The art of austerity?
A LTHOUGH Nottingham's big university art and design shows came and went as always this year, this new exhibition shows how getting a degree is just the starting point for Britain's next generation of artists.
In this diverse collection of paintings, photographs, films, airy sculptures and hand-crafted drinking implements, recent graduates from Nottingham Trent University, Lincoln and Loughborough give a sense of where their future creativity may lie. That's not, of course, the aim of the show. This one isn't being assessed. But it's hard not to look for signs of where these ten regional artists and designers are heading – and what that tells the rest of us about the values that are important to their generation.
This is, firstly, a relatively austere exhibition. Only James Dann's suspended Hanging Dandelion Seeds sculpture, made of dozens of papery seeds hanging on thin lines from the ceiling, suggests an abandonment of the senses. And in low light, you could walk around the gallery and not see it at all. The word fun could perhaps be vaguely applied to Clare Shrouder's indefinable The Clock Spirit and Lovers and Aislinn Ritchie's Paper Dancers, the latter con sisting of three TVs mounted vertically on a bread crate that cleverly show a cartoonish repetitive film of a couple dancing. It's like watching a child's Victorian paper toy in motion – but may also remind you of an early pop video from The Old Grey Whistle Test.
Shrouder's clock, mounted in a glass case, also has the air of a Victorian display piece about it. But it has a painted face and is surrounded by smiling paper flowers and people. Look behind the face, though, and you will see angry biting plants.
This voucher entitles you to 25% of any of our Nottingham Photography Courses:
One Day intro to DSLR Photography
Portrait and Studio
Evening City Photography
Terms: You can only use the one voucher per course. You cannot use this voucher in conjunction with any other offer.
Contact: 01159 078634
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
By contrast, Simon Hall's two large-scale photographs of melting glaciers and ice shelves bring the big outdoor world right into the heart of the exhibition.
However, the somewhat chin-stroking biographies which each artist offers in the show makes it plain that Hall also wants the liquefying natural world he presents to place additional ethical and perceptual matters before viewers.
Then there are Lewis Gaukrodger's hand-made glasses and wooden coasters, each coaster, it says here, coming in five different woods – ash, elm, oak, walnut and zebrano – chosen for their unique grain patterns and colour.
Each delicate glass is filled with a coloured liquid, filled with real red wine, whisky and gin and tonic – or very realistic substitutes.