I wanted to visit this years show to see what standard was expected at BA (Hon) level and also at MA level. The exhibition was based in one building, which incidentally was where I met my husband. It was over two floors the MA being on the first floor level. The exhibits were quite varied with installations rubbing shoulders with filmed pieces. Each artist had beside their work their artists statement, some where quite descriptive of their work and intentions with their pieces, others were more obscure. One installation I particularly liked was using bricks by Guy Curtis called Untitled Mk2. I was captivated by it. The bricks formation was quite appealing to the eye,and In viewing I found that I felt quite comforted by it, though unsure why? I do remember thinking that it allowed me to feel rooted, firm in my foundations, and I also was left wondering about the gold brick that was placed on one section. I wasn’t aware of why it was there but it to me added humour but also was aware of its difference and whilst I applaud support difference, I did feel a hint of aggression from it. It was bold in its difference almost provocative and challenging?
The following image shows the second section of this work which faced the above piece.
Priya Patel had in her exhibition space sheets of patterns she had designed. The patterns where bright, almost psychedelic. Hers was 2 dimensional, where others had elements of three dimensions in theirs.
Patel draws from her Indian heritage but puts a modern twist on traditional themes from Indian pattern. She notes in her statement that ‘…using geometric patterns in an abstract and bold manner to create overwhelming artworks. They are designed to be elaborate and brave to create a façade contradictory to my personal attributes’. I see the expanse she has created and admire the bravery of its size. It is obvious that this would’ve been quite a challenge for her. I did however want her to have filled the room with it, to make a more bold statement, a celebration of her endeavours. I also think that she could’ve added a three dimensional element to play on the patterns ability to distort perspective. To challenge the pattern and the viewer.
Max Whiteleg had produced an Heath Robinson type of machine which was attached to his bicycle. It was in fact a drawing machine with a pinhole camera. He records his journey and resting place using this device, which needs water to develop the images. In effect he can document his journey, each one produces one piece of work. Ingenious. Not only was I impressed at the ingenuity of thinking up the idea of recording his journey in this way, creating such a machine and also being able to produce a model that worked, it was also a beautiful exhibit to view.
One other exhibition I liked because of how the artist had interpreted her subject was by Kaya Bradshaw. She documented the progression of illness and health within her family. She created using a variety of materials models of the organs that had been affected in her relatives, documenting the damage the condition has on those organs.
The image above shows illustrations of the every day words spoken by her relatives. Not detailing their conditions but just the normal narrative that goes on between life’s circumstances. I found this particularly moving.
Overall I was impressed by the subjects the artists had chosen to work with. By this I mean they must have followed some process in order to come to the subject and then to develop a body of work. I find this to be the thought that occupies my mind when looking at any exhibit, since I can remember. How does an artist produce the thoughts that then germinate into a finished piece? I am finding that fascinating in observing my own developing processes. I am guessing that that will be consistently in my mind however long I work.