The spring exhibition for Exeter Art Society was held in the main ballroom of Reed Hall and the atmosphere of the night was permeated by music from the Exeter University Jazz Band. This ambitious showcase of art, music, and dance proved to be an incredibly enjoyable evening, and one that highlighted the amazing artistic talent of many students at Exeter. There was a wide selection of canapés and wines available while you perused the artwork, so you knew it was a classy evening. There was also several dance performances throughout the night by Exeter Dance Society, which bought a performance element to the evening and drew people together at key points throughout. The dancing was energetic and very well polished, and the commercial style proved a change in tempo to the laidback jazz of the band.
The exhibition was centred on work in four different themes: Art for a Cause, the Natural World, Light and Dark and the Open Theme. What made the evening truly special was seeing the range of talent and interests on display- from photo-realistic pencil drawings, to impressionist landscapes, lino-prints, and collages. It truly felt as though everyone was included.
Many of my personal favourite artworks were from the “Natural World” section of the event. The theme allowed many students to unleash their artistic talents on depictions of the Devon coast, and the dramatic colours and lines of the sunsets and waves naturally drew the eye. These paintings provided a brightness and colour that often helped to highlight the more monotone art of the “Light and Dark” themed artwork. The works popped when placed next to each other; particularly striking was Ema Saltone’s colourful “Train Ride Along the Exe” nearby the film noir-esque lino prints of “Bath at Night” by Jess Holland. Similarly, Zoe Allen’s impressionistic “Before Rain” paintings, was an innovative take on the Light and Dark theme, as while the canvas was dominated by monotone hazes it also played with the colours of a gathering spring storm. I must also commend Hanne’s Smi who’s combination of digital and classical aesthetics, filtered through an 80s lens, made their art some of the most uniquely styled in the whole exhibition.
Throughout the night people were asked to fill out ballot cards to vote for their favourite paintings for different categories, which added an interactive element and allowed the artists to get the recognition they strongly deserved.
At the end of the night the winners were announced with Anisha Nryan’s incredible photo-realistic pencil drawings winning the ‘attention to detail’ award. Natalia Rolinska won the ‘thought provoking’ award, Isabelle Browne won the ‘imaginative’ award, Jess Holland won the ‘unique style’ award and finally Cameron Townsley won the ‘experimental method’ award. Townsley’s amazing portraits of Razz’s Print Editor and Deputy Print editor (Charlotte Forrester and Emily Stearn) are also featured at the end of each editor’s letter in our print editions.
This evening was so enjoyable, even if canapés and wine did run out due to popular demand, the art and sense of community was amazing. At the point in the term when deadlines can seem overwhelming it was lovely to take a step out and appreciate people’s creative outlets and talents spanning across disciplines.
– Molly Thatcher