A fine exhibition showcases art students talent

Fine Art students from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) are showcasing their artistic talents as they unveil a series of new contemporary artworks at an exhibition at the Python Gallery in Middlesbrough.

This is the first exhibition at the Python Gallery for the talented artists, after a successful debut of works at the art venue House of Blah Blah in December.

The students, who are currently on the second year of their BA (Hons) Fine Art degree at the University-level campus in Hartlepool, are exhibiting a fine art show including sculptures, paintings, mixed media art, video and photography until 28 April.

The show is taking place in the upstairs gallery space, which the students have titled ‘Jamais Vu’, which literally translates as ‘never seen’. As the opposite of déjà vu, the art will reflect the ‘phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognises in some fashion, but that nonetheless seems very unfamiliar’.

Dr Jonathan Chapman, Programme Leader for Fine Art, said: “The exhibition is the outcome of their professional studies module and a practical module called ‘situating personal practice’ which asks students to bring their work out of their studios and find public contexts for it. In March and April, not only have our second year students organized this excellent group show at the Python Gallery but individuals have also had work in venues including Hartlepool Art Gallery, Palace Arts in Redcar and the Fresh Exhibition 2016 in Thirsk. Our students are able to benefit greatly from working closely with Platform A Gallery curator and artist, Tony Charles who is also a Fine Art Lecturer at CCAD.”

As all the students have completely different interests, the work on display covers a wide variety of styles and subjects for the public to enjoy. Student Sarah Burley, from Darlington, is showcasing her abstract work of oil paintings, inspired by nature and the colours within the natural environment, and has managed the publicity for the event.

The 21-year old said: “The exhibition came about as part of our professional studies work. We have organised the entire thing ourselves from finding the space to funding and marketing for it. It has been a challenge but it is very rewarding to see the work up and ready to be seen by the public. The group are excited to show their work and never shy away from an exhibition. Peter Hesleton and Python Gallery have been great to work with and have helped us with everything along the way.”

Mary Crick, a mature student from Linthorpe in Middlesbrough, is also taking part in the exhibition. As she was involved in the process of securing the Python Gallery as a venue, Mary is excited to see it come to fruition. She said: “We have all enjoyed working towards the exhibition and it is exciting to create work for a specific space, as we visited the room before we started to produce the artwork that would fill the demands of the room. It will be good to get feedback, positive or negative, because without the public reaction it is simply making work for ourselves which is not the job of a fine artist. We want the viewer to think about the world in a different way, which is our job in my opinion.”

For the gallery display, Mary is exhibiting a number of prints on canvas that investigates the many different roles shoes play in our society. Her pieces include ‘Deconstructed Slipper’ made from worn out slippers to reflect on the sadness of losing a comfortable pair of footwear, and ‘Red Carpet’ considers the constant round of events that celebrities attend in their high heeled shows.

Peter Heselton, Curator of Python Gallery, said: “The exhibition produced by the students involved is a remarkable achievement in the scope of the work undertaken and in the professionalism with which they have engaged with this opportunity. I am genuinely impressed by the very high standard to which they are currently working and feel that the show is cohesive, intelligent and inspiring.”

The exhibition is open from 10am until 2pm Monday to Friday and there is an opportunity to meet the artists at a special viewing on Saturday 23 April from 11am until 3pm.

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