Review of 'Collections.' A show presented by second year Illustration students from Hereford College of Arts
...by L4 student Josh Fitzwilliams
The tutors for illustration at Hereford College of Art took the brave step to launch the first ever second year student exhibition..... a risk that payed off and showcased the vast amount of talent the students had to offer.
The exhibition was held at the 'Art 360' building on Bridge Street, a fantastic white cube, perfect for small exhibitions such as this one. The exhibition was well presented and used the space imaginatively. It was obvious when first stepping into the room that a lot of time and care had been taken over arranging the works in the best way possible. There was a welcoming atmosphere with a beautiful spread of light snacks, cakes and beverages provided by those involved. There was a wide range of students from different ages and backgrounds which resulted in an eclectic mix of works, making every space a new and individual visual treat.
I thought the theme for the exhibition was brilliant, the idea of collections conjures up the image of sentimentality, a concept which appeals to me greatly and is an interesting and deep subject matter to explore.
All of the students work was of a high and professional standard, however there were several students work that really stood out for me.
Grant Peacock's work packed a big emotional punch. The images were of a high aesthetic standard, marrying a collection of family photographs with a number of illustrative techniques to communicate turbulence within his family life, a brave subject to cover and share with the world. Several of the images were linked in clever and intuitive ways and clearly communicated a narrative. Perhaps the most hard hitting piece was (what looked to have been) an edited letter or e-mail received from his father. The images were presented in a 'hodge-podge' of different family photo style frames and were arranged beautifully.
Also the work of Lucy Driver-Williams deserves merit, her mix of photography and hand rendered images showed a beautiful experimentation with line and colour. I loved her quality of line, the textures of the colour and how it bled from her line work.
Another student whose work really stood out for me was that of Steph Moulden. One of the two large images she exhibited focused on block colour and shape, subtly using repetition. The collection of paper cut-out huts were beautifully simple and striking. Her second piece was outstanding and wouldn't look out of place in any contemporary gallery or magazine. A mixed media image combining inks, collage and computer techniques, a piece I found hard to pull myself away from.
I was extremely impressed with the exhibition, all participants had something interesting and individual to show, I can only imagine what they will create for their graduate show but it is definitely something I'll be looking forward to seeing. I think it would be great to see more of these happen regularly throughout the academic year as it gives students invaluable experience in understanding and curating exhibitions.