Year 2 exhibition at Gardens Gallery – February 2014
19th March 2014
Year 2 Exhibition – Gardens Gallery, Cheltenham February 2014.
The year 2 students on the BA Photography course (aka Fine Art Photography) put on a great show at Cheltenham’s unique Gardens Gallery – an old Edwardian building, situated in the Georgian glories of Montpelier Gardens amid Cheltenham’s most picturesque architecture.
The gallery has an intimate atmosphere and a loyal following of local arts lovers, as well as the audience that the University brings in. Despite being put on in some of the most challenging weather of winter, the show went up on time and there was a warm buzz from the crowd who braved the gales and rain to be there.
Work from ten students was on show and it was a sparky mix of genres and themes. Jonathan Dellard-Lyle’s confrontational street photography gave the show a sharp energy, whist Dylan Power’s stunningly lit pictures of humble vegetables struck a classic note. Emma Raven’s image text pieces and video revealed her friends in an intriguing light, whilst Athena Kathem’s montage portraits (printed mainly from cyanotypes) were enjoyably disjointed with a cool monochrome aesthetic that emphasized the hand made process of making them. By contrast, Katie Hilliard’s images were positively Jacobean in the dark passion that they intimated. Nathan Nash produced fine meditative landscapes, and Nikolaos Vozaitis drew on the viewer’s imagination to decipher the strange and alien world he conjured up in his enigmatic and sculptural studio work. Hannan Khamis powerfully investigated her own rich cultural background through documentary and playful collage.
The group had already been through the steep learning curve of mounting pop up shows around Cheltenham in the previous term; putting on a show in a ‘real’ gallery was no problem after this and they sprung into action like a well tuned machine to get together the publicity and web site, and of course to organise a memorable opening night.
On the Friday after the opening, tutor Richard Billingham led a crit to discuss the hanging of the show, drawing on his own vast experience of mounting major photographic exhibitions.
The show was very well received by those who saw it. It was a showcase for the range and individuality of work that the course’s students produce and underlined what is possible with an experimental and open approach to the medium of photography.