An independent student led collaborative fine art exhibition between Newcastle and Northumbria, was enough to trigger my curiosity for me to plod around Northumbria campus to try and find the Squires Annexe. I was impressed, actually, from when I walked in. The atmosphere was brilliant, fuelled on red wine and excitement, the gallery space was heaving with people, everyone anxious to see how it had been put together.
Interfuse is the brainchild of housemates Martha Buttress and Sophie Halliday, both final year Fine Art students – Martha at Newcastle and Sophie at Northumbria. They decided that it was about time a collaboration took place, a meeting of the two art schools. Its embarrassing that this was the first kind of collaboration – there needs to be more support and communication between the two universities, and it is fantastic that it has been initiated by these two students.
talking with both students and artists exhibiting, there was nothing but praise
As the first of a series, they’re hoping to put an exhibition on around every three months, from which they can start curating it with a more refined thesis – this one encompassed a variety of applications, and all were final year students; they’re hoping to open it up to the other years. An ambitious, articulate and fluid exhibition despite the range of media and conflicting artistic styles – if anything the range and variety fuelled the energy of the exhibition. Above all it demonstrated maturity and ambition. Talking with both students and artists exhibiting, there was nothing but praise – everyone found it a great experience – a necessary collaboration; a fantastic opportunity to showcase work in light of their degree shows in July, building professional competency and style.
An interesting narrative formed within the spaces, showcasing some beautiful paintings, sculptures, film work, installation pieces and ended with a highly popular performance piece by Sophie Bates, the room was crammed with people trying to get a look. One installation piece by Sophie Halliday herself, I think caused a lot of curiosity – a den made out of layers of fabric entwined with fairy lights and a mattress beneath it, with the artist inviting people to take off their shoes and go and sit, and be part of it.