Epoch means a point in time and space,’ I was told that last Friday night at The Old Police House in Gateshead. Eight Northumbria fine art students clubbed together to display their work to the public. The venue was unconventional – it certainly doesn’t have a future as a mainstream art gallery – but I liked it. It suited the event and added to the atmosphere.
Although there was no specific correlation between the eight different works, they had a common feeling of critiquing the modern world. Hanging from the ceiling was Dixon’s box, inside which was the incessant ringing of the iPhone ‘Radar’ tune. It made me realise what an annoying sound it is, and yet, because it was inescapable, it really brought home to me Dixon’s point about how reliant we are on technology.
Ellie Robson had nine TVs showing different aspects of our obsession with the virtual world. Cleverly, one showed the Treehouse of Horrors where Homer mistakenly enters a virtual reality.
Faye Smith, a second year student from Chesterfield, told me that her works were a reaction to the patronising and clichéd comments she, a lesbian, receives. One of her pieces was a flickering video image of her, in the background showing a completely blank face, whilst superimposed over it was, she said, ‘what I’m really feeling. The blank face is what you show to the world’.
Another used video was Rachel Bokor, who filmed a friend discovering a TV screen like a baby, seeing an image of herself on the screen. ‘Social media becomes your identity,’ Bokor said. ‘You only realise who you are when you see yourself projected back at you’.
There were also works from Ian Rodgers, Matthew Glover, Kimberly Bailey, and Cris Pablo Pearson: brilliant work from all.