INTERFUSE, co-founded by Martha Buttress and Sophie Halliday, is a collaborative exhibition series uniting students from, what are traditionally seen as ‘rival’ Universities – Newcastle and Northumbria.
Open to the public, this series boosts networking opportunities for art students across Newcastle, prompting insightful discussions around an exciting amalgamation of mixed media artworks. Working with artists from a different institution broadens students’ knowledge and understanding of numerous techniques and another background in education. Despite both universities offering Fine Art, the programmes run very differently, and this partnership encourages those involved to learn from each other and exchange their experiences.
‘#2,’ the second event in this series, took place between 6-9 pm on the 8th March 2016. Having previously remained on campus at Northumbria, this subsequent exhibition took an ambitious leap forward held at an external venue, the Pattern Shop, Hoults Yard. The vast scope enabled artists to exhibit multiple artworks, and experiment with expansive space. Dated architecture, authentic wooden beams and high ceilings, was a backdrop with great character, and created opportunity for dramatic lighting and interesting curation.
Nine artists exhibited including: Martha Buttress and Sophie Halliday (joint-curators), Annabel Niekirk, Louie Pegna, Alice Rout, Matt Newsholme, Alice O’Hagan, Nikki Lawson and Matthew Young (collaboration). The group was selected based on their explorations around the theme of ‘interaction.’ It seemed this subject matter enticed viewers, who were eager to interact, to discover more about the properties of each artwork and test boundaries of respective materials. Mixed media sculptures were created with metal and plaster; a kinetic and tactile piece demonstrated mechanical engineering; whilst other pieces incorporated audio, projection, video and print.
Although Hoults Yard, situated in Byker, is further than most student exhibitions, there was a tremendous turn out and atmosphere. General reception seemed to suggest that this project is a gateway to new opportunities. Other students, from 1st and 2nd year, volunteered to assist during the preview evening. Their willingness and enthusiasm to forge a committee and take the project forward over the next few months is exciting and we cannot wait to see it evolve.
(To receive updates on upcoming INTERFUSE events, follow @interfuseseries on Instagram, or www.interfuseseries.tumblr.com)