As the University of South Wales prepare for the influx of its new students, five members of staff from the Foundation Art & Design at the Treforest Campus are about to launch an exhibition of their work at Y Galeri in Caerphilly. The foundation course has a long standing reputation for having specialist teaching staff in all of the core areas of Art and Design and this allows for a unique range of work from disciplines including painting, photography, ceramic sculpture and graphic design.
The staff are committed to developing their students’ skills and approaches. Their practice and influences, inspired by contemporary hands on practice, constantly enrich the student’s experiences and expression. They are all practitioners in their own right and this exhibition, entitled F5, provides a platform for their innovative work.
Catherine Brown works with a mix of materials that have contrasting qualities
including ceramics, glass and textiles. She uses these qualities as a way to describe contrasting emotions and ambivalent feelings. Knotting, wrapping, weaving and stitching play with the ideas of wanting to connect, protect and mend. Through this body of work she aims to express feelings of compromise, tension and ‘holding together’.
The work of Brendan Stuart Burns both past and present, is underpinned by the central themes of absence, isolation, mortality and the spiritual. It is the balance between paint, process and subject matter that has maintained his visual language and its development through what on the surface may seem to have been differing themes. He is grappling with the concept of hæcceity, inscape, thing-ness, essence and the ontological in the way he sees a stone, rock-pool or lichen growth. The challenge is then using paint and charcoal to communicate this experience to the viewer as well as incorporating his own refractions of self, identity and awareness of mortality and the spiritual.
Neil Burridge has made a series of drawings and paintings, derived from walks undertaken in his day to day life. Drawing is undertaken on-site, with paintings developed in the studio. The walks occur on fixed, familiar routes, some rural, some Urban. Neil walks, making primary drawings, in Treforest, Glyntaff and around his home in Tonyrefail. Walking is a way to maintain a relationship with physical space, displaced by technology, mechanisation and time. He makes drawings, which describe movements through physical space. He explores ideas of presence and absence by repeating short, informal walks, and through employing methods which challenge control and attachment in his work.
Gary Green has an interest in the transient and in particular the transient moment; its experience and its memory. Using photography as his medium he is, in one of the aspects of his work, seeking to capture how a fleeting occurrence can rest in the memory as highly defined but alternatively be blurred and indistinct when examined more closely. Gary uses a variety of approaches to investigate these areas.
Jess Moss explores the intrinsic and abstract qualities of Letraset Dry Transfer Lettering. This product revolutionised graphic design practice in the 1960’s. Dry transfer lettering was used by graphic designers for creating hand generated design mock-ups, artwork and sometimes final designs. As this was the first instant lettering of its time, it caused a sensation in design studios all around the world. It encouraged rule breaking and a creative freedom in typographic design never before experienced. After the digital revolution of the 1980’s, the use of Letraset Dry Transfer Lettering has diminished nearly to extinction. Nevertheless, a minority of practitioners still appreciate the ‘hands-on’ craft element of using this product, and feel that it adds a unique quality to their work.
F5 runs from 17th September – 2nd October. Y Galeri is open 10am -5pm, Tuesday – Saturday.