On Thursday 16th February 2017, the first organised group of our Art/Work/Life module all of the members collaborated to bring us an amazing show. Being the first group to organise a show and having the least amount of time possible of all of the groups to organise sed show, they did rather well.
The partakers in the show were as follows: Stephanie Turley, Rita Long, Georgie Fergusson, Jacob Gourley, Elizabeth Deegan, Charlie Harvey, Romy Vizard, Adam Davis and Carla Bailey.
The curatorial text read as thus:
Harmonious Discord is an immersive exhibition which broadly seeks to explore the human condition, drawing parallels between nature and human experience by examining the often detrimental impact of man on our increasingly fragile surroundings. Echoing Madame de Pompadour’s expression “Apres nous, le deluge” (After us, the deluge), the artists are concerned with the significance of the organic in a world that is dominated by our anthropocentric drive to advance in science and technology. This attitude sits in dynamic tension with the recognition of the clear benefits that technology has provided in relation to the creative process and the development of mankind.
Traditional and contemporary methods of representation are combined in order to simultaneously comment on our advancement as a modern society whilst reflecting on the influence of tradition, thus raising questions of how we engage with the world in today’s saturated yet fragmentary contemporary visual culture. Applying a range of techniques, the works vary, from academic oil painting to multi-faceted photographic manipulation. Two-dimensional works are set alongside woodwork and intricate works of fired clay – all fused together in this truly diverse display. The juxtaposition of contradictory pictorial devices, featuring both large scale and miniscule works, creates a visual tension and ambiguity: a discord of practices within one harmonious desire to explore the relationship between the subject, viewer and the spacial contexts of both.
With reference to various points across a two-thousand year historic timeline, the artists draw inspiration from a range of sources, including: Pre-Raphaelite art, contemporary politics, environmentalism, technology and Pompeiian fresco wall decorations of ancient Roman interiors. This historic-social awareness supports an overriding concern regarding the uncertain future of our planet as a result of an ignorance towards our interaction with the environment.
Harmonious Discord presents work that challenges both societal perceptions of beauty and historical means of representation, whilst encouraging the viewer to think about their own seemingly insignificant position in the cosmos through a union of representational imagery and abstract, ethereal works.
Overall, I believe this show to be a success; the space used was enough, yet there possibly could have been more on certain walls, e.g. on Carla Bailey’s wall, the works (in my view) frankly do not suit the wall they have been placed on. The six A5 paper pieces have been placed off-centre and don’t seem like they’re significant enough to fill the entire middle wall.
One immersive experience for those who visited the show was that there were two interactive art pieces. The first shown by Charie Harvey; displaying blank models of sealife, and this piece invited the viewer to use the watercolour paints to the side of this piece to colour it in. The other interactive piece was made by Adam Davis; his idea of the diseased flag and politics within past and current societies, he wanted to almost play on the fact; therefore painting individual flags across the world on separate blocks of a Jenga set. The viewer would purely play the game of Jenga how it would originally be seen to be played n the past. An interesting idea for this piece may have been for the viewer to come up with a fact about the country/given a fact via a sheet written by Adam about the torture suffered by this country; both in past and also current climates.
Georgie Fergusson’s work could be seen as soon as the viewer walked through the door; unable to miss, you are confronted with a mimick of a fence, named Untitled (Fence) 2017, which has been made in oil and wood, with a hole to the lower right of the piece. Through the hole, the viewer can see Georgie’s second work Biosphere No.1 2016, which is an abstract scene of a flower-like variety, made with oil on coir.