By Aaron Hurst – News Editor
From the 27th January to the 2nd February, the School of Creative Arts’ Level 5 Fine Art Students put together their annual exhibition inside the university’s art gallery.
The exhibition, named ‘REPOSITION/COLLISION’, displayed intentionally contrasting works of art that reflected particular major events that occurred in the last year. The term ‘reposition’ in the exhibition’s name represented Britain voting to leave the European Union and the conflicts that have happened and continue to happen in the Middle East. The term ‘Collision’, meanwhile, represented the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States.
According to Exhibitions Curator Annabel Lucas, the exhibition had taken place annually for the last three years.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for [the students], but quite challenging too as they have to think about not only their own individual work, but how it all comes together.
“[The students] worked incredibly well as a group within their defined roles, a curator group, a technical group, photographers, PR, and they’ve all brought it together as a whole.”
The main aim within the exhibition’s planning process was to provide contrast between each student’s work. Level 5 Fine Art student Nadia Maria was keen to explain.
“It’s the culture clash of us as artists representing our own ideas, as well as reflecting on what’s happened throughout the years, especially with Trump and Brexit.
“We were thinking about juxtaposing between each other’s artwork, as well as our ideas and our flows. It kind of created this clash within it, a collision.
“We also positioned [the artworks] in different scales, manners, and levels for the viewer’s eye, and it’s flowed very well.”
According to curator Bryan Ridpath, the aspect of contrast was a key aim of the exhibition’s planning process.
“The initial idea was to show how different each artist in our year group were, and we decided to play on that difference between them.
“It kind of led itself to juxtaposing and contrasting, which led to political and social events, like Brexit, that divided opinions.”
Although there were feelings of happiness and pride around the gallery about the final result on the opening night, some members of the team insisted that the task of putting the exhibition together was not without its setbacks.
“We have this rather enormous space that can be fantastic to work with, but can also be quite a tussle to make the art work.” Exhibitions Curator Annabel Lucas stated.
“I think it’s great that [the gallery] is a walkway through, and there’s so much happening through here, so the work here can be seen by many people from the campus, but it also makes it quite a tricky space to work with.”
Furthermore, engineer Asa Miller, for whom the REPOSITION/COLLISION showcase was his second annual exhibition, commented on the intensive nature of the process leading up to the exhibition’s opening night.
“We had been working on [the exhibition] for about a day and a half. It’s been quite intense, but the groups have been very well organised. Everyone’s done their bit, and everyone’s pulled together, it’s been very successful.”
Asa also described the students he worked with to put together this year’s showcase as ‘a pleasure to work with’, and stated that it isn’t just the students’ education that benefits from putting the exhibitions together.
“As the years go on, we learn as well as the students, so we’re able to offer a little bit more from things that we learn. But, it’s always down to the individual students to come up with the goods at the end of the day, which is something we can’t control.”
The exhibition also featured multiple showings of a short silent performance by fine art students Seda and Muz, titled ‘Black Paint’, which, according to Seda, was put together to show ‘how disconnected people were through technology’.
The general consensus among everyone present at the opening night of the REPOSITION/COLLISION seemed to be positive, with friends and family pleased with what the Level 5 Fine Arts students, curators, and engineers had put together, and it can be surmised that the team will come away with good memories about the event to keep for years to come.