Anglia Ruskin staff shows bring new gallery to life

Published: 12 December 2005 at 14:32

A series of art shows featuring the work of senior lecturers at Anglia Ruskin University is gearing up the newly refurbished Ruskin Gallery at the Cambridge School of Art for a diverse and lively programme of exhibitions planned for 2006.

The lecturers, who are all practicing artists, are testing out the lovingly restored gallery space with their own exhibits in the weeks leading up to its first external show featuring abstract painter Bruce Russell in February. The second of these staff exhibitions, entitled Fine Art and Printmaking is open until 16 December and a third will be staged from 19 December until the end of the year.

Showcasing the mixed work of Jane Dixon, Andrew Vass, James Woodworth, Kate Noakes, Susannah Keay and Hephzibah Rendle-Short, the show attracted around 60 visitors from the region to its private viewing. 

Susannah Keay, a Lecturer in Fine Art who specialises in print making, had two thought-provoking prints on show at the event.

Talking about the success of the event, she said:

"I am delighted to see my work on display in this wonderful new gallery. I have participated in many exhibitions in London and at a number of galleries in Europe, but none have felt quite as familiar or comfortable as this exhibition, staged here within the University campus."

Her work explores the value that people place on domestic spaces and possessions and how these serve as symbols for memories and time passing.

Fellow Fine Art Lecturer, James Woodworth from Cambridge, had paintings on show which represent landscapes that appear recognisable but are almost entirely fictive. 

He added:

"This is my first staff show. It has provided me with opportunity to share my passion for fine art landscapes with my contemporaries here at the University.”

"The new gallery is extremely impressive and will be of great benefit to both students and visiting artists."

Nick Devison, Course Leader in Print Making, was a visitor to the staff exhibition. 

He commented:

"This exhibition brings together the incredible diversity of art practice. There is a consistency of rigor in both the thinking and application behind the high quality exhibits we have seen here at the show. These shows are but as taster of what is to come at the new Anglia Ruskin Gallery."

Award-winning Suffolk artist Andrew Vass was included in the line-up with work from his Frequency collection which cleverly illustrates the various 'sounds' of drawing.

Art studios surround the new gallery and dark rooms, for photography based courses, are situated beneath the floor of exhibition space.

A new exhibiting option entitled Off Site is a new addition to the Fine Art Programme at Anglia Ruskin University. It provides students with the opportunity to further their ideas off campus, particularly in relation to large installations, or anything that relies on an audience. It also allows students to gain experience of exhibiting in the public realm.

Off-Site exhibitions, which are supported by Cambridge City Council, and the Arts Council, use the spaces offered by properties that are temporarily out of use. This means the site of the exhibitions is often unconventional, meaning the curation and the artwork often needs to adapt and respond to its demands. It also means that the exhibitions are often created in the energy of a limited time scale. The third and final Off Site exhibition for this year opens on Tuesday 13 December with an evening viewing (from 5.00pm - 7.30pm) at Gwydir Enterprise Centre, Gwydir Street, Cambridge. Opening times are 12.00-4.00pm from 14-16 December.

Anglia Ruskin University has a 150 year art tradition. The degree level courses offered within the Cambridge School of Art offer all the flexibility of modular based programmes. There are currently 460 students at the school.