How We Look: Wirral Met Fellowship Exhibition 2019
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum
Opening Times Wednesday- Sunday 10am-5pm
Exhibition: 2 February 2019- 13 March 2019
Private View: 2 Feb, 6pm till 8
Each year fellowships are awarded to selected graduating students from the BA (Hons) degree courses within the Wirral Met HE art school. This year the exhibition features a collaborative project undertaken by the 2018 fellows Louis Jeck Prestidge and Jonathan Benson with WMC lecturer Michelle Rowley. Responding to her site-specific MA research project, set in the stalled Liverpool Innovation Park, Michelle commissioned the fellows to develop a collaborative film work.
This invitation provided a creative space for Louis and Jonny to reflect on a new set of ideas and determine how their own personal practices might engage with the themes Michelle was investigating. ‘Hunting Ground’, is the result of this collaborative experiment. Drawing together ideas concerning the reimagining place and assigning anthropological meaning, the empty ‘parkland’ reverts to a hunting ground where metaphorical hunting prompts open questions as to the purpose of the chase.
Louis’ practice centres around the forming of narratives by combining his own digital films with found clips from Youtube. These clips have been carefully chosen to articulate the relationship he has with the moving image and how it has exposed and reaffirmed our understanding of masculinity in the 21st century. These films are a continuation of his previous exploration in sculpture and installation. “Through my practice I have found that I am able to best express my inner personality through painting and filmmaking.”
Jonny’s current practice is a product of an expanding process, a personal exploration into Western visual culture via destruction, preservation and transformation. Historian and Cultural theorist Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas describes the transcendental nature of archetypes; or how images of great symbolic, intellectual, and emotional power emerge in Western antiquity and then reappear and are reanimated in art and culture of later times. Through the use of traditional portraiture, abstraction and continuous lines, the brow of an Elgin Marble repeats and erodes into the present, merging with and becoming the icons of our age.
Our relationship to the natural world and our psychological attachments and cultural values linked to landscapes and the built environment inform Michelle Rowley’s practice. Her work explores how, through conscious design or informal and improvised social use, we construct places of meaning and personal significance. She is interested in how this happens and especially in how spaces and sites are appropriated and subverted from their original intended use.