Saturday, 13 February 2016

MEANWHILE - Newcastle University 1st Year MFA Exhibition























Last night was the preview of the 1st Year Newcastle University MFA exhibition, MEANWHILE...

The exhibition is located in a number of the exhibition spaces within the Fine Art department of Newcastle University.

Each artist has contributed a number of works and a variety of media are used.

Hannah Cooper's manipulation of materials produces beautiful results. Threads of delicate melted glue hang from the ceiling of the Atrium. In the Long Gallery Hannah exhibits a couple of works made from creased paper (the description does not do it justice-watch out for photos in later posts), a paper sculpture with feathers pierced through, and a clay sculpture. There is a sensibility to the way that the materials are manipulated.

Similarly, Mehan Fernando's exquisite photorealist oil paintings are positioned carefully on the smooth  surfaces of the pieces of wood, with the figures aligning with the natural wood grain or markings on the surface. It is hard to be disgusted by the deformed specimens that feature in the paintings because of the demonstration of immense skill in the way he paints. In the Tic Space Mehan has ventured into less familiar territory and installed a number of objects on the wall and a few clay sculptures that resemble spines.

A couple of Anna MacRae's small creatures are sneakily lurking in the Long Gallery and Tic Space, but her larger sculptures occupy the Project Space. In contrast to Mehan's highly controlled and precise oil paintings, Anna's work has a more immediate and experimental appearance. That said, the care, attention to detail and rigorous thought that goes into making the work is evident. The lighting plays a huge part in setting the dramatic scene for the monochrome forms made from materials such as cardboard, parcel tape, foil, latex and paint. The three components have a relationship with each other, taking on different characters.

Pipi Lovell-Smith exhibits a sound work in the Tic Space and has two flat screen monitors playing her work in the Long Gallery. One monitor shows a collaged stop motion animation in which the background scenery resembles a tourist attraction. The action comes from birds flying overhead, a tourist dancing and people taking photographs of the monument in the background. The other monitor has two screens, both showing the same couple in a rowing boat, but from different perspectives. The boat in one of the screens moves from left to right and the boat in the other screen enters the screen on the right and travels to the opposite corner of the screen. Something fascinating happens at the end; a kind of reversal. 

James Joseph Lloyd has a projection in the Tic Space, a painting in the Long Gallery and a painting in the Atrium. I have been used to seeing the two paintings in close proximity to each other in the studio, so they are seen very differently when separated and exhibited in different rooms.    

It is obvious that the group have worked together to curate the exhibition, and the negotiation of space has been carefully considered.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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