Visual Arts Society Exhibition – review


On a drizzly, damp and otherwise uninspiring Monday night, the Visarts End of Year Exhibition once again opened its doors at the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. A flurry of colour, excitement and sound, the society-run event has become an eagerly-anticipated feature of Hilary term. Each year it provides a weeklong exhibition of the crème de la crème of artistic creations submitted by both students and staff. The exhibition showcases the diversity and skill of the artistic community of the college, providing a platform for the appreciation of their work. A record 195 pieces were submitted for consideration this year, highlighting the growth of interest in the visual arts on campus. The forty odd chosen works are displayed over several storeys and truly run the gamut of styles and materials, ranging from screen printing and sculpture to installation and painting. This variety provides a much needed injection of vitality and energy into a bleak March week, deep in deadline season.

Following the twinkling ropes of LED lights to the top floor, the exhibition was opened with a short speech acknowledging the enthusiasm and awareness of the artists involved in the show. As each entrant was a student or staff member, all had to balance their art with the responsibilities imposed by college life throughout the year. The quality of the work in the show is a testament to the commitment and talent of the college’s artists. From intricate flourishes of inky hair to life-size UV foliage, each piece showed great originality and charm. Each work was displayed alongside a placard giving the title, name of the artist, medium and, where applicable, the subject they currently study. The range of subjects studied by the artists was as diverse as the creations themselves, demonstrating how not pursuing formal artistic training needn’t impede upon your ability to make great art. Imagination and talent aren’t limited to ‘professionals’, and this is reinforced by the exhibition.

Each piece chosen for the exhibition reflected a strong degree of high technical ability coupled with particular and insightful approaches to subject matter. For instance, “YELLOW FERAL BISEXUAL” by Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng (SF English and Sociology) was admired for its intricate handling of detailed textures such as leaves, skin and gemstones. Another highlight of the exhibition was “Starry Mountains” by John Milsom (JS Computer Science). This image, though smaller in scale, conjured up an enchanting atmosphere through its free use of vibrant watercolours and biro. “Bengy” by Kate Rogers (Irish Studies) was remarkable for the warmth and sincerity with which it portrayed its canine sitter. “Fruit Bats” by Sarah Morel (History of Art and Architecture and Sociology) was a piece which immediately captured viewers’ attention with its eye-catching use of colour and impressive linework, bringing the scene to life with a fresh sense of humour and wit. These are just a few examples of the many works which made up the exhibition, each of which is deserving of comment.

This year’s Visarts End of Year Exhibition produced a level of quality, diversity and talent which would be at home in any established gallery, proving that fresh artistic talent can be found in all places.

You can catch the exhibition at 5-9 Temple Bar until Thursday, 9th March.

'Yellow Feral Bisexual' - Choy-Ping Clark-Ng
‘Yellow Feral Bisexual’ – Choy-Ping Clark-Ng

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