JUMOKE FERNANDEZ / PRESIDENT
The Metamorphosis exhibition at the Goodwin Gallery, Petroc is an intense hub of multimedia work from three different courses: Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Fine Art FdA and Illustration FdA. From mouldy doll heads and syringes to abstract paintings and sculptures of ravens; this exhibition is as buzzing and lively as its preview view was on the 6th June.
Many people attended the Private View, myself amongst them, and had a great opportunity to speak to the students that had created the work and support them through purchases of cards/prints and the artworks themselves. The college staff that facilitate the arts courses were welcoming and clearly consistently work to promote their students’ and give them new opportunities.
The main bulk of the work belonged to the two FdA courses; Illustration and Fine Art. Both ranged in mediums and were consistently fantastic; producing innovative and heart felt work. One piece that really stood out to me from the Fine Art collection was the SEMINAL MOMENTS IN HEART RESEARCH installation by Antonia Blackmore. This piece was superb (like everything at the exhibition) but why I particularly note it is because Antonia’s work shows that the college is not limiting the students and their ideas, this piece is unconventional and, dare I say it, cutting edge. It is brave to support students in creating such advanced pieces and yet constantly throughout the exhibition we see bold, dynamic idea after the other being sustained and developed to the point of fruition. The course leaders clearly support each student individually in their own artistic journey rather than straight jacketing them.
The illustration department had a lot of Graphic Design elements with people not stopping at an illustration but putting it in context as if they were responding to a brief one would receive when in employment. I can only imagine how helpful doing a course like this would be for people wanting to pursue a career in Graphic Design. Like the Fine Art degree work this section had a large variety of work, but due to the nature of illustration the majority of it did not venture out the frame. There were examples of t-shirts, a rabbit and other slightly more sculptural pieces but by its nature Illustration tends to be more practically based (like Graphic design; same amount of concept, thought and skill as Fine Art but with more practical uses rather than purely for pleasure of the artist and viewer) so it’s innovation can’t be measured in the same way. The use of mediums in the illustration department was phenomenal; there was embroidery, painting, digital, photography, knitting, drawing and combinations of all of them – a very impressive selection.
The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design was as multi-faceted as the degree work, mediums and schools represented included graphics, fashion design, prosthetics, film, (and other installations), graphic novels, portraiture and painting. The majority of the students on the Diploma were going to top art institutes in the UK such as University College London (St Martins and Westminster), Falmouth and Kingston; this course is very strong and year after year turfs out students with a fantastic range of art skills, getting them into great universities.
One of the highlights of the evening for me was talking to Carl Lucas (read my interview with him here) and finding out he had sold one of his pieces on display in the gallery. He received a lot of, well deserved, congratulations. This leads me on to a general feeling I picked up at the event which was the great sense of community and friendship amongst the students. They are not in competition rather they are all working together to promote each other and their mutual passion for the Arts.
I am looking forward to working with the Goodwin Gallery and the arts lecturers/students in the future, building permanent bridges between the Branhams Campus and the Petroc Student Union in order to deliver a broader range of activities that also cater for the HE students doing arts related courses there.
There should be some new interviews on the site with some the students I met at the Private View coming soon.