This year the Norman Rea Gallery will be launching their summer programme with an Academy Style Summer show opening Monday Week Four, 17 May. The show, based around the theme of ‘Light’, will consist entirely of submissions, from both students and members of the public. Current Director of the Norman Rea Gallery, Sarah Bolwell, tells Nouse how the concept came about: “[it] came out of a group discussion… about something that would be vague enough to get people interested and not quirky or conceptual enough to put people off. We all had a think and then Amy Tobin, one of the previous Directors of the Norman Rea Gallery put forward ‘Light’ as the title and it stuck.”
The gallery is currently looking for submissions for both indoor and outdoor exhibits. So what does Sarah think about the submissions so far? “The submissions so far are predominantly photographic which is great but obviously the more diverse our exhibition can be the better. We are running an exhibition later in the term about the nature of our ‘Kodak Culture’ and Facebook so the number of photographs we’ve had submitted may tell us something about the way that people today feel able to express themselves creatively? Quite interesting.”
The submissions will be reviewed by the Langwith Arts Committee, and for those interested “the only criterion is insight. Anything that shows a bit of thought on the theme of light, whether it’s a sketch showing great use of shading or a photograph of the lake taken at dusk. We’ve got frames to frame the work so people shouldn’t be worried about submitting something without a frame.” Bolwell will also be submitting a piece of work to the committee, “an installation based on epilepsy involving a chair and a strobe light.”
Bolwell says: “We are taking submissions from anyone on campus who is feeling a bit creative of any art skill level.” She continues: “The committees usually take a less traditional attitude towards the gallery space in the Summer term with performance pieces, debates and generally a more student-based feel to the exhibitions. I think if we can get as many people as possible involved this term, whether it’s through submitting work or taking part in performance art in the coming weeks, then this term promises to be really successful for the gallery.”
The indoor work will be displayed in the Norman Rea Gallery; while outdoor work will be displayed in an exhibition space across from the Courtyard on campus. All genres of work and media are accepted, ranging from photography to sculpture, painting to film and installation art. The outdoor exhibition space is specifically reserved for sculpture, for a piece that works in conjunction with and for the duration of the Summer exhibit in the gallery. Applications to display in the outdoor space must include information about the proposed idea, including materials and estimated dimensions, along with an image of the work.
‘Light’ will be followed by a photography exhibition entitled ‘plots’ with an accompanying performance piece, which Bolwell claims will be “a further chance for student interaction”. Commenting further on the ‘Light’ exhibition: “’Light’ particularly as a theme can be approached by artists in an infinite number of ways and the whole committee is really excited about seeing what the students of York have to offer.”