The work being exhibited in infinite traces is by an international group of postgraduate students from The Cass Fine Art & Photography Areas. Each artist has created a body of work focused on their particular area of interest. Aware of the connections within their works, they were drawn towards the theme of ‘traces', traces of people’s lives, of places, of their environments. This has been interpreted by means of historical documentation, cinema, folklore, found objects, spaces and religion. It became more apparent following the death of Gaynor Ithell, one of their fellow MA students, earlier this year.
This was an exhibition that I was invited to by one of the students, Adrian Hardy. When entering I was shock to see that some of the students had created some sculptures, which are definitely not worth looking at. They were poorly made, had almost no connection to the brief. The pieces were a gathering of everyday objects, put in a seemingly lazy manor. The arrangement of the pieces was lazy. There were no labels showing who created the pieces and nothing easily visible to read up of the pieces. But you are very able to just walk past these and into the main, 1st floor area where some better work is.
The first floor, though small, had some really good work. The layout was good as it was spaced well and I wasn’t confused about whose work was whose. They had seating facing some of the fine art to let people think about the work. The work that stands out to me the most was Adrian Hardy’s Photography. His work was very interesting, and had a lot of small details. Though his work looks like a simple photograph of an abandoned home, it is in fact a miniature dolls house. He created a series of different scenes, which only two were displayed at the exhibition. The raw lifeless, mood of the images make them very special. I asked him about his work and he gave this statement "I started to take photographs shortly after the death of my father in 2008. Traces of childhood and memories of objects and spaces create the foundations for my recent work”. Other than his work the first floor was dull and boring. I saw nothing that excited me or that caught my eye. At first I thought that it was only a single room of work, but I did some investigating and found some work up stairs.
Be sure not to miss the 2nd floor as it is far superior. This is something that I think the curator did very poorly. They had seemingly put the majority of the weaker work at the entrance, and better work upstairs. This isnt good publicity for the gallery as you want to engage viewers and passers by.Upstairs was good. It had a lot of high quality work by people in all different fields. From ceramics to graphic designs and most of it was very interesting, with a few exceptions. For example some of the photography was appalling. The fact this this was MA students work, I expected something good. But what I saw was something a casual photographer could have taken on their phone. Not only that the images were blurred, weird angles, un-interesting and irrelevant to the brief. Even the explanation of the work blabbered on about nothing. I assume this was to fill the page, so people would get confused and move on.
All in all the majority of the work was great, and of a very high quality. However the exhibition was severely let down by the very poor work by a certain few. I would recommend having a look if you are in the area, as it is free, but do note that you will be shock to see what some of these MA students have created.