Xhibit 2012 comes to Menier Gallery
In its 15th year Xhibit has been touring across London since March, starting at Central Saint Martins over Kingsgate Workshop Trust at West Hampstead and now coming to an end at the Menier Gallery.
The artworks of 21 UAL students from all six colleges, including graphics, fine arts and fashion, are on display at the prestigious gallery near London Bridge until Saturday May 5.
“It is very important that we feature something of really high quality to show what our current students are capable of regardless of their degree,” said Xhibit project manager Laura Southall.
Crème de la crème
“It is a very diverse platform putting forward the crème de la crème of our university.”
“Last year we had two venues and for the first time went externally,” Southall continued.
“This time there are three venues, so we are expanding, hopefully we will have four next year.”
The work of the 21 students were selected from over 1,200 entries by an expert panel of judges, including student union’s president Ben Westhead.
Diversity in a fresh context
Vice President of the Curation and Exhibitions Society Osei Bonsu, who curated the show along with UAL students, said:
“The exhibition is becoming increasingly important in terms of providing a platform for student work of the highest quality. I hope that the curation of the exhibition highlights the selection's diversity in a fresh context.
He continued: “The selected works are not hidebound to tradition; they explore a range of media with appropriate innovation and technicality. This means Xhibit will be constantly evolving.”
Xhibit 2012 is selling the artworks of the students and graduates online in collaboration with the Made in ArtsLondon website.
ArtsLondonNews catches up with one artist from each UAL College to find out how Xhibit 2012 has benefited them.
Natalie Dawkins (MA Photography,London College of Communication)
“I often make durational video work. This particular piece came from thinking about the process of smiling; how in social situations you are often asked to smile for photographs and how rare it is that a smile on demand would be a natural one.
“I actually took part in Xhibit by chance, but I never expected to be selected. It is amazing to have been able to show work at the different London venues and also to meet artists from the other colleges. It is quite rare to be able to see the work from other courses, let alone other colleges, so it has been fantastic to be involved.”
Karen David (MA Fine Arts, Wimbledon College of Arts)
“On top of these paintings I have placed apophyllite crystals, which are associated with clarity and purifying properties, to suggest a dialogue between the crystals and the painting itself. I am interested in the language of painting. Both of these elements play their part in my practice and the questions they raise my enquiries further.
“I liked the idea of a cross-college, cross-discipline exhibition. It is wonderful to be able to show my paintings next to a sculpture or a fashion piece. I have met some lovely people from UAL and I also had an enjoyable studio visit and interview with Kate Rintoul.”
Philip Huntington (MA Illustration, Camberwell College of Art)
“You can’t pint point exactly what the inspiration was. It is a single panel snapshot and is a narrative piece. A movement in time of an ongoing comic.
“When I applied, I wasn’t looking forward to any kind of a reply. I got a really positive feedback for my work, which made me think that I am not so bad at what I do and I could possibly make something of myself from this. Just the fact that people have seen my work and it is out there it is invaluable.”
Kalina Pulit (BA Fashion and Styling, London College of Fashion)
“The photograph is a collaborative piece with a modern twist on a classic reproduction concept, underpinned by the colour blocking trend in fashion, Piet Mondrian compositions, Russian Constructivism and Leonardo da Vinci's Virtuvian Man.
“There is a commercial side of fashion that doesn’t allow you to cut the picture and put together in different ways. So I am really delighted to be a part of such a multimedia show because for an aspiring stylist and art director it means a lot to be put into the context of a gallery space for exhibition among paintings sculptures and other art works. It gives another layer to what you can do within fashion.”
Sarah Fortais (MA Fine Arts, Central Saint Martins)
“This instrument basically translates the English language into music and I really enjoy inventing stuff. Often when I think of something that doesn’t exist, I think of it on terms of objects that do exist and how I could put those together.
“It is really nice to get a conformation and quite fun to unleash your work in different venues. It is my first experience not affiliated with the course in showing in London. So it is a different network of people and a lot closer to what I expect as a graduate.”
Joel Yuen (MA Fine Arts, Chelsea College of Art and Design)
“There are no Gods, only lies is inspired by science fiction and popular culture and icons such as Andy Warhol and Lady Gaga. The twelve heads are displayed in an ancestral manner."
He said: "My work is a comment on the fact that there are so many things out there to believe in, but I rather think that lies are more interesting - as sometimes lies become myths and myths eventually become the truth."
“It is interesting how I can engage with the people and talk about my art. The exposure Xhibit provides is amazing and it is a perfect platform for any young artist to be selected, just based on their work in a professional space."