Level 3 art & design students have been exploring how humans live in the real and digital realms with an exhibition at the Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth.

City of Portsmouth College art student exhibiting paintings in the Aspex Gallery

Their exhibition is their personal and creative responses to Keiken’s Player of Cosmic ༄ؘ ° Realms. Artist collective Keiken’s interactive installation contemplates the future of gaming environments and human relationships through CGI film and hands-on experiences.

Level 3 UAL Applied General Diploma in Art & Design student Amy Dawe, who plans to become a film set designer, created a sculpture focusing on masculinity to showcase at the exhibition, said: “It’s about spreading yourself too thin and the pressures of society tearing you apart. It’s set in a window box as it shows how society is always judging you and nothing you do goes unnoticed. He’s looking into a mirror because he doesn’t recognise himself, and that’s how we end up trying to be perfect in ourselves and for society. He’s tearing his face off because he doesn’t recognise himself and shows how self-destructive we can be.

“This exhibition is very motivating and gives you a lot of confidence. I wasn’t confident about my work, but it’ll be shown to a lot of people. It’s exciting because you get to see their reaction, and it’s nice to see a fresh set of eyes on your work.”

As well as the student exhibition, Aspex Gallery also supported the students with a masterclass on marketing and promoting their work before their exhibition.

Fellow student Harry Crump, who created two screen print non-fungible tokens (NFT), said: “They’re NFTs but I wanted them to have a handheld feel to it. I did it by screen printing them and adding them in afterwards. I feel like the problem with NFT art is that you can’t physically handle them. By doing it this way, it adds a realistic feel.

“This has been a good experience overall. It gives you the opportunity to hang a piece in an art gallery, which you normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to do at our age. You get to find out how it all done professionally, and I wouldn’t have known how to do it otherwise.”

The students, based at Highbury Campus, created a range of pieces, including screen-printing, sculptures, video art and more.

Exhibiting three paintings side by side, Morgan Pople, said the exhibition has helped with her course, saying: “I feel like this gets you out of your comfort zone, and it’s a good move to take if you’re shy about your artwork. It’s given me more confidence.

“My work is about emotions and associated colour psychology. There are a lot of different colours because I wanted to show there are a lot of overwhelming emotions – whether positive or negative.”

The exhibition of the students’ work will run alongside the main exhibition until Sunday 27th February. Keiken’s Player of Cosmic ༄ؘ ° Realms will be running until Sunday 27th March.

Learning Programme Lead for Aspex Gallery Harriet Carr said: "The exhibition is a really impressive showcase of the wide range of creative skills that the students have and the hard work they have put into the unit. It’s a great mixture of fun pieces that reflect the students' personalities and interests, but also delves into some really important and sensitive themes, which we are glad to be able to give a platform to.

"It has been a pleasure to work with the students on this programme, and to support them in developing their work for this unit as well as professional skills & knowledge."

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Article Details

  • Date 18/02/2022