This Is Who We Are Art Exhibition @ York St. John University & School House Gallery, York

This Is Who We Are is the graduate show of York St John Fine Arts students. The art exhibition is part of the Create13 umbrella which includes media, performance etc. The 28 art students involved all have individual styles that range from live performance pieces to sculptures and the downright strange. They assure me this is commonly known as contemporary art.

Set over two sites the exhibition contains work to appease everyone. The School House Gallery houses the more quieter of work with one live piece. This piece, Insidefine-arts-47 Am Young, Outside I Am Not, makes you think about your future and the lives of your elderly loved ones. The same goes for Over Spill which to look at looks like an upturned suitcase with papers spilling out but on closer inspection is a suitcase with the artists old family photos spilling out. This pulls up your memories while you look at hers, a great concept that has been a theme throughout her work.

fine-arts-25As you wander around the School House Gallery everything manages to catch your eye from the trees that appear to be growing indoors (Truth Is Just A Rule That You Can Bend) to the two separate pieces concerning the human body. Wire Reflection uses wires to portray veins in the human body while Presence Without Acceptance creatively uses different materials to make feet. You Decide to Stay A While was a piece that caught you out. It took ordinary objects and made them unordinary. In the middle of the room a piece aptly named Reunion In Suspense had the feel of an old style illusion with the pieces of normal cloth suspended teepee style. Brutal Obsession stood out and blended in at the same time. The artist used cubes, an everyday thing that everyone sees, as his art work in a very minimalist way.

At the York St John site everything is different. Everything on opening night seemed more lively with there being more live pieces so the exhibitions literally walk fine-arts-15around you. Again as you walk through both floors everything stands out and makes you look. Those who are familiar With C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia series will recognize one piece, conveniently named Narnia; a wardrobe that you can walk through and be transported to another room, filled with handmade toys and nostalgic items. Another piece of work with a touch of nostalgia is the Secret Art League. This is essentially a comic done in manga form based on each of the artists. Utopian Dystopia takes us back to a more contemporary form of sculpture. These elongated crosses, made out of concrete, make an appearance throughout the 2nd floor. The tribal feel of Differentiated is quite a change from everything seen so far. Each square, circle or triangle seems to fine-arts-5tell a different story. An interesting piece is quite understandable when up close; 1 Of is drawings of lots of different pens with said pens underneath the drawings. It’s quite amazing to see how many pens are used and how each one is depicted. One artist takes an everyday tea cup and makes it into art by changing the materials it is made from, Striving For Perfection really makes you see it in another light. Falling Is Flying is interesting in that it’s set in a darkened room with sound and a loop feed of the same image making it feel like the sound is the art. Body/ body is also set in a darkroom and makes use of a photographic enlarger to show the images, it’s quite amazing to see what people think the image is of. Yorkshire Exploitation is a fun piece that shows that reality can be turned into art and that Yorkshire is worth celebrating. Look out for Mamma you may miss it if you’re not looking. It’s a very dark piece with it’s main feature being a skull, the fact it’s hung high up in a very light, open space gives it a great feel.


You’ll notice on the first floor two TV screens showing a video with “faceless” business men walking around. This is Towards the Metaphysical and on opening fine-arts-37night we were treated to a visit by those faceless business men. A great piece of live art that really depicts, in a civil way, our business world today. Dissent and Disjunction was also a live piece with elements we’ve seen before, the towers with slogans and slander are there and we now have lots more placards with some written in Russian and German and a Free Pussy Riot one. Music is the art in The Stasis of Consciousness In A Forever Shifting Inner Space, it shows that time and effort goes into music just like art.

fine-arts-45Fiction Masquerading As Truth stood out well, the use of sharp shapes painted in soft pastel colours gave it a feminine beauty feel while the media clippings showed another beauty. P- Over -P combines photography and paint making the photo something beautifully different. Child’s Play really brings a smile to the face because of the toys then you see how they’ve been changed and distorted. Interstice is also a piece with a slight hidden meaning; it all looks simple but it has the artists Bahamas/ British fine-arts-31links running through it. The aim of How Far Have We Really Come?  is to show the crimes that the female form suffers in life and it has been shown fantastically in a darkened room. A short film, Forms of Narrative, means different things to everyone that watches, which in itself is amazing. Alternate is like entering a cyber rave. UV Lights and mannequins with UV gas masks on makes it all feel very cool and uncanny.

The exhibition is pulled off superbly and every piece of art work deserves the credit and praise it’s already gaining in the York area. They’ve worked hard on each piece and will certainly go far in the future.

Please do visit if you’re in the area. The exhibition runs until 1st June: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm: Sunday 12pm-4pm at both School House Gallery and York St. John University.

Here’s all the guys and girls who’s work is shown in the exhibition and their websites:

Alice Harvey: P – Over -P.

Amy Mckevitt: Inside Am Young, Outside I Am Not.

Andrew Leigh: Utopian Dystopia.

Ashley Sagar: The Stasis of Consciousness in a Forever Shifting Inner Space.

Bonnie Powell: Reunion in Suspense.

Catherine Wood: The Secret Art League.

Charlotte Salt: You Decide to Stay a While.

Cherisse Brown: Narnia.

Eleanor Banks: Falling is Flying.

Emily Whistlecroft: Fiction Masquerading as Truth.

Hannah Milburn: 1 Of.

Helen Marie Axton: Truth is Just a Rule You Can Bend.

Holly Elsdon: Presence Without Acceptance.

Jessica Davies: Forms of Narrative.

Joanne Hill: Mamma.

Jonathan Haycocks: Alternate.

Leah Sumner: How Far Have We Really Come?

Liam Allinson: Yorkshire Exploitation.

Lincoln Lightfoot: Towards the Metaphysical.

Luc Jones: Brutal Obsession.

Natalie Willis: Interstice.

Rachael Robertshaw: Body/ Body.

Roshelle Cunningham: Child’s Play.

Sally Elizabeth Young: Over Spill.

Sean Brattan: Dissent and Disjunction.

Sophie Walker: Striving For Perfection.

Sudeshna Chattopadhyay: Differentiated.

Vanessa Balmer: Wire Reflection.

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