After visiting the current pop-up fine art third year degree exhibition based in the fine art building; originally put on for the benefit of art and design foundation students, it appears that the event has in fact got the potential to be valuable to a much wider range of students from around the art school and from other faculties within the university.

It is this potential to broaden a variety of people’s perspectives and welcome them into a wider form of creative thinking that in fact sparked the notion of one of the most intriguing artworks displayed in the exhibition, ‘reciprocal exchange’; a collaborative piece by Miriam Leach and Mike Jones. The separate artists, originally with separate intentions began to work together after realising the prospects of combing their complementary ideas into a fascinating concept with the aim of breaking down segregation between individuals and bringing together concepts and ideas from a range of areas. The focus of Miriam’s interactive artwork appears to be the creation of a ‘platform for discussion’, imposing an environment allowing people to discuss, learn and explore many different questions. With these questions positioned in a space, the area has been built around them in a comfortable, laid back style, allowing people to relax, share ideas and interact with each other in order to produce a unique artistic experience, rather than a more basic aesthetic piece. Mike’s interest in empathy and the concept of ruling out segregation between groups of students within the art school and around the university, works closely with Miriam’s focus. His ideas stem from the concept of discussing Miriam’s questions and queries in a group, allowing people to query their own opinion rather than simply accepting personal opinion. This mutually beneficial artwork provides inspiration for all students, despite their difference in opinion, knowledge or background.

Another collection of work that stood out for me in the exhibition was created by Carolyn Brown and explores the glamorisation of brutal, and perhaps distasteful everyday objects. Although this concept has been explored before by many artists, I have never seen it executed in such a pristine and beautiful way. Carolyn uses meat, oil, fish and condoms and embellishes them with more desirable and visually exciting items such as flowers, glitter and clear water droplets, giving a feeling of simplicity and cleanliness, contrasting against the vulgar and raw materials. This combination of components act as a metaphor representing how unpleasant things such as sex and heartbreak are glamorised and made positive through popular music, photography and literature. Carolyn achieved this depiction through precise photography with the objects on a completely white background, giving the images a clear editorial finish and displaying the link between common media and her artwork.

My attention was also drawn to a collection of work by Sarah Wilson. Her bold shapes and lines applied with acrylic paint and gloss paint, aim to explore the concept of boundaries and the emergence of new patterns and pathways within the piece. Although I was unable to speak to the artist, I discovered my own interpretation of her work and it was this uncertainty of the artist’s intentions that interested me more. For me, the work enables the viewer to create a story based on the merging shapes and the contrasting strong and soft lines along with the vast areas of blank colour combined with areas of intriguing texture.

With these captivating collections and many more, from photography, sculpture and painting to an erotic piece of controversial performance art from Dawn Woods, this pop art exhibition provides an immense amount of inspiration for those with creative ambition and those without. It certainly has the potential to be beneficial in many ways for a vast range of people and is definitely worth a visit.

Phoebe Deeprose


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