Second-year MFA student, Derek Holland has been announced as the Fall 2022 recipient of the Lobby Competition! The Lobby Competition is a Gallery 400 initiative aimed at showcasing the work of MFA and BFA UIC students in the lobby of the Art and Exhibition Hall. The competition is an opportunity for students to exhibit a site-specific work with 24-hour visibility.
Composed of multicolored facial masks, Holland's work Sankofa, sheds light on the implications our past decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic have in the present and future. The imagery referenced is the Sankofa bird, a symbol originating from the Akan people of Ghana. The Sankofa—meaning to retrieve, to go back and get—is a mythical bird depicted with its head turned backwards to retrieve an egg from its back. It signifies the quest for investigation and the profound knowledge acquired when we ruminate on the past to make amends that shape our survival. Informed by his experiences as a researcher in public health, Holland has adopted this meaningful symbol that is widespread across the African diaspora to question the pressure to return to normalcy.