The 'Roots' exhibition was held at Corke Gallery with Lois Rogers, Angharad Rhys, Will Facer and Reuben Barr. It was an exhibition full of diversity and held a range of different ideas under the umbrella of the theme 'Roots'. It was a very polished evening with all the work looking very tight and focused but perhaps lost it's continuity between the differences in the different works ideas. Singularly all the works were strong but once put together it may have felt fragmented. I felt that by having Lois and Angharad in their own room with Lois having a separate room to house her video was something that worked well for them as they had previously tried to be a duo but unfortunately couldn't find a space in Wales. Will and Reuben's room was another slick part of 'Roots' having two extremes from photographic collages of Liverpool to illustrated emotions of 'Never'. The framing of these works spoke volumes about the differences, Will's frames were very swish white frames that complimented his refined photographs perfectly. Whereas Reubens were kitsch, old golden frames along side 40 individually hand drawn envelops, both suited and complimented the works within them perfectly. Reubens envelops were a personal highlight as I felt that paying £2 for a individually hand drawn piece of art was something I know is an important part of his practice and made 'Roots' a real event. Lois' video pieces of family and friend's hands along with a video of her Grandmother (Nain) were particularly strong within the work she presented on the evening. Particularly the video of her grandmother, I felt a real warmth and sincerity behind the video's and felt that she captured her feelings towards her family very well. Having her grandmother read poetry in Welsh, that she had written when she was younger was a very strong aspect and was something that I felt gave it a genuine intimacy. Angharad's work was a colourful and simplistic piece of craft work. Having Welsh poetry stitched within her colourful clouds of wool was something that I felt worked well and gave it a sense of personal purpose. All in all a very well put together exhibition from the Roots crew and a great evening was had by all.
Introspective was an exhibition within the LSU presenting a range of different artistic formats. As this event took place within the office spaces upstairs from the LSU I felt that aspects worked better than others. For example Louise, Tasha and Rachel felt the strongest given they had transformed their spaces and were separated from the large office spaces that contained the others work. Tasha's work felt like a suffocating and tight enclosure that lead you into a dimly lit corner of contemplation, working well with her concept. I felt that the instant comparisons to Sachiko Abe and Nicholas Hlobo's was something of a barrier for myself as I had seen both those pieces within a relatively short period before seeing Tasha's piece. Rachel's video pieces were very well placed within her room and there was a strong continuity between the concept and the display of the videos. I could also see some similarities between her work and my own, with her use of journeys and manipulation of video. Louise's work held the most intimacy within the office spaces truly transforming the dull, white walled into an entity of itself. I really like her work and think that her constructions with old found and bought objects are very compelling and work well. I found that she took what she had captured within her sculptures and done the same with the room by covering the windows, adjusting the light and placing old newspapers on the floor acting as rugs. Introspective was an enjoyable exhibition to attend and there was some real stand out pieces.
Relationship had the most artists exhibiting within the year, holding an easy majority of the year all apart of the show held at the Academy of Arts. Unfortunately it may have been my most unenjoyable of this years exhibitions. I think this can only be contributed to the volume of art on display which I felt made it hard to really engage with anyone of them in particular. There were a few pieces that I felt really shone through but unfortunately I don't know the people's names who produced the work. There was some very good photography on display that I liked and I thought that Kate Crowther Green's prints were interesting, I would have liked to have seen the more abstract ones scaled up. I understand that the scale of the space they had to work with was problematic and that's no fault of the artists but sadly I feel it was a real reason for my lack on engagement.