Exhibitions at the Gallery
'A New Vernacular'
(9th April - 11th May 2018)
An exhibition by Lisa-Marie Dickinson; ‘Vernacular’ – adjective: (of language) spoken as one's mother tongue; not learned or imposed as a second language, is showing in the York College Gallery between 9th April and 11th May 2018.
Lisa-Marie Dickinson (born 1993) is an artist, writer and teacher based at The Art House, Wakefield. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally after completing her degree in Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts in 2015. Since graduating she has developed her practice to encompass sculpture, print making, textile design and installation.
A New Vernacular is the second part to a solo exhibition entitled Mother Tongue, held at Serf, Leeds in October 2017. Interested in the ways language can manifest and the vessels of communication used in daily life, Dickinson uses snippets of conversation and excerpts from her notebook to create narratives for her work. A New Vernacular presents a series of tactile sculptural and fabric works portraying abstracted ways in which we can communicate; written language distorts to become nonsense and mid-sentence mouths become motifs for the act of speech in an exhibition where the works and the audience are invited and encouraged to be in conversation with each other.
Art & Design tutor, Steven Hemingway, who runs the Gallery space at York College says: “This is a thought provoking exhibition about language and communication. I am delighted to showcase Lisa’s work here at the College and I feel students, staff and visitors will enjoy this challenging exhibition.”
(9th - 29th March 2018)
The York College Gallery is showing to a new exhibition by Matt Swan, a painter and cartoonist living and working in London.
Matt studied BA (Hons) Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with first class honours in 2010. His current practice focuses largely on self-publishing short adventure comics with a penchant for absurdity and humour. His comic Parsley Girl: Carrots was shortlisted for the “Young People’s Comic Award 2016”.
Matt paints daft animals and silly wizards when not making comics. His exhibition,'Strange Surroundings' is a culmination of a painting project that aims to build a comprehensive picture of an imagined expedition into lands unknown and Matt is showing new works that he made especially with this exhibition in mind.
Art & Design tutor Steven Hemingway who runs the Gallery exhibition space at the College says: “This exhibition is a great way for our current students to see the work of a very talented painter and cartoonist. His work will no doubt be received well by all of the art and design students at York College, from Level 1 and 2, through to Level 3 students such as A-level and Extended Diploma up to post A-level courses such as the Art Foundation and Degrees – this really is an exhibition with something for everyone to enjoy.”
Matt Swain's 'Strange Surroundings' runs from 9th - 29th March 2018 in the York College Gallery.
'From the Future and Past'
(24th January 2018 - 22nd February 2018)
'From the Future and Past' is the latest exhibition to grace the York College Gallery. The artist, Pippa Eason, is a former York College Foundation Diploma Art & Design student (2011) who has now returned to the College to study a PGCE in Lifelong Learning.
Pippa’s work makes observations of the abstraction/perception of nature, the tangible, the everyday, and considers it within the accelerating art world. They act as props for the near fictional imagery displayed, they come to life, crumbling from the cocoon of reality, into the pixel generated sub-human culture. The use of symbols for example: dollar signs, cacti, chains, written word, and so on articulate the separation of art in life, against art on screen. These multi layered objects, or digital works serve as a signifier for the aesthetics of contemporary commerce, and viewing. Those aesthetics are then translated into the cyber world, reiterating itself over and over again.
Pippa completed an MA in Art & Design at Leeds Beckett University in September 2016. She is a Manchester based artist and a member of COLLAR studios. Her recent exhibitions have included Dishwasher Safe, System Gallery, August 2017 Newcastle, Launch of isthisit? Issue 2, ‘The Choice of A New Generation’, The Muse Gallery, (London) Cluny X Misugo, The Whitworth Gallery, September 2017 (Manchester), Sluice Biennial, September 2017, (Hackney, London).
Pippa says: “I had such a great time at York College studying the Foundation Diploma Post Level 3 course and the experience made me want to become an art tutor. I knew this was the place to come to study my PGCE becuse I feel so at home here. It’s fantastic to return with a solo exhibition in the Gallery. I always liked the space and I’m enjoying showing current students my work, and teaching them how to put an exhibition together. It’s good that they can see what it is like to be a practicing artist in the real world.”
'From the Future and Past' runs until 22nd February 2018
'From Personal to the Political'
(19th December 2017 - 11th January 2018)
Fine Art students studying the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and the Extended Diploma in Art and Design have taken over the York College Gallery to showcase their work currently being made in the College's studios, as part of their course.
The show is a “work in progress” pop-up exhibition entitled 'From Personal to the Political' - it is the culmination of the students' last project in which they chose a news story from which to generate ideas and then develop into pieces of contemporary art. The project produced a wide variety of responses ranging from environmental issues inspired by the Blue Planet, to the demolition of Victorian mills, the death of Charles Manson, Greggs' sausage rolls, the depletion of wild sea grass, melting glaciers, big game hunting and Robert Mugabe. to name just a few.
Steven Hemingway, tutor of Fine Art says: “The exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for our students to see their work outside of the clutter of the studio environment – and for many this will be their first experience of exhibiting work in a more professional context - the range of work is very ambitious and really does show off the diversity of the talented students studying Fine Art this year.”
The exhibition covers painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation art, video art and text based work and is open Monday to Friday until 11th January 2018.
(7th November 2017 - 9th December 2017)
‘SQUADGE #2 sees a nomadic, multidisciplinary collective of London-based artists install new works at the York College Gallery for six weeks, constituting an ongoing show interspersed with performances and workshops throughout.
Formed of 18 recent graduates, SQUADGE was born out of fortnightly, self-organised crit sessions held at Central Saint Martins. The show in York will be their second together and follows an exhibition last month as part of Plymouth Art Weekender.
One of the featured artists in the exhibition, Josh Yates (formerly of Fulford School), studied on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design here at York College. He says: "‘Coming back to York College and having the opportunity to exhibit with my collective is a real honour and privilege, as it was this institution that implanted the foundations of my future career in the arts. Helping me obtain a place at Central St Martins was a benchmark in my life and opened up to me a world of possibilities that I am now utilising to the upmost. Never forgetting my own educational lineage, it has been an adamant thought to return something back to the place that helped me get so far. Hence this Show."
This exhibition is a unique group show featuring an array of different practices including sound art, sculpture, drawing and performance and is very contemporary and of the moment. Steven Hemingway, curator of The Gallery exhibition space at the College says: “It is always great to have ex-students come back to exhibit with us and this exhibition is no exception. I was very happy to work with Josh who organised the entire exhibition and managed the other artists involved. It is brilliant to hear of ex-students having such positive memories of their time here with us and to help them to progress onto prestigious undergraduate destinations such a Central Saint Martins.”
SQUADGE#2 takes over the York College Gallery from 7th November - 9th December 2017
'Time of the Last Persecution'
(14th September 2017 - 19th October 2017)
The ‘Time of the Last Persecution' (Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow) exhibition, now showing in the College Gallery, acts as a checkpoint in the work of three former Foundation Diploma Art & Design students. Alumni Jake Russell, George Watson and Jamie Scott-Dyson left York College in 2014, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Painting from Edinburgh College of Art and Wimbledon College of Art in July 2017. The exhibition symbolises a point of reflection in the growth of their individual practices. The works on display vary in scale, including drawing, painting, mono-printing and digital print.
Jake Russell - since studying Painting at Edinburgh College of Art has created an aimless expanse of not really knowing what is going on, as well as paintings about feelings and ideas around what in a person remains when their surroundings don’t.
Jamie Scott-Dyson – explores painting as an idiosyncratic language, hovering between abstraction and representational narratives, coming from a tangled process of improvised thinking and making simultaneously. He is interested in the unpredictable outcome of how decisions he makes (over a number of days) can inform the making of a picture; as a distillation of choices he feels are complimentary or in contradiction. Besides this he uses figures to create a kind of distorted narrative painting. The narrative is the meeting of forms and how he chooses to make them interact. The distortion occurs in the process which creates them. He wants the figures to be held in contradiction where they are articulated enough to remind him of something, but not enough to look as though they are attempting to overcome their inevitable flatness. Thus giving potential meanings but articulating none, in a state of informed emptiness.
George Watson – having recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) Painting, currently lives and works in Glasgow. His work is based around modes of visual communication - and how they contrast. Through the employment of various elements of imagery, colour, form and typography - executed in a range of mediums, including; painting, print, digital design, sculpture, video and installation.
Art & Design tutor Steve Hemingway, who runs the Gallery, had the pleasure of teaching all three artists, says: “It is fantastic to have our former students returnurning to put on this new exhibition. All three of them have done very well at university and were excellent students to teach. They progressed to prestigious destinations and their experiences at university have really helped them to develop as artists. They will also talk to our current students about studying art at university.”
Both Jake Russell and Jamie Scott Dyson studied A-level Fine Art at York College whilst George Watson studied the Extended Diploma in Art and Design before all three studied on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design .
The Time of the Last Persecution exhbition runs in the York College Gallery until 19th October 2017.
'The Structure of Things'
(24th April 2017 - 25th May 2017)
York College is pleased to present an exhibition by former Art Foundation Diploma student and York based artist Joy Simpson. Joy completed the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at York College in 2003 before progressing to study Fine Art at Northumbria University. 'The Structure of Things' combines abstract and figurative visual languages, relying on imagination and invention to compose an image.
The image is often sketched out quickly, sometimes with pen on paper, sometimes digitally with a computer. When it comes to painting the canvas, changes are made to the original design, as the process of painting takes over. The paintings take influence from contemporary painting, as well as folk art and design practices. Joy incorporates representations of nature into abstract language through colour, form and invention. She also sues the theme of machinery in her work, as can be seen in the painting Structured Sensation and in Four Painting Machines. These give the artist an opportunity to be playful with composition and contain visual jokes.
Says Joy: “Once I went in to a James Turrell Skyspace and I felt my mind elevated from everyday worries and concerns. I made up a shape to symbolise experiences like this, experiences that are somehow transcendent. I call this particular shape a 'Pinched Ellipse'. These symbolic motifs are what I put into my paintings. They are motifs by which, through painting, I question the structures of life. What they mean to the viewer may be something different.”
Colours are used liberally and geometric shapes and lines are employed throughout the compositions giving a flat, static quality to the work, however in some places the compositions look like collage and emphasise her interest in the handmade. The oil pastel pieces are made quickly, each colour and form responding directly to the colour and form previously drawn. They are furthering her enquiry into composition and are almost childlike in exploration. She says: “I feel at this point in my practice I want to make some 'uncool' pieces of work. Work that is perhaps a bit 'naff' but in itself is moving things forward and giving a new enthusiasm to what can be the stagnant air of contemporary painting”.
'The Structure of Things' will runs from 24th April - 25th May 2017 in the York College Gallery.
'A Slight Breeze' by artist Bijan Amini-Alavijeh
(21st March 2017 - 21st April 2017)
Using drawing as his first medium to explore composition and the creation of new shapes, Amini-Alavijeh works initially with the structure of mathematical isometric grids, experimenting with their rules through a repetitive systematic approach. Abstraction of shapes born within the grid become motifs which, combined with uncertain colour palettes lead way for the transformation into painting.
‘A Slight Breeze'’ presents Amini-Alavijehs most recent series of investigations into the potential of the grid. Originating from the same blank grid, a system is created with each new drawing, as the starting point progresses from one corner of the grid to the other through precise, measured intervals. A continuous line follows the grid, deflecting its borders and intersecting itself until the end of the grid is reached- a corner, where the line can no longer be deflected. With each shift across the grid the outcome flips between both energetic and minimal patterns.
The addition of verticals enhances the movement of the intersecting lines and what remains is a shifted isometric grid. Extracting these verticals to create the body of a shape becomes the basis of each painting. An exploratory colour palette creates juxtaposing pairings broadened through use of layering, translucency and opacities.
Steve Hemingway, curator of York College Gallery says of the exhibition: “I am delighted to present this exhibition by Bijan Amini-Alavijeh. I am sure his unique vision will be inspirational to all of our students and staff. I had the pleasure of teaching Bijan eight years ago and it has been great to see his journey from student through to professional artist”.
A Slight Breeze will run from 21st March - 21st April 2017.
'The Voice Imitator'
(11th February 2017 - 16th March 2017)
'The Voice Imitator', a series of large-scale monotypes, is the next exhibition to grace the York College Gallery this month. The works are a collaboration by Kate McLeod and James Fisher and are in response to a short story by Thomas Bernhard.
“We were allowed to express our own wishes, which the voice imitator fulfilled most readily. When, however at the very end, we suggested that he imitate his own voice, he said he could not do that” Thomas Bernhard, The Voice Imitator, 1978.
'The Voice Imitator' is a suite of new large-scale monotypes made in collaboration by Kate McLeod and James Fisher. The works are a response to a short story by Thomas Bernhard, in which a voice imitator is invited to demonstrate his skills of impersonating well-known voices. At the culmination of the story, the voice imitator admits is unable to impersonate himself. To McLeod and Fisher this is a useful idea when considering the collaborative process. When artists are making something together, where does one voice end and the other begin? Do artists imitate their own visual voice as they enter into this kind of working relationship?
'The Voice Imitator' monotypes were made in a single weekend using a bespoke woodcut press. McLeod and Fisher rapidly drew on materials and visual language from their individual practices to bring to the collaboration. McLeod, for example, found ways of compelling the clay, familiar in her sculptural work, to operate within a printmaking process. The suite is organised into a series of diptychs, with conversations between silhouetted profiles emerging in these groups of prints. The head is a visual device common to both McLeod and Fisher’s work, but in 'The Voice Imitator' it is adapted, open-mouthed, to foster a new pictorial dialogue.
Kate McLeod trained at Goldsmiths College (2001-2004) and the Slade School of Fine Art (2007-2009). In between studying, McLeod spent three years working for Sir Anthony Caro at his studio in London. McLeod’s figurative clay sculptures are improvised and precariously braced; the materials are fragile and perishable meaning the works are ephemeral, the structures temporary. She has exhibited these works around the UK and Europe including: Royal British Society of Sculptors, Postbox Gallery, Andipa Gallery and NGCA. In 2012 she was awarded the Brian Mercer Bronze Residency, Pietrasanta, Italy.
James Fisher trained at the Royal College of Art (1995–1997) and was a recipient of an Abbey Scholarship in Painting at the British School at Rome in 2001. He was awarded a PhD in Fine Art at the University of Gloucestershire in 2009 following a series of exhibitions that explored relationships between painting, music and text. Fisher’s paintings have been described as ghost machines, assemblages of materials producing spectral and inhuman encounters. His recent exhibitions include Doppelgänger at the Eagle Gallery, London, and Towards Night at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne. Fisher’s work is held in many private collections in the UK and Europe and public collections include FIL Plc, London; the Jerwood Foundation, Hastings and the Hive, Worcester.
'The Voice Imitator' exhibition will run between 11th February 2017 and 16th March 2017 in the York College Gallery.
'In The Making'
(3rd February 2017- 9th February 2017)
‘In The Making’, a group show by BA (Hons) Contemporary Craft students, is due to open in the York College Gallery on 3rd February 2017.
The exhibition will showcase the talents of third year students as they undertake their final year of study. The eight artists: Lydia Munro, Jake Augur, Layla Khoo, Daniel Nyman, Olivia Lawrenson, Dawn Ridsdel, Alex Palmer and Sharon Wilkinson address contemporary relationships with craft and how craft is perceived today. The decorative, the functional and the thought-provoking will be on show; from beautiful handmade silver jewellery, ceramic jars and contemporary 3D printed works, through to sculptural works addressing themes of loss and environmental damage.
Art & Design Technician Dawn Ridsdel says: “In a world which is becoming increasingly homogenised and automated, the simple act of making becomes both a refuge and a necessary means of expression of the original and the unique. The title of the exhibition, ‘In The Making’ reflects how we, as learners, are being formed into the artists of tomorrow, and how the things we make shape us and the world around us as much as we shape them.”
‘In The Making’ is due to run until 9th February 2017 in the York College Gallery and is sponsored by Stage One Creative Services Ltd.
'Down in the Echo Chamber'
(6th January 2017 - 31st 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.”