End of Year Shows, UU, Belfast, 2018 June 8 for a week

I have managed to see painting and sculpture only. The tenor of the exhibited work was to make visual thoughts accessible in some familiar material that should move the viewer to relinquish the fear of the new.  Sufficiently different from the rest  but not outrageously so.  Sufficiently different from each other the paintings and sculptures are embedded in each artist’s aesthetic norm and choice whether to create dangerously or not.  The exhibits were visual conversation  between the graduates and the current art world, inclusive of the university staff.   It reminded me of Michael Oakeshott’s  thoughts about the universities engagement  and  goal: the goal of this engagement is not found in checklist of things every educated person should know but in fostering of intellectual and emotional maturity. Education should be a many-sided conversation that requires a quiet self-confidence and genuine self-understanding on the part of both teacher and student.  (see Timothy Fuller, ed, The voice of liberal education, Michael Oakeshott on education, Yale University press, 1990)

The following sample is in conversation with the history of art, one’s powers of observation, invention and decision making,   and with the material and place at hand. These graduates are not on ego trips for the shock of the new.  Reviving both mute poetry and enchanting fantasy they  bond ideas and skills with absurd calm memorial to visual thinking.

James Speers chose two continuous roles of paper  for two different set of discontinuous marks: every one stands on its own, be it a  vividly coloured shape or black parallels.  Reminiscent of the musicality of a Klee and  a Kandinsky the compositions are fine tuned configurations  of  figures on empty white space. The connectivity between the two  is subtle but insistent. To place so fragile drawings on a monumental scale  in front of the view over the roofs of a city  is a sign of confidence.  And yes they both allow the reality to flow in between them and create their own presence. Equivalent presence.

Baroque and Ensor used those hot clouds of hues which appear on most of large paintings by  Aimee Melaugh.  Her exquisite ability to layer hues over each other,  makes convincing  the atmosphere’s power  to dissolve the description into an apparition. 

e.g. Coalshed,  2018, oil on canvas, 200x 200 cm  

Her website does not allow to copy and paste her images, click on https://aimeemelaughart.wixsite.com/artist

Amy Whittle  cherishes landscape  in direct challenge to tradition  of P Henry  starting from pencil sketch to hold the composition and the subvert it by dreamy hues drank of  own tonality  -so that straight lines appear to direct the sight. 

Sunken Road, 2018, oil on canvas, 130×170 cm

For better detail please click on  https://amywhittleartist.wixsite.com/mysite

Atilla Szabo 

Serenade by the  Random, 2018, mixed media

Ingenuity, love for art and technology, feeds Szabo’s insatiable love of sound art – that comes across both ans drive to invention and respect for all the parts of of the process.  Immaculate devotion, attention, sheer hard labour celebrate togetherness.  The produced  sound carries its own natural beauty, like water trickling in a small brook would do.

water circulates, fils the cups, turns them upside down, water reaches the sound plates …


Work in progress is a development of the second exhibit at the degree show, that recorded to persons’ heart beat in conversation: https://youtu.be/PZ_P95WSfJA

Below unfinished Conversation of hearts.

He wrote the following:

This piece I am currently working on is the most challenging one I have done so far. Although the work is still in progress, it will read two people’s heart rate and copy the rhythm to allow their hearts to “communicate”.

see more on http://szattla.wixsite.com/attilaszabo

With regret, I have no image, nor link,  at present,  for an intriguing intelligent elegant subtractions in pen or pencil by Richard J Canning – reminiscent of some characteristics in the drawings by  Brian Fay.

Addendum after the above was published.Last evening I got a gift of those “missing” images. A follow up post is in a separate post.






About Slavka Sverakova

writer on art
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