The School of...

Holden Gallery

Curated by Adam Carr

The School of… brings together work by final year students from Fine Art, Photography and Interactive Arts.

Embracing a wide range of approaches and styles of art making, the exhibition on the one hand deliberately mingles together work from each course. On the other, it forms new and perhaps unintended subjects and themes to both categorise and present the work, in which latent meaning could be unearthed and perceived by visitors — an optional lens through which to view and understand the work.

Each wall within the exhibition has a colour coding system, which refers to different disciplines and departments entirely imagined by the curator. They are The School of Biology & Social Sciences, The School of Geometry & Mathematics, and The School of Horology & Wizardry. One of the intentions through forming these 'new' disciplines is to lead to a discussion about disciplines in themselves and whether or not they have any relevance today when the visual arts and the practice of artists themselves are becoming more and more rarified and versatile. The concept of the exhibition also points to context in which an exhibition formed through a selection of work with a circumscribed nature and precedent, (to select from open submission, work by final year students from three different courses in the Art School), required openness and flexibility.

While each work in the exhibition is categorised to belong to a particular section in the exhibition, they could also exist and be presented in another, which the display of the exhibition plays on. Through the presentation and classifications by the curator, separate exhibitions are formed which can be 'read' separately or together as one cohesive whole. The sections are purposefully playful and reflect the potential of art to be wide reaching in bother form and content.

The exhibition also considers the function and history of Manchester School of Art – the second oldest in the country after The Royal College of Art – as well as Art Schools in general. While it attempts to break down the traditional divisions and borders that exist between courses, it underlines the fact that what students are studying are not necessarily the things they will go on and pursue creatively (as seen in the work of a number of the alumni) – that the courses are perhaps more about providing a framework or way of thinking and that it is the 'experience' of being in and around the Art School which is the primary shaper.