• Ruby Savill-Downs

Clump: Level 2 Fine Art Exhibition – A Review

Last week saw the opening of the University of Leeds Level 2 Fine Art Exhibition, titled ‘Clump’. In reflection of their “assemblage of forms, spaces and interactions”, these pieces deal with an array of themes, from the “personal to the completely abstract” (Martha Harris - host of the exhibition). Suitably divided into two parts, the first section in UoL Chemistry Basement exhibits the darker and more interactive side of ‘Clump’; whereas the latter part at Yorkshire House shows off pieces of a lighter and more contemporary nature. ‘Clump’ launched on Thursday 12th March and was a huge success; both locations saw queues of people visiting, interacting with both the artists' work and the artists themselves. It was lovely to see such a turnout of support following the evidential hard work put into curating the exhibition.

'Clump' at Yorkshire House, 12/03/20

‘Clump’s aim was to explore the individuality of the artists’ works, to exemplify the various creative pathways that can be established when given the space to exercise your own style without limits. The originality and eclecticism of ‘Clump’s pieces were further highlighted through the extensive variation of media used: it was amazing to see installations, film, animations, paintings and multidimensional interactive pieces all in two rooms. ‘Clump’ coherently came across as a conclusion of a year’s work for the artists, especially when understanding their explorations that led to these pieces.

A massive 73 artists were featured in this exhibition, but here are a few that spoke about the inspirations behind their work:

Lottie Mac (@lottiemac98): Language Experiment Piece 1

Lottie Mac never fails to bring depth and enthusiasm to her art, and Language Experiment Piece 1 only entrenches this further. An umbrella name for a handful of pieces, Language Experiment Piece 1 explores the experiences of immigrants living in Britain; whether first, second or third generation, these individuals lose their native tongue in replace of the English language. Lottie uses these pieces to celebrate the diversity we are blessed with in Britain – yet simultaneously reconnects these individuals with their heritage, with the aim of incorporating this into our society too. This piece was both visually pleasing and culturally fascinating, with a vast range of people of diverse backgrounds and stories involved.

Lottie Mac's Language Experiment Piece 1 (2020)

Ella Witt (@ellawtt): Reverie

Ella’s effortless talent for animation is surfaced once again in her beautiful piece Reverie, exploring “dreamlike fantasies” by utilising inspiration from the everyday. It successfully transcends the usual sole medium of digital stop motion animation to also include painting and collage – giving the piece an organic and personal tone.

Ella Witt's Reverie (2020)

Martha Harris (@artby.mart): Tried to Walk

Martha’s piece Tried to Walk features the beautiful dichotomy of hung, pastel pink satin as a background for a looping digital projection of a falling figure. The past year has seen Martha develop her own style of animations, with her colourful and energetic Do the Dance featured as visuals for Ladies Lovin’s event at Blueberry Hill in February. Tried to Walk is visually serene and delicate, yet remains captivating through its looped animations.

Martha Harris' Tried to Walk (2020)

Millie-Beth Wright (@mibewr): 339 hours

Millie’s 339 Hours serves as a culmination of her exploration into relationships and distances, a sequel to her piece Family Portraits exhibited at Lottie Mac’s Comfy exhibition (2019). Family Portraits acknowledges the difficulty in finding comfort when experiencing transience in your life, especially as a student; when having two families can be both disjointing and comforting. Following this, 339 Hours uses the physical distances between the subjects of Family Portraits to digitally exemplify the tension between being ‘family’, yet also sometimes living so far away. It was also lovely to see the integration of friends of Millie within both pieces, even in her move away from portraiture to a more digitalised medium. The physical exhibition of the pieces in an enclosed, dark room enabled Millie to echo the drawings with looping animations along the floor and walls, giving the viewing experience an immersive feel – a really interesting piece.

Millie-Beth Wright's 339 Hours (2020)

‘Clump’ is open to visit until the 24th March in UoL Chemistry Basement (LS2 9JT) and at Yorkshire House (Greek Street, LS1 5SH).

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