Press Office


Art show has masterly touch


The talents of postgraduate fine art students at Newcastle University will be showcased later this month, when the MA Fine Art (MFA) show opens at the Hatton Gallery.

The MFA is a two-year studio-based programme in Fine Art and is designed to enable students to develop careers as professional contemporary artists. The exhibition combines the work of first year Master’s students, alongside the work of those second year students who will be graduating.

Included are works by first years - Mirela Bistran, Jodie Dunnill, Helen Shaddock, Yein Son and Liying Zhao, and second years - Alex Charrington, Sarah Dunn, Paul Martin Hughes, Soonwon Hwang, Ute Kirkwood, Nigel Morgan and Sofija R. L. Sutton.

The exhibition presents a diversity of fine art practices, including painting, sculpture, digital media, drawing, photography, and installation, all demonstrating high levels of creativity and skill. The work explores a range of themes, connected by a sense of ‘in-betweenness’ – be it phrased in terms of a journey, representing unseen dimensions, or reusing materials with new purpose.

Mirela Bistran’s ‘Dowry Room’, for example, weaves together old and new fabrics - hand finished and machine fabricated – to combine past and the present, the real and the artificial. While in ‘Silver Lining of Sunlight‘, pictured, Yein Son traces the changing textures of sunlight throughout the day. Tracking light as it moves through the studio windows these evolving projections have been mapped onto the wall in silver thread, producing a form of time-lapse captured in large-scale drawings.

Paul Martin Hughes’ kinetic sculpture, ‘Digory Kirke’, explores the realms of childhood imagination. This swinging, flashing, clanging mechanised wardrobe challenges us to suspend disbelief, and re-engage with the fantastical. The work’s title references Professor Kirke, a character in C S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, in whose house the magical wardrobe resides, and who persuades even the most doubtful of the children to embrace the realms of possibility.

Yein Son explained: “Over the course of the two years of the MFA much can happen, both in our work and our personal lives. Whilst for the interim students they are literally in the middle of the programme, this is by no means the end for graduating students - they too are at a transitional point. Always at a threshold of opportunity, we are all ‘in-between’, and our work reflects this.”

Newcastle University’s Fine Art department is one of the most respected in the country, with a strong reputation for producing exciting and successful artists. The University has consistently maintained an excellent reputation in this area and is ranked third for Fine Art in The Guardian’s University Guide 2016.

Professor Richard Talbot, Head of Fine Art, said:  “The MFA exhibition at Newcastle University is always an exciting melting pot of ideas. The two year course gives these artists the opportunity to explore their thinking and develop and hone their practice. And having the setting of the Hatton Gallery in which to show their work gives them a fantastic springboard to launch their careers as professional contemporary artists.”

The Newcastle University MFA Summer Exhibition 2015 runs 22 August – 5 September at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University. Admission is free, and the exhibition is open Monday – Saturday, 10am-5pm.

For more information, see the MFS show website.

published on: 20 August 2015