?32 the collective works? is a collection of ceramics, paintings, prints and sculptures by students of Canterbury Christ Church University College.
There is not a large range of ceramics on display but particularly interesting is the ?metal? ceramics by Phil Evans that may strike a cord with engineers. There is also a large number of tableware with interesting glazes.
Painting is the main bulk of the work on display. The paintings are diverse. The styles range from realist portraits, to abstract pieces and pop art. My favourite highlights (in alphabetical order) include vibrant, pop art influenced self-portraits by Holly Dawson. Don?t miss this; it is tucked away in a corner downstairs! Caroline Dearing?s paintings have clean lines, which contrast the natural beauty of the sky and industrial objects. The two abstract pieces by Elizabeth Drew capture the beauty of movement and effects of light. Natalie Hughes? dark images of London are now aptly placed since the exhibition took residence in London. The portraits by Howard Palmer are bright and I am assured very accurate. Purchasing the catalogue will confirm this, as Palmer?s self-portrait is present. There are many other worthwhile artists? paintings to view.
There is also some great printing that has been done. Near the entrance to the gallery is work by Brenna Maeve Chandler. I found the images quite striking. Apparently they are about women empowering themselves. Maybe this was lost on me, having the viewing disability of being male? Jennifer Clair Wilson?s work is also captivating. On first view, I found the work quite interesting and sometimes scary and this appears to be what the artist is trying to captivate.
The sculptures, like the ceramics, are also relatively few in number, but since this is a celebration of artwork by the university?s art department the quantity of work in each category will depend on the students? interest. Although there is not much of it, it is of high quality. Works by Abigail Bicheno are very innovatively and beautifully glazed.
The exhibition is at The Menier Gallery. It is located at 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU and the nearest tube is London Bridge. It is a short walk down Southwark Street from the Borough High Street exit of London Bridge. We do not get the opportunity to see undergraduate artwork here but Canterbury?s students' work is worth visiting. They are also selling their pieces - so if finances permit, this could be a good opportunity to buy some original art. The exhibition is open until 11 June 2005.