University Summer Exhibition


My mum and I returned to Lakeside Arts this weekend to view the annual University Summer exhibition showcasing works from students, staff and alumni of the University of Nottingham.

I was surprised by the number of pieces on display with the space letting each piece talk for itself; the white walls and wooden flooring highlights the pieces without any distracting features. The work spans a broad range of artistic experience and mediums; however, each showed a high level of ambition and drive in fine art and/or photography. 

Each piece has a contrasting theme to the next with some being very abstract and self-expressive and others showcasing very accurate still-life with great attention to detail. Every artist had obviously self-devised a project that explored a theme and/or narrative that they feel passionate and excited about; I loved wandering around the two adjoining spaces and admiring each piece of framed work. 

During my time doing art throughout school, as well as A Level Art, I had not previously come across some of the media that was used, such as a collagraph, Intaglio, C-Type Photo Print and Cyanptype to name a few. I also have only really painted and drawn on paper, canvas, board, wood and acetate and therefore it was interesting to witness the effect that the chosen media had on canvases such as linen, Aluminium, clear glass and textile. Each gave a very different finish, some very smooth and others entirely with texture, but each was just as effective as the next.

As we entered the first space we were given a print-out of all of the works with clear numbering so that we could follow along and discover who each piece belonged to, the media and the price of the works. I, in some ways, wasn’t necessarily expecting the pieces to be on offer for sale. This is largely because if this was my final degree work, I would be very much inclined to keep it for memory sake. 

Having said this, the exhibition provided viewers the ideal opportunity to buy unique yet modestly priced works of art, especially compared to typical prices of established work. The prices ranged from £50 to £1,500. I have never known how prices for art are determined, however there was definitely a wide range; some that I assumed would be a higher price were actually less than I imaged and vice versa. 

Seeing that we went to the exhibition on the first day of it opening, some of the art work had already been sold. Again, these were not the ones I personally would automatically expect; it appeared that the simplest and often smallest pieces in modest frames were the ones that had been chosen. I could certainly imagine some of the outcomes in homes more than others.

Some of my favourite pieces were Surface Detail and Reflections which were both composed using photograph and acrylic. I was drawn to these because of the play on perspective; in each rectangle, the image gradually got more magnified with the outer acrylic layer being the closest and most detailed. Another that intrigued me was the most expensive piece that was made entirely from pin pricks on paper, The One Just Down From the Dunkirk Flyover, Nottingham, England. The entire piece was stark white and therefore not overly effective form a distance. However, up close, the attention to detail was astonishing; the artist had somehow managed to create a depth of texture using use a pin, it was so intricate and I could appreciate why it was of a higher cost as a result of the time-consuming nature of the outcome.



ArtRachel Fox