A Smart Price way of Life is the first solo exhibition by Manchester artist, and recent graduate of the University of Salford Contemporary Fine Art Masters, Jade Magenta Williams.
Through the combined use of documentary photography, objects, ephemera, and collage, Jade aims to make tangible her earliest memories of childhood. Referencing Asda’s budget range of products, the exhibition highlights the artist’s own working-class upbringing and acceptance of a ‘smarter’ way of life.
Jade presents various items from her own personal archive in order to create a visual biographical narrative of a particular time and place in her personal life. The items presented, draw from 1990s popular culture seeking to tap into our shared cultures. Operating on both a personal and a universal level, Jade weaves a singular narrative of class struggle, identity, culture, and consumerism. Using artifacts from her youth, Jade aims to highlight the struggle and simplicity of an upbringing in the welfare system with the sole purpose of debunking the myths associated with wealth and taste around luxury products and an aspirational lifestyle. The objects depicted, though products of a particular time and place, combine to form a unique exploration of self-identity, one that is often met with judgment and contempt within our society.