It’s not often you find hundreds of people wandering around on a summer’s evening, viewing art. And when this art includes a film which mashes up Fawlty Towers, nuclear war mockumentary The War Game, Sound of the Underground by Girls Aloud, and Theresa May’s resignation speech – what’s not to like?
So well done to this year’s graduating BA’s from LICA, whose degree show, ‘Coordinate’, was very much pulling in the punters at its opening night on Thursday 20 June.
Most exhibits are in Bowland Annexe, with larger pieces and design students’ displays in the LICA building. There’s a showcase – one piece from each artist – in the Peter Scott Gallery, making this a good place to start. The title is a bit of a pun – yes, it’s mainly a co-ordinated presentation by 69 different people, but there are geographical themes (co-ordinates, geddit?) in several of the exhibits, and the degree show poster has a map-like look.
You’ll find film-based installations, including Sian Howells covering herself in beans, Pablo Rubio’s already-mentioned Fawlty Towers epic, and Aiden Handley-Griggs smashing an old PC to pieces with hammers.
You’ll see strange sculptures, such as Lauren Silcock’s Lovecraftian legs-hatching-from-eggs and Georgina Raynor’s anti-slavery pieces in burnt sugar.
And you’ll come across technically impressive exhibits like Emily Stewart’s giant tissue paper sail, covered with tiny pinpricked pictures on the subject of grief, and Olivia Foskett’s blacked-out room, where you go in with a torch and shine this around to see strange things inside.
It’s great, basically. Just pop along and walk around. There are times, strolling through, where Lancaster’s comparable lack of exhibition space becomes clear – in particular, there are plenty of works which would benefit from being displayed in a large space with a high ceiling, but only one place, the LICA foyer, where this can happen. Well done to Daisy Williamson whose inflatable misogynist insults look amazing there.
For the subtext art appreciation drone, three exhibits were particularly dazzling:
– Leonie Robertshaw’s geometric rearrangements of Venus blend op art with iconography.
– Ashanti Garratt’s diptychs put Hopper-style portraits on the left next to monologues on the right. The monologues begin confidently, but the text fades away. Then you realise that they’re all about memory loss and dementia, and stay staring for 10 minutes.
– Alice Sherlock’s Strudwicks Field is… well, there’s a room with outlines on the floor, scale models of urban centres with things not quite in the right place, and paintings on the wall which look like close ups of maps. Then there’s the film loop where the artist is wandering around a Gothic, decayed landscape and… is that somewhere I know?… Your correspondent spent 15 minutes trying to make sense of it all, before realising that the whole point is that everything depicted is wrong.
The show stays open until the afternoon of Saturday 29 June.