15th May 2013
BA3: The Power of Three. The output of 34 final year students on the Fine Arts degree course at Oxford Brookes University.
A stunning array of some extremely well crafted art spread across two building and many rooms. Installations, paintings, crafts, photography and some cutting edge work with lasers are all to be seen and savoured. I went there with John Umney, a colleague studying photography, and I was very disappointed after two hours that we’d only managed to see about half of what was on show and I had to leave due to prior commitments. I’m sure that John stayed on for at least another two hours in the fine company of Vita Vaghela, one of the exhibiting students, who volunteered to show us around and discuss the various artists she’d been working with over the past three years.
There seemed to be a strong connection to nature amongst much of the work which seems to be a trend that is gaining some support from influential feature writers as our societies across the world are waking up to the facts of globalisation and the effect this is having on the natural world.
The work was arranged in such a way that all disciplines were represented through the flow of the hangings and installations so no one group seemed to dominate. This made it a little frustrating if, like me, your interest is in seeing what contemporaneous students were doing in the medium of your choice. Although that was an irritation it was very minor and the enjoyment of the works on show more than made up for it. What photography I did see was very good; there was a triptych discussing the cosmetics world and its excesses with the view of the models face dripping foundation creams and thick eyebrow pencil which I personally found challenging, thought-provoking and very now. The other images were of body movement. One or more bodies, seemingly nude and dancing, were photographed with slow shutter speed and the resultant ethereal, silk scarf like streamers made intoxicating patterns across the sheet.
I think I’d like to go back and continue from where I left off my visit sometime soon, and if this is a taster for what I should expect to see from a university where the entire emphasis of its teaching is on art then I think we’ll be in for a treat at the UCA graduates show in Farnham in June.