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‘ReNew06: A Collaboration’ at JMU

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ReNew06: A Collaboration at JMU 68 Hope Street until April 21st 2006

Not another student exhibition..except it is…sort of. Its been curated by 2 Art History students for their 3rd year practical module. Martyn Coppell and Vicki Maguire both fancy being curators when they graduate so this was a good opportunity to practice.
So the theme is renewal and regeneration not only within Liverpool, but also in its wider context. The artworks featured in the show comprise photography, painting, video and installation pieces. Each exploring different aspects of progressive change.
The artists:
Jane Anderson (ah, fluffy little bunny rabbits scattered around the floor, but a reminder that their skins are used for fur coats)
Kenneth Ashton (photos making close ups of the detritus of modern life look interesting)
Rob Davies (series of small drawings, pinned within a frame, chaotic but inter-connected)
Neal Dawson (photos of Liverpool/Wirral waterfront as if in fog, transformed by the changing light)
Graham Gorman (video created from stills, shows the changing scenes on the city streets, made my eyes go all funny)
Kevin Hunt (regenerating old furniture by covering it in grass. Anyone else remember that ‘flowerbed’ that was on the grassed area at the junction of Seymour St and Nelson St for 20+ years until the big dig flattened it? It was literally a big iron bed planted up with flowers, excellent. I’m sure that was created by JMU students at the time. Of course, it was never maintained and now its gone.)
Sally Kidall (pictures of an installation of ‘tip-toe footprints’ placed on various materials, sand, gravel, mud etc)
Alan McKernan (more of Alan’s excellent black and white photos of local scenes)
Jamie Reid (2 works transforming old ads for banks, examining the darker side of development)
Matthew Verdon (documenting the short life of 7 fly postings on a London St, they were soon covered with other posters or removed by the council)
David Wightman (and, finally, some paintings. Target shapes painted onto embossed wallpaper, interesting)

I think the curators did a good job. I would have liked to see more painting but the theme comes through well and there’s plenty to hold the viewers interest.
And you know I like good clear labels, information and a nice catalog too. Well done.