The Fine Art and Professional Practice Degree students, along with those on other creative courses from Blackpool and Fylde College, opened their end of year show last Thursday night at the University Centre.
Three years after finishing my own Degree there I was asked by the fine art students to come along and visit their show; how could I say possibly say no. As an artist I find degree shows to be a fantastic way to check out the new competition.
Collectors have a perfect chance to snap up new work. For studio owners and curators, it is a great opportunity to chat to the artists about involvement with their galleries and organisations. Best of all the students themselves can celebrate with family and friends on a wonderful night highlighting all their endeavours.
As I wandered around the exhibition it was great to see that all of that was happening. The show had a real buzz of excitement and it was clear to see the pride in the faces of the tutors for the hard work put in by the staff and students alike to create such a magical evening.
Having already exhibited one piece at their degree show in Manchester this year, the exhibition at the university is a chance for the fine art students to show their full collection on home soil. Blackpool and Fylde College support their students in their own creative personal journey making their degree show one of my favourites to visit. This year’s show once again demonstrated the diversity of styles and techniques that are not often as apparent at other universities and is fitting to the art scene found in the town itself.
In the fine art exhibition, which is situated on the first floor over a series of rooms, two artists really stood out to me. Zoey Devaney who was featured in The Double Negatives article “Class of 2018-The North Wests top fine art graduates” occupies the corner space in one of these rooms. An interdisciplinary artist concerned with the relationship between nature and the environment, she has created a series of sculptures from a selection of materials that have then been layered into plastic bottles. The result is surprisingly delicate. The layers within the sculptures have then been abstracted and reproduced on the back wall of her space in paintings. While the subject matter is a serious one, the work itself is very also very aesthetically pleasing.
I was also taken with the work of Mark Hetherington. Hetherington has delved back to the time of the witch trials in Lancashire to reflect upon the rise of intolerance towards outsider groups. His work was well presented with a solid skill level and a captivating concept. I am looking forward to seeing what Hetherington does next.
Congratulations to all the students of the Class of 2018 and Good Luck!
Photograph courtesy of Mark Hetherington
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