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Week 33 Contemporary Fine Arts Exhibition

Week 33 Contemporary Fine Arts Exhibition

The Art Space Gallery in Portsmouth presented Week 33; an exhibition featuring the “Work in Progress” series by final year Contemporary Fine Art students from the University of Portsmouth. This exhibition was one of a series that the students are presenting as a build up to their final show in May 2016. 10 students were involved, covering many different subjects using mediums such as sculpture, drawing and print.

I spoke to some of the students who filled me in on the progress of their work and the meaning behind the exhibitions.

Jessica Sandwell said “The purpose of doing the exhibitions before the final Graduation show is to build some traction and get people talking about the artwork, so that at the final exhibition they get as many people through the door as possible.
We’ve been showing our current ‘work in progress’ to build a narrative for the audience. As people follow the smaller shows throughout the year, they can see where the work started and where it finishes at the end.”

The Contemporary Fine Art course will unfortunately be cut from the university after this year, so this exhibition presents the work of the very last Fine Artists that will be graduating. For Jessica, this has made her final year a bit of a struggle. The studio space has been reduced, and some of them have had their ambitions of studying a Master degree at the university cut short. However, the excitement of representing the course for the very last time has given the students a great energy to prove how successful they’ve been.

The exhibition opened Friday night but closes today so if you can get yourself down to Art Space between 12-4pm if you would like to check it out.

Study of the Female Nude by Jessica Sandwell
“This piece is a reaction to the misinterpretation of the female form in society today. From false representations on social media to unrealistic expectations set by photographs in magazines and online, Jessica’s art work questions the false interpretation we’ve become so accustomed to and aims to normalise and de-sexualise the female body.

“I chose the concept based on the first nude model that I used and the way that she felt about herself and how she felt she’d be viewed negatively. I’m exploring feminist art and investigating my own thoughts about the subject through my work. As a young woman I feel that physically, we are misinterpreted in society. My work is personal. It is an exploration of the questions that I have; a reflection of my personal feelings around the subject and also a reflection of the way I think things should be.”

Study of the female nude

What Does Everyone Value? By Rachel Grant
“My most recent work has been exploring the idea of value. I am fascinated with what is valued and how the idea of value itself is interpreted by different kinds of people. My piece exhibits the values of 148 anonymous people, displaying a range of answers from social to economic value.”

What does everyone value

The Spirit Eye by Brett Yalden
“Over the years I have been looking at the Art of Sequential design as well as the art of comics and narrative. This piece is two pages of a comic book I wish to turn into a full issue.”

The Spirit Eye

Unstable Existence by Abbie Luke
“I have a real interest in endangered animals. There are now 41,415 species on the IUCN Red List. The Polar Bear is one of the animals listed and according to researchers there are only 25,000 left in the wild. Therefore the aim of my work is to highlight how unstable the Polar Bear is.”

Unstable Existence

Anxiety Box by Elli Janaway-Murphy
“Through my journey with Anxiety, I have constantly felt trapped inside my own box, unable to let problems out and struggling to allow help in. Unless they have experienced it personally, there are not many people that truly understand what it is like to be trapped inside yourself.”

Anxiety Box


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