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City & Guilds of London Art School - MA Fine Art Show

  • I enjoyed going to this show more than I have enjoyed going to lots of shows recently. It had a really good feeling of variety to it and really got me thinking about the kind of works I make - it inspired me for some reason. Maybe as it’s not some dry big gallery exhibition you could still feel the imagination and the creativity of the artists involved. Anyway here’s a quick selection of some of the pieces I liked.


    In the first room there were these big monumental paintings of women holding heads by Juliette Mahieux - not only were they really nicely painted but there was a feeling of those monumental Picasso figures.


    The next thing that caught my eye were really well made photomontages by Richard Hoey - they were really well produced and had lovely thick resin on top of them, I thought some of the sexual imagery was perhaps a little passe but still the neat production won me over.


    I also liked a small work by Chloe Leaper that was a bit like an architectural print with pins and string in it - to me it felt like a sort of 3D contemporary Ben Nicholson.


    In the large room at the end of the corridor were some classy small abstracts by Alex Virji - all controlled colours and communication, I like small abstracts which I think are far harder to pull off than larger ones. The room also had some cool sculptures by David MacDiarmid - they kind of really seduced me as I initially thought, ‘ok it’s some kind of let’s put carpet on sculpture and show a play with materials kind of thing’ but then one piece where there were mirrors reflecting the spaceship like pieces of sculpture was really visually intriguing and engaging.


    The next thing that got to me was a film by Charlie Warde - his work seemed to be dotted around the school and consisted of all sorts of different mediums and initially it all just seemed too cool to me - but watching this film of all the different prints he made of a nearby tower block became quite addictive. It was the sound that did it, the weird hypnotic kind of beat of a heart that was oppressive in the little room that was filled on one wall by the film. I couldn’t decide if the pictures of the building in the film had made any sensible relationship with the pulsating sound or if the images of the building left me cold - but it got me engaged and really started me thinking.


    The last thing that got me were some weird sculptures by Richard Crawford. Initially the tacky green and red plastic pots, pans and bottles that had been stuck together, were so plastic that they just felt cheap and repulsive. But then I noticed the little birds sitting on the  plastic shapes and the bird song in the background. For some reason, like the rest of the show, it overcame my preconceptions and started talking to me and inspiring me to add a bit more experimentation back into my work.


    A brilliant and inspirational show with lots of great work.


    Review by Robert Dunt Practising Artist and Founder/CEO