show celebrates the work of graduating Foundation, Undergraduate, Grad Dip Creative Practice, MFA Fine Art and MArch Architecture students. For more information on the Degree Show 2024 click here.

View the Online Degree Show here.

Alina El-Assadi (1999, Kyiv) is a Ukrainian-Palestinian artist that is based in Sharjah and London. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Sharjah and is currently finishing a Masters in Fine Arts degree at Kingston University in London. Her practice develops from her backgrounds and training in photography and installation where she explores the intersection between fictive and non-fictive narratives based on history in the United Arab Emirates. Her current practice now revolves around photography, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and moving image with the exploration of her identity and the theme of belonging as the main topics. Her previous and current practices are united in the persistent presence of the concept of land, her identity, and the mixed use of fiction and non-fiction in her artistic narration.

Her current practice focuses on the use of watermelons, which represents the connection of the joint struggle against occupation, and fight for freedom and sovereignty in the two countries she’s from. Watermelons in context of Palestine, became a widespread symbol of resistance after the eviction of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah in 2021 to avoid censorship on social media.  In Ukrainian context watermelons started to be used as a symbol of resistance after the liberation of Kherson in 2022 as Kherson is responsible for biggest watermelon production in Ukraine.

Her work has been exhibited at the Thirty-Seventh Annual Emirates Fine Arts Society in Sharjah Art Museum (Sharjah, 2021), Xposure International Photography Festival (Sharjah, 2023), Stanley Picker Gallery Online: Fine Art Shorts 2023 (online 2023), Soniakh Digest (online publication 2023), Creative Sparks: Fusebox (London 2023), Antiwar coalition art (online 2023), Radical Play: The Street, Central Saint Martins (London 2023)She has attended Salzburg Summer Fine Art Academy (Salzburg 2023), conducted workshops in Museum of Modern Arts in Warsaw (Warsaw 2023) and is current member of Young Shubbak collective (London 2024)