Thursday, 15 January 2015

Emergence – King’s Lynn Arts Centre 10-17 January 2015

This exhibition highlights the talent of young artists working locally as well as in the rest of the UK. A few of the artists have recently graduated with BAs or MAs in Visual Arts.

The twelve artists provided twenty pieces ranging from photography to contemporary installations using steel and wood.

From the handout it isn’t possible to determine which artists have a BA or MA and perhaps that doesn’t matter but my reaction to the exhibition as a whole was the range of talent from average to extraordinary and I was curious if the MA graduates were those (in my perception) who had made the better work.

As we are well aware the onus in a fine art exhibition (or any fine art work) is on the viewer to read the work and find our own narrative or gain some insight into the work from our perspective, the author having long gone.

The works that caught my eye during a short visit are mentioned below.

The first work by Jake Francis consisted of three items. A chair with a head on it (titled Stoopid #2), a painting (titled Artist)and a table with a plate, food and cutlery (titled Gloop). The content of each piece is bizarre and set out to be controversial. The picture is of an artist palette, but no paint, instead 3 lumps of animal (could be human) excrement. The head was from some fruit and the food on the plate looks like a dolls dress with a a brown fluid oozing from inside it, resembling an afterbirth with clothes on.

Jamie Kilcoin had produced 5 landscape photographs, mostly taken around the North Norfolk coast I would guess as I recognised some of the locations. Well produced work with lovely image quality and presentation. As a group they have a connection in genre but for me three in colour and two monochrome upset the rhythm of reading them as a set.

An interesting diptych from Ivan Chambers of a female in black leather bikini. In one she is in a church, in the other outside a Soho type theater. Various labels attached beneath the two images. All I get here is irony and a Charlie Hebdo type of cartoon effect. The message is not easy to read but has something to do with the fortune of sins. Not easy but well delivered.

Jasmine Ferrari produced an installation piece titled Madonna. Made from small section (25x25) softwood the piece is a masterful example of woodworking. It is intricate and has a balanced feeling with flat panels pained in colour. I know little about this type of work, my only thought being if it was designed for a particular site then here it maybe isn’t the right place.

The next item is also an installation. Five (maybe six) pieces of plywood laminated with glass suspended from part of the gallery structure gives us a love floating piece hanging in mid air. A light airy feel, again a work that is maybe designed for a specific location and would benefit from being against a wall of darker colour.

James Linder provided the second helping of photography by the presence of a lovely DeVere 10x8 camera as a floor installation. A gorgeous thing in its own right I assume it was the camera used to make the large portrait associated with it. Also present was a 5x4 wet plate collodion negative of the same image. There was no explanation but I assume a 5x4 back was used and what we have therefore is the narrative of the image from camera to print. The monochrome print is of a portrait of a man, front on and closely cropped and framed. Very Bailey was the first impression although the treatment of the image was high contrast with large black areas and that’s not quite Bailey. A combination piece of work that I came back to a number of times.

The next installation piece is by Amber Lawrence. Amber is the Visual Arts & Education Intern at the arts centre and I have met her a few times as she was the point of contact for last years Eastern Open. Ambers piece is constructed using square hollow section mild steel. She has made four frames, some 1500mm high that form a space for smaller white pieces of stonework. The frames act as support to hang the stone pieces and it is if the steelwork is sometimes the artwork and sometimes the support for the white pieces to be the artwork. Once again the work is being seen perhaps out of context and I was bothered by the tiled floor making another set of shapes that competed with the frames.

At the far end of the Red Barn there are 6 TV Monitors showing a continuous loop of a video work titled DRONE. Drone it would seem is a game with a voice telling us about the various levels of play. The pictures however show real life footage from aircraft on bombing raids on building in the Middle East. The combination of voice, music, graphics and footage was excellent and kept me engaged. The use of six screens gave one the feeling of being in a TV control room or the control room of the people engaged in the fighting. Well produced piece of video and installation by Henry Driver.

An experience looking at unfamiliar art and thinking about the "thinking" that the students had gone through to get the work completed and on display. It is difficult to say how any piece is likely to influence my own practice but it is good to see work at the level I aspire to.

The Arts Centre Website is here.

No comments:

Post a Comment