title Emerge
publication The Taste: Wendy Grace Dawson
description Emerge exhibition review
date 01:12:2002

Emerge is a snapshot that represents the journey of ten students whom have wrestled with a myriad of questions about art. life and their place or contribution to the visual world. It is very much a journey that is set within specific parameters, these chiefly organised and directed by a specific learning environment that aims to direct, inform and develop the students potential as practitioners in teh visual world.

The development of the students ideas and research about their work, the ideas and work of others, and ability to apply & engage with the learning process is as much a partof the journey as the making of objects. This exhibition of students work, heralds a place of completion and celebration of this journey.

So, what has emerged after several years of study?

Diversity of media and approach is one of the most prominant features of Emerge. This is important to note as students working in a 'pressure cooker' environment, under the same tutelage, run the risk of replicating each others work. Interestingly all bar one of the students work under the banner of 'painting' media, include aluminium, plastic, steel, fluroescent lights and wood which does not immediately spring to mind when one thinks of painting. The focus has therefore been not soley on materials or method (which is valid) but also on developing the artist's own visual language (tools for communicating) and ideas.

Amy Hoedemakers, Louisa Claudini, Jane Blackmore, Marian Wolfs and Anna Leary all obviously love the process of painting. Although different in method & imagery their work is painterly, engaging & seductive. Several of these artists speak of their work as being very personal and emotive. Brenda Black has used the rose as a symbol to represent love, but also decay. Charlotte Lipp paints with acrylic, oils & gesso for some of her works but in large plywood and steel work 'Shelter/Two of a Kind', she paints with fire.

The work by three males in teh show is more three-dimensional. Alongside his paintings, Nick Foster presents a clever and attractive (like moths to a lamp), Light Box of similar scale to an elevator. Phil Osborne provides an ingenious 'Red Beech Wave Percher' that he encourages his audience to sit on to survey the show. Andy Clover uses his accute perception of society and wit to comment on aspects of contemporary popular culture art & theory in 'Highbrow' and 'Everything is Black & White' among other works.

At the opening of 'Emerge', guest speaker Carole Shepheard (from ELAM School of Fine Arts) explained that from her experience, the work of the first graduates of the Bachelor of Visual Arts programme from the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology could sit alongside graduate work anywhere in the world. High praise; enough said.