Press Office


Roll up, roll up for the biggest-ever fine art degree show


The countdown has begun to the launch of the most visited exhibition in the Hatton Gallery’s annual calendar.

Newcastle University’s Fine Art Degree Show is fast becoming a ‘must see’ for those in the know and is an ideal opportunity to discover new artists, many at the beginning of their careers.

This year 58 fine art graduates will be taking over the Hatton Gallery and fine art department building, turning them into exhibition spaces full of painting, sculpture, print, film, performance and more.

Among the work on show will be Harry Peck’s philanthropic funfair where visitors are invited to roll up and play the sideshows for charity in a wry look at how donating to charity can alleviate us of social guilt.

Also on show are Sarah Illing’s intricate handmade optical devices inspired by illusionary Victorian toys; Jessica Townsend’s thought-provoking printmaking around dementia; and Claire Newton’s fabric renditions of internal organs, to name just a few.

“It’s a very buoyant degree course and this is our largest group ever – very few drop out, with most students successfully completing each stage of a rigorous programme that demands hard work, creativity and resourcefulness,” explained Chris Jones, senior lecturer in painting and fine art. “This show is the culmination of four years’ study and there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes to get to this point.”

Students at Newcastle are increasingly acting on their own initiative to create opportunities to get their work seen by the general public, such as setting up ‘pop up’ exhibitions in empty shops in the city.

“The degree show acts as an intersection of creative minds within what is a burgeoning Newcastle art scene,” said fine art student Josh Wilson. “It’s good to see art can hold true in tough financial conditions and this gives us hope for the future.”

The students curate the show, create and manage the publicity and also part-fund it.

The show opens on 1 June (private view at 6pm on 31 May) and runs until 15 June 2013 at The Hatton Gallery and Newcastle University Fine Art Department, The Quadrangle, NE1 7RU from 10am until 5pm (except Sundays).

It then moves on to London, where a selection of work will be on show in the Embassy Tea Gallery, 195-205 Union Street (near Tate Modern and Southwark tube stations) from 26-29 June 2013.

For more about each of the artists, visit the degree show website.

published on: 21 May 2013