Wirral Met. College Fine art Degree Show 2014

Helen Howard
Helen Howard

Review by Breda Whyte

The Wirral Met College Fine Art Degree show features the work of twenty seven graduating artists and is a wonderful mix of media, methods and themes.

There is a huge variety of work on display, from paintings, drawings and performance art, to sculpture, screen prints, installations and digital recordings.  The use of lighting is used to great effect on the works of Piet Goboers, Helen Howard and Shams.

Amongst the art on show, Helen’s Howard’s sculptures stand out in their vibrancy and totemesque quality.  The tall stacks of vases provide an almost Moorish feel to the show, and resemble warriors, but there is also a feminine delicacy and an underlying sense of support and unity.

Anna Clark, Escalation
Anna Clark, Escalation

Anna Clark’s paintings are haunting and voyeuristic but with warmth and an emotional feel.  While retaining the essence of her subject matter, she strips the images down to simple yet powerful forms, bordering on the abstract. The work on display as part of this exhibition includes three separate series of images, almost like story boards, of someone engaged in simple everyday activity.  The ghostliness of the images may refer to the passing of time, that moment gone, or perhaps something more.

Yvonne Davis’ piece is claustrophobic and powerful; an installation using a series of doors to walk through explores themes of domestic violence..  The first is pristine and welcoming and as one goes further in the doors become more damaged, and for a few seconds I thought I would not get out through the last door.

Piet Geboers’ stone carvings are tactile and beautiful, showing his interest in the aesthetic aspect of patterns generated by medical scanning techniques.  I like the use of manual and old techniques of stone carving to represent images generated by hi-tech processes.  The material and method used accentuate his belief that it is the context in which the image is viewed that has an effect on how it is interpreted.

Piet Geboers, photographs courtesy of Tony Loftus
Piet Geboers, photographs courtesy of Tony Loftus

There is also great poignancy in the works of Rachel Perry.  In The Centenary of the First World War Rachel depicts a series of unknown soldiers, using fabric on canvas, to create images of boys and men who died in this war.  The obscurity of the images seem to show nobody and somebody at the same time, reflecting the fading memories of a nation and a world.

The exhibition continues at Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, CH43 4UE until 1 June 2014, with the works of many more artists to explore.

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