When I photographed Spring Fling open studios in Crichton William Spurway of Solway House Arts invited me to attend the opening of the Dumfries and Galloway college end of the year student art exhibition at Moat Brae.
It’s the second year that HND Art and Design students presented their end of the year work at the place where J M Barrie was inspired to write his Peter Pan. I felt the exposed raw brickwork of the house awaiting renovation was a perfect setting for an art show. I was also impressed by the sheer variety of displayed pieces that included painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, textile design, conceptual photography, projection and installation.
When I arrived, the opening speech was already in progress. Angus Breadalbane’s self-portraits painted using his hands and his distorted ceramic skull pieces were thought provoking. I also liked Alex Sharpe’s experiments with cuts and slashes incorporated in the physical makeup of his painting puzzles.
Nicole Halliday’s guinea fowl and teabag dresses were arresting in their workmmanship. Demie Withers shared to me the process of making her prints based on the photos of trees at sunset silhouettes. Sarah Robertson wooed my attention with her ceramics. Hayley Watson’s work reflecting on the power of internet and perfect social media profile personas was witty and funny at the same time. Jayne Creighton’s idea of re-introducing her clay sculptures back into nature worked well as projection.
The Moat Brae exhibition was a fantastic opportunity to meet these young artists so early on their creative path. I wish them all the best in their further education and career endeavours!