Thursday, 13 December 2012

Past Masters: MA alumni exhibition

This exhibition in the Foyer Gallery, Farnham, shows the work of nine former MA students from the University for the Creative Arts. It includes the work of two jewellers, Tara J Murphy and Tom McDowell. Tara has continued her work with recycled objects, but has moved into using found objects from second hand sources to produce more figurative work. Tom transforms children’s drawings of animals into quirky wearable pieces. Ros Perton is a ceramicist who uses a variety of clays to question the traditional use of materials. Louise Renae Anderson is also interested in materials and describes her weaving process as a form of meditation. John Joyce’s interest in materials challenges the viewer’s notions of reality, with his sculpture of a bronze bird appearing to lift a paper carrier bag. The work of photographer, Richard Brayshaw, also aims to challenge the viewer by using psychological effects elicited by the physical environment, in particular by looking at transitions between safety and security. I found his images of steps leading into turbulent water very effective and disconcerting. The other photographer in the exhibition, Roger Buchanan, explores roadside verges.

Emma Rawson uses glass to explore the inner world of solid forms. I particularly liked her houses within houses (shown above) and the glimpses of materiality trapped within them that appeared to change as you moved round the work, referencing memories hidden within the home. Bruce Marks also uses glass to consider identity, in particular fragile states of mind, rendered as delicate glass balls lying on a bed of nails. It was interesting to see the work of these nine students, who completed their MAs over the last few years, and to see how their work has developed since their final MA shows.

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