JMU Third Year Fine Art Students Pre-Degree Show

Ken Ashton, Dave Barry, Claire Bates, Mike Costigan, Roz Hargreave, Liz Hodgkinson, Peter Pimblett, Linda Pittwood
Egg Space Gallery, 16-18 Newington
1st - 19th February

Reviewed by Lib Murray

This exhibition has come about to raise money for the 3rd Year Fine Art students' degree show. There will be a Fine Art auction on the 13th-15th March, Myrtle Street, Fine Arts Building.

The Egg Café successfully unifies this exhibition, as each piece becomes an organic feature of the whole space. As soon as you enter your eyes are drawn to a block of black gloss paint (Fallen - Dave Barry). Next you notice smudges of matte paint randomly dotted around the outer edge of the piece. Then it all starts to fit together and the outline of a person becomes evident. The overall piece gives you the unsettling feeling you are looking into a black mirror, into which you could easily fall.

Liz Hodgkinson's Burned Series 1 displays an effective use of colour and perception. Viewed from afar you are drawn to the colours; burnt oranges, muddy blues, and erratic patches of cream. It is not until you move closer that you see the different levels of the piece, and realise the canvas has literally been burnt through… and looks as though it is burning still… the piece is alive!

The power of colour is again effectively displayed through Roz Hargreaves' No Place, in which she creates two impressions of one landscape, with differing colour schemes. The first uses blue pen and ink to create a stark, simple world frozen in blue. The second impression is drawn with green ink, and flooded with red. The frozen preservation of the first piece has now been polluted by the blood red, and the landscape has been irrevocably changed. Continuing on this theme, Claire Bates’ Untitled is an evocation on the death of beauty. The painting is awash with a blood red paint that seeps into a flower in full bloom.

This exhibition is ambitious and effective in its intentions, and bodes well for the students' futures as they enter into the professional art world.

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