Exhibitions at the Gallery
29th January 2020
While at pivotal points in each of their Fine Art degrees, four alumni from the York College Art Foundation Diploma have come together to curate a show of their recent works, titled PIVOT.
All the artists are in the second year of their degree, studying at various places across the country. Jess Miller and Declan Clark are currently at Leeds Beckett University, Tom Pieces is studying at Manchester School of Art and Kerensa Murray is studying at Central Saint Martins.
Aiming to transform the Gallery space at York College, they have displayed a wide range of media including video, sculpture and performance which shows the importance they place on experimentation. At this early stage of their careers, they hope that this exhibition will serve as an example of what current Contemporary Art students at York College might expect when progressing to the next level.
By painting the walls various colours and patterns, and putting up golden shimmering curtains, they have created a space that not only invites a wider audience but also seeks to change the way art is viewed in this context. While there are inspirations from artists such as Rachel Maclean, Alan Kaprow and Hayley Newman respectively, the installation as a whole is reminiscent of the Memphis movement; a reaction against the status quo. Because “good taste” is overrated anyway, this show is certainly not one to be missed.
Steven Hemingway, curator of the gallery space says “It has been a great opportunity for these students to return to York College and present work in the exhibition space. They have used the space as a test bed for their ideas and it is useful for them to gain critical feedback before they begin to create work for their degree shows next year. It is bright, full on and kitsch and It is always really interesting to see what our students go on to produce and how their practice changes whilst studying at degree level”.
PIVOT exhibition is in the Gallery at York College until 13th February 2020.
7th November 2019
A new exhibition in The Gallery at York College features Perilune Behind the Scenes, by Mister Finch – a textile artist w whose fairytale creatures and books bring fairytales bang up to date with surprising and often dazzling results.
Self-taught, Mister Finch works alone in a small studio in Leeds, taking old and found objects and sewing and twisting them into characters with strange roles and jobs.
In the past he has created Badgers running a secret post office system, wishing mice and spiders who carry love letters and this year we meet Perilune a magical hare boy, a huge pink bumblebee and moonlit tales of the sea. Mister Finch's show brings all the props and pieces from his latest book together, from the stories main hero Perilune himself to the curious Marvelings...his moon guitar and favourite red kite.
This display of hand made and hand sewn objects grants the viewer a rare chance to see everything up close. From vintage velvets, brass wheels to a glaring single moon eye this strange and magical collection is a real Christmas treat for all ages.
Perilune Behind the Scences runs from 11th November – 19th December in the York College Gallery.
16th September 2019
Material-Process-Object is the first exhibition of the 2019/20 academic year in The Gallery at York College, and is the culmination of a project led by York College alumni Paul Digby, celebrating the front line of the UK’s public sector.
Developed between 2016 and 2019, the project involved Paul working with the emergency services, drawing and sculpting them in classical poses, in addition to collaborations with different community groups including schools, universities, galleries and museums. As well as the sculptures and drawings Paul delivered a series of workshops to Shakespeare Primary School and the COOP Academy Secondary School in Leeds, as well as Lionwood Infants School in Norwich. Each child created a small clay figurative sculpture and these are included in the exhibition Material-Process-Object.
Watch this video to find out more about Paul's incredible project:
“There are two key strands to this project, the first is aesthetic and conceptual. This representation of the emergency services as statuesque, massively sculptural figures in splendid isolation. They are isolated pictorially, and this actually reminds us that these crucial and often very separate roles that our emergency services, play in our lives can be isolating and at time, traumatic. They are ordinary people who perform extraordinary roles and in my experience possess extraordinary abilities and determination. The second aspect is the role of art as a collaborative practice, the artist Joseph Beuys I think coined the term ‘social sculpture’ back in around 1968, but since that time, ‘socially engaged practice’ has come to be more widely understood and more widely valued as a vehicle for dialogue through and around the arts.”
Professor Neil Powell, Pro Vice-Chancellor Norwich University of the Arts
“Paul Digby’s drawings of public sector workers are truly remarkable. Each portrait takes around four months to compose and devotes meticulous attention to technical equipment, uniform, posture, embodiment and expression - not of landowners or of CEOs, or even celebrities - but of public sector workers in the emergency services. Digby’s art calls out and celebrates the people who work every day to save our lives and our homes, the people whose rewarding work makes them fit only for pay and job cuts in the age of austerity.”
Ruth Holliday (2019), Professor of Gender and Culture, University of Leeds
The condition of the socially engaged artist. His work is both dependent on and a product of successive, and successful, collaborations. With the current economic climate forcing society to prioritise basic, physical needs over that of our mental and emotional health, art is at risk of becoming side-lined (despite increasing studies suggest a fundamental parallel between the two). More than just presenting the likenesses of public sector workers, Digby’s collaborative practice points to the artist’s position as the missing emergency service, the resulting body of work articulately addresses the urgent and vital role art can play in our lives.”
Claire Allerton (2019), East Gallery NUA
At York College Paul Digby studied a Hairdressing Apprenticeship (1989), the BTEC and Foundation Diploma Art & Design (1991-94), and progressed to Norwich University to study a degree in Visual Studies (1997). Paul then completed an MA in Fine Art at Leeds University (2002). Over the last twenty years he has been a successful practicing artist, working around the country.
Material-Process-Object runs from 16th September – 24th October in The Gallery, York College