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6th January 2017

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.”

Down in the Echo Chamber runs in the York College Gallery until the 31st January.


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