In late 2015 we went down to Cardiff for the Private View of "Exposure", a group exhibition organised by creative students and sponsored by Cass Art. Since the event we've had the chance to catch up with our Cardiff Student Ambassador, Sarah, who tells us a little more about what happened...
Where and when did the event take place, and who was involved?
The residency and exhibition were held in early December at The Abacus in Cardiff, a large and interesting venue much-loved by the art student community of the city. We gave ourselves three days to make the work, and opened the exhibition to the public on Friday the 11th, immediately after finishing our pieces in the space. All of the exhibiting artists are third year students of Fine Art or Illustration at Cardiff Metropolitan University. We are: Sarah Padbury, Ethan Dodd, Magdalena Lackowska, Emily White, Eloise Barratt, Sam Wall, Rhys Scorey, Miller Elliot, Nathan Mullis, Fingal Green, Emily Panizzi, Heather Kirk and Mabli Eustace.
Why did you choose the name “Exposure”? How does it relate to the work?
This show is the second for us as a group, and follows on from the exhibition "Substance", which we organised the previous year. To us, "Exposure" translated as a breaking down of barriers between the artists in the group, which we hoped may spark a newfound closeness between us and the wider public. By making our work together in the exhibition space we created a new environment, where ideas and inspiration were able to bounce off one artist to another. Our differing world views and opinions melded together over the course of the residency, and by inviting the public to view the work within the studio space, we were able to put the shamanic nature of art-making on-show. The making of the work became intinsic to the exhibition, allowing a feeling of closeness between the viewer, the space and the artist. From the perspective of personal artistic growth, we hoped that this may lead to candid and insightful feedback from the audience, many of whom were not artists themselves.
Were there any stand-out themes within the show?
Since we were working in such close proximity to one another it's unsurprising that intrinsic connections emerged between each artist's work. Recurrent themes seemed to surface throughout the show, including emotional experience, colour theory, abstraction, mysticism, esoteric occultism, and explorations of the nature of human consciousness.
What materials were used by the artists?
There was a vast range of materials used throughout the residency; everything from spray paint, to clay, to found objects and light. Dead materials, such as wool, feathers, and lard were also adopted by a number of the artists. Cass Art were kind enough to send us a range of additional materials to experiment with, including spray paints, acrylic, paper and brushes, which were all used to great effect over the course of the residency.
How was the exhibition received by the public?
We were really happy with the public reaction! The private view attracted a large and varied crowd of people throughout the night, and since we had arranged live music for the duration of the evening, there was a fun, excited atmosphere in the space. We had recently received some unexpected news that the The Abacus would soon be closing down, which was incredibly sad for ourselves and other members of Cardiff's creative scene, many of whom came along to show their support and gratitude to the venue. This meant that that it became a real celebration of the space itself, as well as the artists and the work on show.
Will you be doing anything similar in the future?
We are all currently in our third year of study, which means the next big exhibition will be our degree show in June! While we may not have time to organise another show during our undergraduate careers, we have bigs plans for after we graduate. We hope to find and run a new exhibition space in Cardiff, where we can continue to feed our passion for creativity; making work, holding shows and helping the next generation of art students in the city.
Take a look at more of the artists' work online: Sarah Padbury, Ethan Dodd, Nathan Mullis, Fingal Green, Emily Panizzi, Eloise Barratt, Mabli Eustace, Rhys Scorey, Mylo Elliot, Heather Kirk, Emily Unsworth White, Sam Wall, Magdalena Lackowska
Shop online for art materials at Cass Art.