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ex 2007 introduction

ex brings together the work of eight young artists, all of whom graduated in 2007. It is an opportunity to celebrate the quality and range of work being produced at some of Britain’s leading fine art courses. All of the artists had previously studied on the foundation course at Leeds College of Art & Design prior to undertaking their fine art degree.

Staff teaching on the foundation course regularly visit degree shows throughout the country. This enables them to gain an important insight into the breadth and quality of fine art provision and to maintain contact with students they have previously taught, whilst building upon close relationships with a number of courses.

The exhibition has been selected from the 2007 degree show visits and brings back together a group of artists who studied at a number of leading fine art courses. These include Cardiff, Central St Martins, Chelsea, Glasgow, Goldsmiths and Leeds Met. The selection of eight artists was purely based upon the constraints of the available showing space. Many more ex Leeds students are developing and producing stimulating and high quality art work and could equally have been chosen.

The exhibition encompasses a diverse range of mediums and concerns. Five of the artists are showing work that was included in their degree show whilst three have made work specifically for this show. All of the participants were highly thought of by the institutions from which they have graduated. Most have further exhibitions and projects planned, many intend to apply for MA courses in the future and one is about to begin an MA course in September. All eight are serious in their intent to develop a practice as artists.

The relationships forged on the foundation course between staff and students as well as between the students themselves have proved to be strong and enduring. In London there is now an extensive network of ex Leeds students that connects a number of institutions and all three years of many degree programmes. Undergraduates regularly meet to help each other realise projects often working across large geographical distances. These networks also serve to connect our ex students to students at other institutions via colleagues they studied with on foundation. These associations exist both nationally and internationally and often lead to projects being developed and to future exhibition opportunities.

Our ex students have always generously made time to meet the current foundation students to recount their experiences and to show students around the departments in which they are studying. This exhibition celebrates these relationships and reconnects artists, now based in other cities, with each other, with Leeds and with the college.