Pause Collective – Falmouth Fine Art graduates at Manchester’s Kraak Gallery

Pause Collective is a group of three 2014 graduates of Falmouth’s BA(Hon) Fine Art. They have recently held a group show featuring work by ten 2014 Falmouth Fine Art graduates at Kraak Gallery in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and we’re pleased to share with you their write-up of the exhibition…

The opening night was a busy and vibrant event, with several other artistic events happening that weekend in the city. Falmouth alumni gathered to support the event, as well as Manchester residents and art students from local colleges. The Kraak Gallery is in the heart of the busy city and the artists were carefully selected to interrupt the speed and activity outside and to create a still and quiet moment. The exhibition felt like something of an unexpected discovery; the gallery is somewhat tucked away, and once people arrived, several commented that they did not want to leave. It was a space of sanctuary amongst all the clamour of the city, inviting the audience into its contemplative silence.

On entering the space, you were immediately met with Ashley Sheekey’s strikingly minimal piece Entrance, Exit, a corridor-like sculpture made up of white ceiling tiles. This piece acted as an entrance to the rest of the exhibition, first leading on to the melancholic landscapes of Ryan Joucla and Helen Carter. The landscapes of both Carter and Joucla are ambiguous and cannot be immediately placed, but rather require the audience’s time and attention to journey through them. Lizzy Barnes exhibited delicate prints embossed with architectural shapes that, at first glance, could have appeared to be blank sheets of paper. Round the other side of the space, were Emily Naish’s animations of a bee struggling against the raging sea, caught in a lighthouse beam.

Rose-Marie Caldecott showed her piece Drafting Illusion; flyaway prints on Japanese paper hold a landscape that disappears amongst abstract marks, all trapped beneath a resin block. This sat between Matthew Cotton’s Automated Drawing series, drawings made up of hundreds of delicate circles to create hazy abstract formations. The final wall showed Emily Cranny, Alexander Heath and Lucia Jones. Cranny showed drawings that make use of brighter collage among the mesh of graphite marks; Jones exhibited iPad constructs, where she has worked into photographs digitally with painterly sensibilities. Heath’s paintings, East of Eden, were inspired by John Steinbeck’s novel, and depict large scale semi-abstract figures in bold colours and shapes, but the pieces still retain a quiet attention to detail, with a focus on the surface of the canvas.

The works all held greater depth than could be perceived at first glance. To really experience the work required a full mental immersion; a quiet escape from the busy world outside. These quiet works, that might sometimes be overlooked, were given an opportunity here to speak and be heard. Entering the space was an escape but at the end of the day, we all had to exit back to the loud and bustling reality of Manchester, but hopefully carrying a piece of that quiet with us.

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