all images are copyright the artists

interim 2008

Interim brings together nine pieces made by artists in the second year of their fine art degrees. The artists all completed a foundation course at Leeds College of Art and Design between 2005-06, and the exhibition is a celebration of their achievement. It is also a homecoming – a chance for the artists to reflect on distances travelled, and an opportunity for current students to see the implementation of practice after foundation studies.

Artist Matthew Houlding, artist and tutor Jenny West and I made the selection, and we were all excited by the proposals made by the artists. It was a shame not to be able to select them all, as every entry showed great possibility. However, we had to reflect on the space available, and curate a show that would best use the corridors, landings and staircases of the college building.

Standards were high. In the works made by artists at the outset of their careers, there was an acknowledgement of a wider artworld, and a context that is critical, sometimes harsh and always fascinating. Technical and conceptual ideas were well considered, as was the very idea of what an artist’s practice might be.

Working together, Hannah Shepherd and Nicola Wright consider shared experience, and the evocative potential of clothing, dance and performance. Fellow Glasgow School of Art student Julia McKinley also refers to the human presence in form, which acts as a memory or a reminder of a fairytale experience.

Tom Walker’s systematic wooden labyrinth curls in on itself, and in a circular way contains memory of its making. Formally, the object makes a subtle relationship with the college’s parquet floors. Rolls of the dice have determined the system for making Alex Chocholko’s painting. However, the physical endurance involved in painting the 10,000 squares in a limited session can be read in his failing ability to be able to keep within the lines. Both works tell us about the limitations of our physical abilities.

Nina Wakeford has created her focused sound piece with the aid of a board-game spinner, and English and Chinese translations of the repetitive instructions. Here we encounter a wider world of implied performance and suggested actions. More sound drifts through the space: the muzak installed by Alex Farrar keys into our behavioural patterns, transposing an aural device used for stimulating psychological moods into the college. These works lack a material form, but the ideas literally resonate within the building.

Smaller scale objects also have a place here. The tiny, repeated form of vessels installed on a tottering table by Michael Pollard will no doubt seem doubly fragile in this busy space. In the basement, Michael Marczewski’s projection of a fictional world plays with scale and expectation. It oozes with sap and edges towards the otherworldly.

From the uncanny to the canny… Harry Meadley has proposed a prize for students finishing their foundation course this year. Performance and presentation will be enabled by the artist. A mini-exhibition of even more pieces will be presented within the context of this show, so perpetuating the generous and open spirit of the Interim project.

Alex Hodby, Curator, platform projects, Newcastle-upon-Tyne