United Kingdom

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Colin Blunstone is the lead singer of The Zombies. Known for their psychedelic sound. The Zombies were the second U.K. band — the first being The Beatles — to have a No. 1 hit in the United States, helping lead the “British Invasion” in the mid-1960s. The Zombies will perform at Stubb’s on Thursday.

The Daily Texan: In 1964, you came to the United States. What was it like being one of the first pioneering groups?

Colin Blunstone: For us, it was a culture shock. Whereas now a lot of the cultural elements are very similar to the U.K., people didn’t travel back then like they do now. To get on a plane and go across the Atlantic was quite a big deal. We were just 19 years old, and to come to America, the land of rock ‘n’ roll. It was amazing. All of our heroes came from America: Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard. These are the people we grew up listening to, and it was the place we always wanted to come to.

DT: What did you use as inspiration to find your sound in the early days of The Zombies?

CB: We took our inspiration from a very wide spectrum of music. There’s jazz influences, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll and pop music all there in our music. That’s one of the things that made our music so different. To give your band individuality can be a great advantage, but, in the beginning, it was a disadvantage as well. People get confused when they can’t mentally connect the music to something they’ve heard before.

DT: A lot of people consider the The Zombie’s early career as frustrating because of poor management. Do you think that with a different record company or manager, you guys could have been as big as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

CB: I wouldn’t want to compare us to any of those bigger bands of the time, but yes, if we had been looked after properly. This is true for nearly every British band of the ’60s. The bands weren’t looked after; they were exploited and used. That’s what frustrates me. If some of the people in management had a bit more vision, they could have been involved in creating lifetime careers. But they just didn’t have the vision.

DT: There were rumors when you guys broke up in late 1967 that John Lennon, himself, offered to manage your band. Is any of that true?

CB: Well, he never spoke to me about it. What I am told is that he was interested in producing the band, not necessarily managing. But I have to say that I heard it in the same way you have — never from him.

DT: In your most recent album and presumably your upcoming one, there’s a slightly different style than that of your earlier works. What should listeners be looking out for?

CB: We could play something similar to Odessey and Oracle, but we were 20 years old when we played that. What I would say is that people should look out for fine songwriting in the album we’re just starting to record now. Everyone in the band is incredibly skilled, so I would also pay attention to the musicianship. I just sit back and watch them play as a fan of sorts. It’s a thrill for me to be up on stage, being part of a group with such wonderful players.

DT: Where do you see your influence in bands today?

CB: When they, themselves, cite us as an influence in how they’ve come to be playing their music and how they’ve developed, our influence is clear, but I can rarely hear it myself. It’s definitely one of the highest compliments you can receive. When people like Tom Petty and Dave Grohl have all said how much they enjoyed our music and cite us as an influence, it’s wonderful.

DT: What are you guys looking forward to most at SXSW?

CB: I love the madness. It’s just crazy. Last year, we were playing three or four times a day, and, when we weren’t playing, we were moving the gear, going to do radio shows, live sets [and] acoustic duos. It’s just all these different things all the time. It is truly the most full-on festival in the world, and it is a little crazy, but incredibly good fun.

James Koranyi, a history lecturer at Durham University in the United Kingdom, discusses his upcoming book Monday afternoon. The book explores the effects of industrialization on British travelers in the Carpathian Arc.

Photo Credit: Mariana Munoz | Daily Texan Staff

The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies invited James Koranyi, a history lecturer at Durham University in the United Kingdom, to discuss his book, which is still in progress, on British travelers in the Carpathian Arc.       

Koranyi discussed Monday the travelers Charles Boner, David Thomas Ansted and Lion Phillimore. According to Koranyi, the travelers dealt with the idea of modernity and how industrialization was changing ways of life in Europe. As the countries became more industrialized, some began to long for the old way of life.   

Koranyi said that, in 1863, Boner, who was the son of a German immigrant, developed a relationship with British artist John Constable. During his time with Constable, Boner discovered a painting that inspired him to journey outside of Britain. During these travels, Boner looked for the culture Britain had lost during industrialization by examining German-Saxon culture.    

“[Boner] began searching in 1853 in German areas,” Koranyi said. “In 1863, he would publish his work on his travels in Transylvania. He shows a sense of the division between East and West Europe, but also the nostalgia of nature and the loss of life.”    

Throughout his travels, Boner found better natural materials, such as honey, in rural regions than in Southern England, where he lived. Koranyi said Boner and Thomas Ansted became inspirations for later British explorers who travelled to the Carpathians.    

“[Boner and Thomas Ansted] mapped out routes through Transylvania and the Southern Carpathians and presented it in a way that other travellers could follow,” Koranyi said.     

The last person Koranyi discussed was Phillimore, a wealthy British woman who travelled to the Carpathians with her husband. During her travels, Koranyi said Phillimore became torn between accepting the progress of modernity and rejecting it for a simpler way of life.     

Mary Neuburger, director for The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, said much of her work ties into Koranyi’s research. Neuburger has published two books on the topics of minorities and tobacco in Bulgaria and is now working on a third book relating to American missionaries in Bulgaria.     

“[Koranyi] invited me to Durham in the U.K. to work on a project because he was interested in what I did,” Neuburger said. “He asked if he could come give a talk.”   

Lauren Gieseke, history senior at Southwestern University in Georgetown, said she has been attending these lectures for her research and was excited to hear Koranyi speak. 

“My current research is focused on this same topic and time period — but instead looking at Yugoslavia,” Gieseke said. “This idea of the differences between East versus West Europe and modernity are something I should look into.”

Former first minister, the Rt. Hon. Rhodri Morgan, discussed Friday morning the passing of a Welsh children’s right law in 2011.

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Three politicians and experts discussed Friday the passing of a Welsh children’s rights law in 2011.

The event, held in the SAC, was part of Swansea University’s Texas Showcase — a week-long tour presenting the Welsh university’s research with stops at UT, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston.

Wales passed the 2011 law with the legal assistance of Swansea University and gained cross-party unanimous support. According to Rhodri Morgan, former first minister of Wales, the Rights of Children and Young Person Measure was the first domestic law protecting children’s rights. It required Welsh ministers to have due regard on the rights of children when exercising their functions.

“Normally in Wales, we do things after England, then follow,” Morgan said. “But with children’s rights, we did this first. We would become the first part in the U.K. and Europe.”

Although Morgan was in his “lame duck” period, he said he felt requiring government to take children’s rights into account was necessary and tangible.

“Following a very strong tradition and pretty strong cross-party support, why not do it?” Morgan said. “Why have people not already obliged the government to take regard for [what] would be followed by other countries? Why not us, and why not now?”

According to Jane Williams, associate law professor at Swansea University, there was tension regarding the law between the politicians and civil servants in the federation.

“There were elements of the coalition government that were resistant,” Williams said. “To put that in context, within the coalition in other political parties, there were brought reports. For many years, we were thinking about how to incorporate the U.N. and the barriers to that.”

Shortly after the law’s implementation in Wales, Williams established the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young Persons. Williams said the observatory members included academics, government and non-governmental organizations from Wales and the U.K. The organization provided legal research and lobbied to bring the legislative measure to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in the U.K.

“It’s because the University was a neutral space,” Williams said. “This was a nice illustration of how we can be an informed society and for lobbying — which we were able to do.”

According to Helen Mary Jones, a former member of the National Assembly for Wales, Swansea University’s observatory was a major component to the legislation’s success.

“Jane [Williams] built an expert grip of human rights leaders and brought them together with backbone players of both parties,” Jones said. “The work Jane and the observatory did enabled us as back-benchers … lets us think what’s the implication and what’s right and wrong. Through this process, Jane and colleagues were able to advise us.”

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Author Kenneth Morgan discussed the history of Wales during World War I on Friday at the Harry Ransom Center as part of its weekly “British Studies Seminar” series.

“I want to focus particularly on Wales, where I came from, because war had a very particular impact on the society, culture and the sense of nationhood in Wales,” Morgan said.

In discussing Wales before the outbreak of the war, Morgan said its coal fields and seaports brought economic prosperity while church choirs exemplified cultural achievement.

“Welsh before the war had a great sense of optimism,” Morgan said. “The Welsh choirs were at their peak.”

Morgan also described the rise of a liberal government in Wales that was led by David Lloyd George, who became British prime minister in December 1916.    

“He was a great figure of radical, nationally conscious liberalism government,” Morgan said. “He then emerged as the most prominent, dynamic figure in liberal government.”

Morgan also said Lloyd George helped the war effort by mobilizing troops and supporting the liberal ideals of the war.

“He became in particular the great advocate of conscription,” Morgan said. “He claimed, as I said, that it was a war of liberal values.”

Despite Lloyd George’s enthusiasm, Morgan said the war weakened liberalism in Wales and plunged the state into an economic and cultural depression.       

“The social base of Welsh liberalism was also being undermined,” Morgan said. “[Wales] shortly, lurched into depression and mass unemployment. [There were] diminished signs of the Welsh language and the erosion of the strength of the Welsh choir.”

History junior Jonathon Parker said he took a particular interest in the formation of Wale’s national identity.  

“I didn’t know much about national identity in Wales,” Parker said. “I’m British myself, but I’m not very familiar with Wales. I gained a much better general impression of what Wales was like.”   

English senior Victor Hernandez, who has visited Wales, said the discussion informed people about conflict in the U.K.

“I think it was an excellent opportunity for people of this city to get acquainted with the power struggles that exist inside the United Kingdom, which are foreign to almost everyone outside the commonwealth,” Hernandez said. “I thought it was insightful and a brave account of a brave little nation.”

Photo Credit: Albert Lee | Daily Texan Staff

We live in a time when everything seems too big or too small. We are told that the federal government is too big, too bureaucratic and too threatening to individual liberties. The same critics say that our military is too small, our oil pipelines are too limited and our economic growth is too constrained. People want houses that are bigger than ever before, but they want them to feel small and cozy. They drive hulking trucks while demanding the fuel efficiency and light carbon footprint of small cars. 

The same contradictions characterize international politics today. The majority of citizens in Scotland voted last week to remain part of Great Britain, but 45 percent said they wished to secede. Many of those who voted to stay in the union agreed that the political institutions based in London were too big and too threatening to Scottish freedom. The fact that Scots receive more money from London than they pay in did not deter this argument about alleged repression. At the same time, many advocates of independence believe that Scotland should join an even larger set of institutions: the European Union. They like the trade and currency benefits that could come from integrating their economy more closely with the continent. Many Scots want to be small and big simultaneously. 

The Middle East has more tragic examples of the same phenomenon. Sunni extremists in Syria and Iraq want to free themselves from these big, oppressive states, but they call for an even bigger state (a “caliphate”), and they are killing thousands of people who want neither the old states nor the new caliphate. The Kurds show similar, although far less violent, inclinations. They want to free themselves from Iraq, Iran and Turkey, but they are intent on creating a larger Kurdistan. They want to be smaller and bigger, too.

So what is the correct size for political authority? How can we build institutions that ensure local freedoms but still nurture the strength and diversity of large numbers? How do we preserve the specificity of small with the benefits of big? 

The founders of the United States thought about these precise issues. Their innovative solution was what we call “federalism”: the belief that big and small powers should be mixed in the same government. According to this system, the United States was to have a series of nested political institutions — nation, state, county and town — that would exercise overlapping authorities for taxation, infrastructure and security. From Congress to the county board, representative bodies of different sizes would share power, working together at times, checking each other more often. The founders believed that this kind of mixed system would allow big and small to coexist for the sake of building a strong nation that protected local freedoms. 

Great Britain, many states in Europe and most regimes in the Middle East are highly centralized. They have unchallenged national powers that make governing simpler, but also less responsive to local needs. In an age when media often magnify ethnic and cultural cleavages, they would benefit from implementing the kinds of federal reforms that empower more local governance, on the model of the United States, as well as Germany, Mexico and India. Messy, divided federalist authorities have a better historical track record for national unity and citizen freedom than other alternatives, especially secession.

Federalist systems, like the United States, would also do well to re-examine the other side of the equation. Politicians spend so much time condemning national leadership these days, especially in Texas, that we forget how important central authority remains in a government of mixed powers. Washington, D.C., protects our national safety, it regulates our financial system and it provides the funding for basic research, emergency relief and social security, among many other things. We would be a less prosperous and peaceful society without a strong national government. Big government, balanced by local authorities, has historically contributed to American freedom.

The appropriate debate, then, is not between big and small. Secession for Scotland would not make things better for the Scots. Nor would bigger states in the Middle East solve the problems of factional warfare. Good politics balance big and small, central and local. The correct balance is not formulaic. It changes over time.

The task we face today — at home and abroad — is to rethink how we can get the most from national, state and local authorities. Instead of recrimination and name-calling, we need more creative mixing. Effective politics are about building institutions that are neither too big nor too small. Democracy needs many young Goldilocks-inspired thinkers to help us find the sizes and shapes that are “just right.”  

Suri is a professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Department of History.

After this Thursday, the United Kingdom as we know it may cease to exist. Every registered voter in Scotland has the opportunity that day to cast a simple, straightforward vote: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? Yes/No.” The American media has barely touched the topic, and U.S. politicians and state officials have avoided making meaningful comment. Why should Americans care about the Scottish independence referendum taking place this week? Why should college students in particular be interested? I want to look past the numbers, although these should be enough to justify more attention to the topic. The U.K. is, after all, the world’s sixth-largest economy and stands to lose about 5 million people and $250 billion in gross domestic product in the event of Scottish independence. There are also significant implications for NATO, the European Union and national diplomatic services should a new country materialize on the northern tip of the British Isles. The current generation of college students should be viewing the Scottish independence movement as an experiment in popular democracy, a renewed model of politics for an age of fragmented allegiances, unequal influence and new media.

Until relatively recently, Scottish independence was considered a fringe movement, its motives defined largely by the Scottish National Party.  The SNP has developed a mixed political profile since its inception in the 1930s, with dips and spikes in membership reflecting its changing platforms. Until the last decade, its peak of success was considered to be a period in the 1970s when it sent several Members of Parliament, MPs, to the House of Commons in Westminster, where those MPs made a case for Scottish independence that did little to motivate anyone outside the party’s core.

The intervening years, however, have done much to reveal the democratic deficit that now forms the basis of a widespread, cross-party drive for independence. From 1979 to 1997, the Conservative Party, led first by Margaret Thatcher and then John Major, consistently held onto power in the U.K. Much of the party’s success has been attributed to its support base in the densely populated southeast of England. Scottish support for the Conservative Party has dramatically diminished since Thatcher’s first victory — and hasn’t been particularly strong since the 1950s. Scotland’s current constituency boundaries send 59 MPs to Westminster in a general election. In the last four of these, not more than one Conservative MP has managed to get elected in Scotland. The present U.K. government, however, is led by the Conservatives in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, a party that obtained only six Scottish seats in the last election. By contrast, the Scottish Parliament — which for our purposes here can be thought of as akin to a U.S. state legislature, though there are some significant differences — is dominated by the SNP and Labour Party, with a more pluralistic representation of other parties than that seen in Westminster. This situation, which seems intractable in light of a “No” vote on independence — and another potential Conservative victory in 2016 — has left many in Scotland feeling that their supposedly representative government in Westminster has no mandate north of the border.

To make a more direct comparison to American politics, the current situation in Scotland resembles a hypothetical American state, roughly the size of Colorado in terms of both population and economy, where the two-party Republican and Democrat system of Washington has simply ceased to exist. Instead, the dominant party in Congress has virtually no representation from this state, and the state’s own legislature is composed of multiple, more regionally focused parties that feel perpetually thwarted by Washington’s Republican and Democrat machines. 

Ideas that until recently seemed the dogmatic remnant of the SNP have spread across the political spectrum in Scotland, engaging younger voters in particular, who have transformed the notion of independence into a renewed and creative vision of participatory democracy. The outline of an independent Scotland, agreed upon across party lines, encourages local decision-making, constitutional reform and fairer representation for small political parties. While the SNP has often been accused of promoting “anti-English” attitudes and a vague ethno-nationalism — charges that had some merit in the 1970s — the cause of independence has been adopted by numerous English people living in Scotland as well as other immigrant communities within the country. 

Many latecomers to the Yes camp describe a journey from skepticism, or even scorn, to a hopeful sense of possibility for a more just and democratic society. “Inspiration” is a word that commentators on the Yes campaign tend to use regularly, and with justification. All indicators suggest that the vote on Thursday will be very close, and the majority may choose to stay bound to the United Kingdom. Even if that happens, there are vital lessons to be learned from this campaign that should be the source of inspiration far beyond Scotland’s borders. 

First, the independence campaign proves that no political system is too ossified to be broken apart. Second, the growth of the independence movement owes nothing to puppet masters. While it was once possible to easily conflate Scottish independence with a single political party, even unionists concede that the Yes campaign owes much of its success to a masterful use of new media, grassroots organizing and a diverse, self-supporting base. Finally, the independence movement cannot be reduced to a tired left/right dichotomy. Voters can only guess at the political composition of an independent Scottish parliament, but the Yes campaign is unified in its belief that more direct representation will produce a better outcome for all. Unusually, partisan rancor has been muffled by a diverse consensus around a common objective.

It is probably too late to hope for a similar style of politics to emerge in America before our next election cycle, but if the Scottish independence movement can teach us anything, it’s that “hope” and “change” don’t have to be empty slogans or targets of mockery, but can — and should — influence politics within a broad range of opinion. Whatever the outcome of Thursday’s referendum, Scotland has shown that politics outside of entrenched elites, big money and partisan warfare is not only possible, but may be the only route to building a more legitimate representative democracy.

Wilbur is a media support technician in the Perry-Castañeda Library.

Dr. Randy Jirtle gives a talk on epigenetics and gene imprinting in the Thompson Conference Center on Thursday evening. The lecture was a part of the Jean Andrews Centennial Visiting Professor lecture series.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

People really are what they eat, according to epigenetics professor Randy Jirtle of the University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, U.K.

At the 2014 Jean Andrews Lecture Series on Thursday, Jirtle discussed how nutrition affects a person’s epigenome, an organism’s record of heritable changes in gene function that do not affect the sequence of the DNA. Jirtle said epigenetics help explain why identical twins may vary in their susceptibility to diseases.

“One reason this can occur is because even though they have the same genome, they most likely do not have the same epigenomes,” Jirtle said.

According to Jirtle, a deficiency in nutrients during a woman’s first trimester of pregnancy can severely increase her child’s risk of developing schizophrenia or other chronic diseases such as diabetes or obesity. Jirtle said disease research shows the children of mothers who were pregnant during the Dutch famine from 1944-1945 were two to three times more likely to develop schizophrenia. 

“We have now shown that exposure to environmental agents during pregnancy can alter adult disease susceptibility by modifying the epigenome,” Jirtle said.

While schizophrenia may be caused by the lack of food during a mother’s pregnancy, it is possible that nutrition excess may cause a child to be more susceptible to developing autism, Jirtle said.

According to a graph Jirtle presented during the lecture, epigenetic research has been doubling every four years since the 1990s. Jirtle said this is because many types of sciences, such as epidemiology, fit underneath the umbrella of epigenetics.

“The field of science is doubling every 10 years, so the field of epigenetics is growing three times faster, basically, than the field of science in general,” Jirtle said. “It enlightened scientists to say that epigenetics is now the hottest thing in bioscience.”

Alejandra De Angulo Soriano, a nutritional sciences graduate student who helped coordinate the event, said she wanted Jirtle to give a lecture for the University because she believes epigenetics is an important field for nutrition.

“He is like the godfather of epigenetics,” De Angulo Soriano said.

Nutritional sciences graduate student Diana Gutierrez Lopez said she thinks Jirtle’s research on neurological diseases is inspiring to graduate students.

“Learning more about the human epigenome will make a great difference in the diagnosis of disease,” Gutierrez Lopez said.

UK band Daughter discusses tour mates, scary dreams and Austin barbecue

Daughter is an indie rock band from the UK. In an interview last fall (Sept 2013), band members Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli, and Remi Aguilella talk about touring with bands like Sigur Ros and the National, scary tour dreams, and eating Austin barbecue. Daughter is currently on a world tour and will play at Coachella later this year.

Fantastic Fest Day 2

Ti West is a master of methodical pacing, and his stories unfold at a precisely measured clip. “The Sacrament,” his latest film, is no exception, building ominously before taking a horrifying turn, and while it’s far from West’s most traditionally scary film, it’s easily his most accomplished.

Like many other films at this year’s festival, “The Sacrament” is a found footage piece, documenting a VICE crew’s infiltration of a cult compound. Sam (AJ Bowen) is incorrigibly inquisitive, slowly starting to understand the appeal of the compound, and his cameraman Jake (Joe Swanberg) is a lot slower to warm up to its charms. Amy Seimetz plays Caroline, the sister of their friend Patrick (Kentucker Audley) and their ticket into the compound, which is led by a charismatic enigma named Father (Gene Jones).

Ti West plucked Jones from a bit part on FX’s “Louie,” instantly recognizing him as the man for the role, and Jones tears into West’s script, playing Father with equally reassuring and chilling notes. Father is a grandstander, using buzzwords and mythmaking to manipulate his followers. It’s an outstanding performance from Jones, and one that anchors the film as things spiral into a disturbing climax.

AJ Bowen is solid here, helplessly curious and empathetic, and while Joe Swanberg’s role as the cameraman means he stays off-screen for the most part, he makes the most of his limited screentime. Amy Seimetz gives a magnetically daffy performance, maintaining a gentle warmth even as she’s performing some heinous acts in the film’s finale.

There’s a clear tipping point in “The Sacrament,” a moment when things take a decided turn towards the sinister, and it’s a perfectly subtle, chilling moment that pulls back the curtains on the compound. “The Sacrament” doesn’t have a ton of scares in the traditional sense, lacking any ghosts, zombie, or vampires, which makes its relentless finale all the more unpleasant. West stages a climax that’s aggressively disturbing, all the more so because it plays out in broad daylight, making for a hugely intense experience.

It bears to mention that, while “The Sacrament” is riveting, taut, and bluntly horrific, its approach to some familiar subject matter is in fairly bad taste, trivializing some very real, very terrible events in a fairly flippant manner. A moody score, unflinching approach, and great performances go a long way towards making the film as gripping and, yes, entertaining, as it is, but its misguided approach gives the film an undeniably ugly bent that’s hard to shake once the credits roll.

Among the other films that played Fantastic Fest yesterday, “Detective Downs”, a film about a PI afflicted with Downs Syndrome, is charming and surprisingly tactful. While it’s a bit overlong, the film’s original concept, strong performances, and a jazzy, memorable score keep it from dragging too much.

“A Field in England,” on the other hand, practically prides itself on its glacial pacing. The story of five men wandering a field in England, eating mushrooms and looking for treasure, plays like a Lars von Trier movie without any compelling parts. While there are excellent elements, especially the screenplay’s relatable, crackling dialogue, the stunning black & white photography, and a rhythmic score, “A Field in England” is mostly interminable nonsense, stretching 30 minutes of story out to excruciating length.

“We Are What We Are,” a remake of a Spanish film that played Fantastic Fest back in 2010, is the rare rehash that improves on its predecessor. In a gender reversal from the original, a family is left in the lurch after its matriarch dies, and eldest daughter Rose (Julia Garner) must step forward to continue the family’s tradition of ritualistic cannibalism. “We Are What We Are” may be a bit dour for the midnight slot, but it’s a fantastically moody work, beating the original for ambition, scope, and commitment to its premise, and featuring roundly solid performances. This Southern Gothic plays a delicate tonal game, and by the time it escalates to an absolutely insane finale, it’s easy to come along for the ride.

“The Sacrament” screens again Monday 9/23 at 4:50.

“Detective Downs” screens again Wednesday 9/25 at 5:45.

“A Field in England” screens again Wednesday 9/25 at 5:00.

“We Are What We Are” screens again Tuesday 9/24 at 11:45.

Nigerian artist Mary Evans said during her college years she was the only black student in her class, but this didn’t become the focus of her artwork until she had what she described as an eye-opening experience

A contemporary mixed media artist, Evans discussed the evolution of her art, focusing on themes of immigration, cultural preservation and identity in her work at a talk on Monday. 

Born in 1963 in Lagos, Nigeria, Evans immigrated to England at the age of five. As a result, Evans said the majority of her education was taught from a primarily British perspective. Evans said she was usually one of only a handful of minority students for the duration of her experiences in college. 

In Amsterdam, after visiting the immigration office, she was cleared for three months to study, while other students were allowed to study uninterrupted for a year. This experience shifted the focus of her work.

“I was too Nigerian for the Dutch, [and] too Nigerian for the British,” Evans said.

Evans said she remembered trying to figure out whether or not she could ever belong in her new home.

“My mom has lived in England for twice as long as she has in Nigeria, but when she says home, she means Nigeria,” Evans said.

The unifying theme in her art is the constant movement of cultures as a result of immigration.

“The core of my practice, really, is how people move around the world and what cultural capital you take with you,” Evans said.

Evans said she likes to keep her images simple because extraneous details tend to distract from the message. According to Evans, a very direct, pictographic image says a lot.

For her medium, Evans works primarily with brown paper and traditional household items, including doilies and gingerbread biscuits.

“As a painter, I would always print in an offset way,” Evans said.

Evans said she let go of more formal painting techniques while in Amsterdam.

“I don’t need fine art material to make art,” she said.

Faith Ann Ruszkowski, a journalism and business sophomore, said she admired the paradoxical element of Evan’s art. 

“I like the impermanence of her art,” Ruszkowski said. “She makes temporary work through permanent work, which was a relic of the past.” 

Evans’ lecture was one in a series of speaking engagements meant to introduce students and faculty to professionals working in art.

Eddie Chambers, associate professor of art history and African and African American studies, organized Monday’s lecture. Chambers said the goal of the series was to connect the community directly with artists.

“[The goal is] to hear directly from artists,” Chambers said. “Artists have their own way of illuminating their practice.”