The two-floor exhibition that took place on 20th February at the Assembly House was a final product of the work and talent of twenty two Masters Fine Art and Creative Arts practice students at Newcastle University.
The style and the signature of the wide variety of young artists, although complementing each other at the foreground of the history-rich building, were quite eclectic and different from one another. It would be unfair to speak about this exhibition as a whole without recognizing that it is saturated with the life experiences, buzz and on-a-whim bursts of creativity of each art graduate.
Ranging from photography, sculpture, painting, video installation, contemporary artefacts to site specific work and a hologram, the exhibition takes you on an artistic journey from looking back at long-forgotten history (Genevieve Stone; Jianfeng Lin (Calvin)), offering an individual outlook on everyday rituals (Ella Jones, see bottom right image) and exploring the transparency of thoughts in a way that remains intimate (Wan-Chen Chan).
What is generally striking about the exhibition is that all of the works function on both conscious and unconscious levels to become a vision which stimulates the physical senses whilst bringing out deeper messages and stories to tell the spectator.
the exhibition incorporates the polarity of simplicity and complexity
Some works central to the Assembly exhibition are Yan Yin’s collages that greet you on the very first floor, depicting everyday scenes and bodily features that work as a pattern to form obsolete narratives of personal perception and memory. In turn Eleanor Curry’s stitch and fibre practice demonstrates her flair and ability to tangle beautiful threads into lively pieces of art that amaze the spectator.
Alice Adams’s post-internet practice surprises the audience with its striking synchrony that, despite the stylistic contrast, collaborates with the environment of the building as if the latter has become the ultimate venue these paintings were meant to be displayed in.
The photographs of Yanling Xu (Elaine) negotiating the Imperfect Girl have turned into a beautiful tale to remind people that, despite everything, women’s beauty is still looked at under a microscope, even though female bodies intrinsically stay quintessential in their intimate and individual characteristics.
Overall the Assembly exhibition incorporates the polarity of simplicity and complexity through brightly exploring coloured stories, intimate connections and questionable norms that we often forget to question. This bright and vivid experience is a refreshing journey that reminds the spectator to sense more, experience more and definitely live more.