No-one said stepping from student life to Real World would be easy and, for fine art students working in the relative protection of rural Herefordshire, it’s arguably a leap into the unknown.
Extra credit then to the members of InSTALL7, a fine art collective raising money to exhibit at the influential and notably competitive Free Range showcase in east London.
The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane is a magnet for art and design lovers and, since its inception in 2001, Free Range has given the next generation of UK creatives a platform to showcase work to both public and industry.
It's a hugely influential show, one that routinely marks a gear change for recent graduates.
The InSTALL7 artists are all nearing the end of their three-year course at the Hereford College of Arts and hope Free Range will not only put their work in front of the right people, but test their own mettle.
"We’ve been cushioned by the tutors," said Becky Sumpter, 22.
"They’ve guided us and, to a certain extent, protected us. But when we leave, we won’t have that.
"I think what we’re trying to do right now is put one foot out there, to get the confidence we need to be working in the real art world."
Above: Rachel Hughes, visual artist.
The collective need to raise £3,000 to cover travel, expenses and the hire space itself. With the show taking place in July, time is tight and fundraising is well underway.
Tonight (Friday, December 9) they'll be at the Booth Hall in Hereford, blending visuals and DJs for a night of drum and bass. Tickets are on sale now (get them here), and there'll be raffle, with prizes including tickets to Herefordshire Live + De Koffie Pot’s open air screening of Elf and vouchers for The Burger Shop.
Members include Becky Sumpter, Rachel Hughes, Ash Roberts, Abby Field, Mariead McVeigh.
Here's a taste of the work they're producing...
Above: Abby Field, multi-disciplinary artist exploring landscape. "I find myself interested in where the lines overlap between the natural and artificial, rural and urban. My work aims to question the divide between these landscapes, and attempts to bring the two together in harmony."
Above, Hook a Poo from the Loo installation by Ash Roberts. "Established in 2016 The World Famous Amusement Services is here to suck up the banal aspects of our life and regurgitate it all over the carpet. Unexpected humorous experiences are created that hold up a mirror to society, deploying participatory techniques to critique the institution."
Above: Becky Sumpter installations. "The relationships we hold with our memories and the tension between reality and control is central to my current work which is part of an ongoing body of research. I utilise text and language as well as photography and have recently started delving into relational art which involves participants and explores a reciprocal experience."
Above: Maired McVeigh. "At current my work is inspired by the relationships we’ve formed with technology and the issues that are both created and healed with it. I am enquiring gender and the use of political satire utilising several digital mediums to explore traditional themes in art such as painting, sculpture and drawing with contemporary tools - computers, phones and the internet. The appropriation and editing of mainstream media broadcasts to suggest black-as-white propaganda has been very intruiging in my current body of work and is now leading me to develop further ideas within my own film-making practice."
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