Blue Skies ahead for Upcoming Artists

Published: 6 July 2009 at 14:19

Major exhibition at the Ruskin Gallery will feature the work of 13 contemporary artists

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Following on from a very successful exhibition programme in 2008-09 which saw over 10000 visitors, the Ruskin Gallery at Anglia Ruskin University concludes its year with an exhibition of 13 up and coming contemporary artists. Entitled Blue Sky, the exhibition, opening 25 July, brings together artists who work in a range of different media and aims to be a celebration of this quality and diversity.

Nancy Clemance, Curator and Outreach Co-ordinator for the Ruskin Gallery, explains:

"Blue Sky promises to be a fantastic summer treat for people of all ages looking to enjoy contemporary art in the heart of Cambridge this year. This exhibition celebrates interesting ideas executed beautifully, including some brand new works, a few of which respond directly to the magnificent architecture of the Ruskin Gallery. In offering a variety of media from witty and talented artists, Blue Sky aims to inspire discussion and thought around our understanding, as individuals, of portraiture, textiles, environmental concerns, memory, identity and citizenship."

"This exhibition will definitely be colourful, thought-provoking and interactive, and accessible to everyone from gallery dwellers to passing tourists."

The selected artists have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences and some are closely connected with Anglia Ruskin University. Jeremy Andrews studied at the then Anglia Polytechnic University between 1992 and 1993. Since then he has gone on to exhibit nationally including at The National Portrait Gallery where he was selected for the BP National Portrait Award Exhibition in 2007. Jo Chapman, a freelance artist and art educator, recently completed a commission for Anglia Ruskin University’s halls of residence at Sedley Court, Cambridge. The final artworks consist of a 7m long steel water jet cut ‘drawing’ and the landscaping of two garden areas with steel text panels.

Fran Crowe is a Suffolk-based artist who, dismayed at learning that on average there are an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square mile of sea worldwide, resolved to ‘save’ one square mile of sea. Walking on beaches near her home, she collected over 46000 pieces of debris weighing nearly 300kg. Tidemark, a 3.5m floor installation of coloured plastic, is just a small selection of what she has found. In recognition of Fran’s engagement with environmental concerns and her sustainable and eco-art, Fran was awarded second prize at the Sustainable Art Awards in London, supported by the RSA, last month.

Speaking about the exhibition, Fran Crowe said:

"I am very excited about this exhibition. The gallery is a great space in the heart of Cambridge and I am really looking forward to seeing the work of the other artists. This celebration of upcoming contemporary artists is a perfect fit for the summer – a festival of art at its best."

The Ruskin Gallery has a range of activities planned including a free paper quiz and, for those seeking respite from the summer sun, a chance to design your own snowdome! Flyers advertising the exhibition incorporate a template allowing visitors the opportunity to contribute their own Blue Sky artwork in the Ruskin Gallery.

Exhibiting artists are: Jeremy Andrews, Helen Bendon, Adam Bridgland, Jo Chapman, Fran Crowe, Nikki Goldup, Mike Harding, CJ Mahony, Nicola Naismith, Lyndall Phelps, Yara El Sherbini, Deanna Tyson and Simon Woolham.

Blue Sky, which includes portrait painting and photography, films, vinyl cuts and installations, will open on Saturday 25 July at 2pm and the free launch is open to the general public. The exhibition will run until Saturday 29 August with opening hours of Monday - Friday 9am - 9pm and Saturdays 10am - 5pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

For further details please contact Sarah Jones,, 0845 196 2981.