High octane art in a standout New Contemporaries exhibition at The Bluecoat

Upstairs at The Bluecoat

Hidden behind the facade of just another graduate art exhibition belies the truth in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries artistic vision of showing the most diverse approaches emerging from British Art Schools today. This year, The Bluecoat is providing a much needed critical platform for new and recent fine art graduates spanning the UK.

Exciting, dynamic, multi-faceted and visually ‘mental’ are just a few of the words I would use to describe the handsome bevy of art treats in store for you here.

As you move through the rooms one of the most poignant revelations is that the artists have used multiple means and methods of using anything and everything to get across their visual style in response to the world we live in. There is method in their madness. Paintings are depicted on canvas, paper and plasticine. Thanks to Sebastian Jefford’s antics we can see really quite stunning ‘painterley objects’ made out of soft plastercine but with tough iron nails sticking out of it. His work is an assemblage of tactile pieces as he digs deeper with his strange surface treatments.

Sebastian Jefford

There are several video works and most are revelatory. Conceptual artist, Richie Moment’s films are hard to miss with their bright, gaudy colouring and high octane pace. Behind these crazed 80s inspired ‘Mighty Boosh’ endeavours are really important messages about the art world and how commercial it has become. His frustrations become his message. Similar in thought process, Anna Bunting Branch has delivered seamless illustrative prose in her film piece extending her practice surrounding feminist values. Her posters 'We Invoke the Culture of Heretics' give you an insight into her feminist messages and the science fiction enamoured-film makes you wonder at its narrative brilliance - a firm favourite in my eyes as it combines mediums in which the viewer can see, hear and watch everything merge together.

Anna Bunting Branch
Richie Moment

Sculpture doesn't disappoint. Quick observations garner that different materials are in use, from textiles, iron, expandable foam, plastic rods and chalk, glass bottles, vinyl tape on wood, mirrors, ceramics, even an inflatable yellow swim ring in the clutches of menacing rock teeth by Harry Fletcher 'Squeeze it, Hug it, Thump it, Hump it' 2015.

Saelia Aparicio’s stunningly vibrant glass bottles perch delicately on a black steel frame, simply titled ‘All the Bubbles Burst’. It’s Jamie Fitzpatrick’s humanoid sculptures made out of wax that are truly grotesque and yet so intriguing to look at. You can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to be entangled with two or three other people, melting together into a void of melancholy and pain. They are absurd and demonic, yet these experiments in representation are amazing in scale and theatricality. A combination of 'Alien' and melting wax dolls??!!? Hmmm weird but cool.

Jamie Fitzpatrick

With so many great works of art here I can’t help but mention Alfie Kungu’s ‘BIG’ painting, part of a ‘bigger’ series he has worked on. Through to Jemma Egan’s bronze face titled ‘Stella’, an enlarged coffee cup lid which she originally picked up off the pavement in Canada. She then 3d scanned it, enlarged it and added to make its already ‘face like’ features more prominent. Aptly named ‘Stella’ after the lady that sued McDonalds for burning herself on hot coffee.

Its so obviously a brilliant platform to be involved in and I wish there were more like it for emerging artists as a whole and not just for those straight out of University, but as part of the overall Biennial event it is as triumphant as ever. A definite see to stimulate your imagination!

Here's plenty of images I took on the day...



To 16th October
The Bluecoat
School Lane, Liverpool
L1 3BX


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