York College

Exhibitions at the Gallery

'Down in the Echo Chamber'

(6th January - 31st January)

Two former students, Alex Haywood and Matthew Fletcher, who studied the Art Foundation course at York College have returned to their old stomping ground with a collection of new works entitled Down In the Echo Chamber.  While different in methods of execution, both artists employ forms influenced by cartoons and consumerist graphics, humour, and the increasing middle-classness of the art world.


Two peacocks walk into a bar. The first peacock turns to the second and says “what did you think of that exhibition?” And the second peacock replies “well I thought it was interesting, both artists appeared to have used familiar narrative elements, symbols and motifs whilst presenting unfamiliar scenarios. Elements are exaggerated, saturated and repeated. The commentary is all about how in society if we fail to look outside of our own sphere of influence we risk thinking we know what is going on around us; but in reality we are just spectators of familiar scenarios. For example, if you were to present a piece of text as a joke but then abandoned that format and write a monologue it confuses how your brain expects to interpret the information later on.”
After completing the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design in 2011 and 2012 respectively, Aled and Matthew then progressed to study BA (Hons) Painting at Edinburgh College of Art.  They now live and work in Scotland, Aled based in Glasgow and Matthew in Edinburgh. Aled is a former student of Manor CE Academy School, who also studied A Levels in Fine Art and Photography at York College, and Matthew is formerly of Fulford School.


Art & Design tutor Steven Hemingway taught both artists. He says: "It is wonderful to have two former students come back to the College to put on such an inspiring exhibition. It is great to see how they have developed during their degree’s and they are a real inspiration for our current students on the Foundation Diploma and other courses. Edinburgh College of Art is one of the best places to study Fine Art Painting and it is a challenge to be offered a place on the course, let alone do as well as these former students have.” 



'There Will Always be Cowboys'

(31st October - 1st December 2016)

York College Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Newcastle based artist Cath Campbell. There Will Always be Cowboys is a dreamlike film-poem that takes the viewer on a journey through the American landscape from Oklahoma, through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and ending in California. 

cath campbell 2WEB

The route follows the ‘Mother Road’, a name coined by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath, a novel that documents the lives of the dustbowl migrants – high plains farmers who fled drought and dust storms during the great depression – and as such There Will Always be Cowboys makes an intentional connection between this historical mass migration and the contemporary political climate across the Western world.

Deliberately lo-fi in its process and aesthetic, the film is made by collaging together clips from amateur travel videos found on YouTube. The dialogue in each clip is translated by Google automatic captions, and the resulting subtitles are full of slight mis-translations that provide a disquieting and poetic quality to the narrative.  The clips are stitched together to create short film-poems that refer to the idea of the ‘stream of consciousness’– a literary device in which the writer attempts to remove rational thought, instead presenting the inner consciousness of the characters. The use of found and incidental imagery of American life creates a narrative sequence that is heavy with romantic reference and familiar cinematic imagery interrupted by strangely banal and absurd moments from the minutiae of the personal lives of the original authors.

cath campbell 3WEB

There Will Always be Cowboys is the latest short film by Cath Campbell taken from her on-going series ‘Canary yellow with royal blue’ following classic literary, cinematic and historical road trips across the American landscape.

The exhibition runs from 31st October - 1st December 2016 in the York College Gallery, opening times: Monday to Friday 9.00am -5.00pm

Cath Campbell (Born 1972 Ilkeston, UK) studied Fine Art at Newcastle University, and continues to live and work in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.  Her work encompasses drawing, photography, sculpture, digital printmaking, installation and large-scale architectural interventions. With a particular interest in the socio-political meaning invested in an object or image when dislocated from its original surroundings and placed within a new context, Campbell appropriates, collects and collages found images and materials, then through a process of manipulation, repetition and rearrangement, she re-presents these to question the disconnect between reality, desire and experience.

Cath has work in several public and private collections and is represented by Workplace Gallery, Gateshead.

Solo Exhibitions:
2016 My mum was a beatnik/canary yellow with royal blue, Baltic 39, Newcastle, UK
Canary yellow with royal blue, DLI and Durham Art Gallery, Durham, UK
2014 Everything we do corrects the space, Workplace Gateshead
2012 Ideal Mexico, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK
 Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, Open Space, Cologne, Germany

 Possibly Maybe, Cragside House, Northumberland, UK

'Let's Throw a Party'

(12th September - 13th October 2016)

Kick-starting the academic year, York College is delighted to have a former Art and Design student Dan Howden exhibiting his latest 'Let's Throw a Party' collection in the York College Gallery

Sixty Nine Eh2000WEB

Dan, formerly of Fulford School, completed the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at York College in 2012 and was awarded a Distinction for his final major project.  On leaving College Dan progressed onto the BA (Hons) Illustration degree at Liverpool John Moores University, achieving a first class honours.  This exhibition features work created for Dan’s degree show as well as new work created over the last year. Dan is now embarking on an MA in Illustration at Manchester School of Art. 

Says Dan: “I was introduced, somewhat reluctantly, to linocut during my Foundation year at York College. At the time, I was content and heavily invested in painting inaccurate acrylic portraits of Chris Martin, and wasn’t willing to experiment. The smell of the ink, at the time, was lino’s only redeeming quality. 

Zayn On Everything1200WEB

Due to my initial reluctance to embrace linocut, I wound up teaching myself how to etch later than most and this led to the conception of my unconventional printing technique that I still use today. My method isn’t the only aspect that’s seen little change since College; my equipment hasn’t either. From the glass chopping board that I stole from my mum back in 2011, to the secondary school-standard inks that I continue to use for their vividness, I find the idea and its composition far out-weigh the quality of the equipment at my disposal.

Al Hassan Al Basri 2000WEB

My work is predominantly architectural. This came about through a solo pilgrimage to Cape Cod in 2014 before my final year of university. Whilst there, I was struck by how much its toy town-like aesthetic leant itself to lino and subsequently set about illustrating it on my return. Due to its effectiveness, I decided to run with it, and have spent my glorified ‘gap year’ capturing scenes of personal interest from London, Kuwait, York and Liverpool, in preparation for York Open Studios.

When, on occasion, not architectural, I’m heavily influenced by zeitgeist and my own (predominantly melancholy) nostalgia, which I then combine with my appreciation for western pop culture to make my personal themes more accessible to a wider audience. I really enjoy referencing things from the outside world in order to give the work multiple layers that the viewer can discover at their own leisure.”


Dan Howden's recent exhibitions and events include:

Featured on It’sNicethat.com for a second time
Finalist in the Nobrow illustration Category for an Exhibition held at TimberYard Seven Dials, London
Accepted into the Manchester School of Art to study MA illustration
Exhibited at Canal 180’s design festival in Portugal
Quit the Royal Collage of Art
Exhibited at York Open Studios 2016
Featured in Printed Pages 2016
Accepted into the Royal College of Art to study Visual Communication
Hung first Exhibition at York City Screen
Delivered a lecture on linocut at Queen Ethelburga’s School
Featured in Cape Cod magazine

Recipient of the Thomas Sheppard Award at the 2015 LSOAD Degree Show
Graduated from Liverpool John Moores - First Class BA Hons
Placed 4th in People of Print’s Graduate Print Awards 2015
Produced some speculative work for ‘Time Crisis’ an Apple Radio broadcast - featured briefly on iTunes
Sold first batch of prints to a collector from TX, USA
Featured on It’sNiceThat.com
Received first commissioned work from Intern Magazine