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In review: BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree Show 2017

Written by Hannah and Théo from Dyad Creative.

To create is to manifest small microcosms of exploration that proliferate far further into the background of the work than is on display. As practitioners we labour for days, weeks, months, even years and at some point there is a meeting point between the work and the viewer.

Within the context of the institution, BA (Hons) Fine Art Course Leader Carl Rowe references the fourth industrial revolution, as part of the inevitable process of change in the world and society, on art and its production. It is true that we as artists, who are at the forefront of cultural, philosophical, psychological and educational change have the power to influence the future of how creativity can lead us into a new landscape of communication.

It is this position as novice that carries the weight of perpetuating the new whilst holding close the value of the past. There is currency in understanding the cycle of trial and error, of connecting material failure with individual and collective self. In Kōan Garden (pictured below), Lindsay Jolly defines with precise detail the value of material and process-led exploration, key to audience connectivity and understanding.

Fine Art Degree Show work by Lindsay Jolly at Norwich University of the Arts

There is clear focus in Chloe Gatrall’s interaction with her chosen material in Straight Up Belonging, rendering the mundane as reverential by placing it within the context of exhibition. To exhibit is to ‘manifest clearly’, and a work that creates tension between ones presence in the space and the work itself is to generate conscious thought-processing. The literal manipulation of movement from Holly Priestly’s Careful! allows the viewer to be both consciously and unconsciously controlled by the work and is a reminder of the power of spatial play.

As Michael James Lewis states in his catalogue contribution, artists must ‘be critical, engaged citizens of the world…if we aspire for change.’ Sarah Lancaster’s It Starts in the Throat, and Lingli-Lu’s Forever Ahead, push forward this engagement of physical self with the technologically influenced and crafted, for we must as artists, engage our capacity for lateral thinking and complex identity exploration.

Fine Art work by Lily Troup in the NUA Degree Show 2017

In reference to the banal once again being elevated, both through visual understanding and technological exploration consider Lily Troup’s Untitled (pictured above) not because it is what the world has thus far told us is beautiful but because there is room here and now to change what beautiful means, to understand that the questions are just as important as the answers and that it is only us now who can tell of the present for the future.

So whether this is the future of the student, who’s microcosm will move, expand, even burst once leaving the walls of the institution, or the future of the viewer, who stands to reason with what is presented in front of them, to decide what to hold in their mind for future reference, or even the future of the work itself, an idea observed and remembered somewhere further down the line.

No matter, the future is there, it lies amongst the shadows of those microcosms, it will be used and be useful in ways we cannot yet know. As Gregory Vass put it, ‘what gets us up in the morning, and what drives us … is this idea that at some point some change will happen for everybody in the room.’ This is the power of education, of studying, of art, and we are all students to the changes of the world around us.

Dyad Creative portrait picture of Hannah and Theo

Dyad Creative, Hannah & Théo

NUA Fine Art on Instagram

Norwich University of the Arts Fine Art Degree Show work by Holly Priestley

– Work by Holly Priestley

Norwich University of the Arts Fine Art Degree Show work by Sarah Lancaster

– Work by Sarah Lancaster

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