S P A C I O U S
28th of June to the 2nd of July 2016.
Hayley Whittingham: second year, painting
Tess Glen: third year, painting
Tiffany Barber: fourth year, painting
Megan Rea: fourth year, painting
Katie Forrester: Illustration PhD candidate
Aoife O’Brien: third year, history of art
Jihoon Son: first year, MFA contemporary art practice
Nowadays, partly due to the intersectional focus of much feminist thought, it is becoming increasingly clear that sexuality and gender identity are intrinsically linked. Paradoxically however, much writing on the topic of feminism continues to perpetuate heterosexuality and the gender binary as the norm. In response to this, S P A C I O U S brings together the work of a diverse range of ECA students all working with queer and feminist themes: allowing the viewer to see where the work’s themes cross and overlap and thus helping them to formulate alternative ideas on sexuality and gender.
Indeed, instead of being a traditional exhibition, S P A C I O U S aims to provide a safe space in which to open up ideas and thoughts about gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. Envisioning S P A C I O U S as a think space, rather than a formal exhibition, we have tried to reject the traditional atmosphere of most exhibition spaces, as well as the idea of the exhibition as a finished product. Accordingly, most of the larger scale works lean against the wall and floor, rather than being hung up, giving the exhibition an unfinished feel.
S P A C I O U S begins not in Tent Gallery itself but on the street outside it, where Jihoon Son’s provocative work decorates the gallery’s large front window, confronting the onlooker on the street with taboo depictions of sex and sexuality. Within the gallery itself, there are a series of paintings and photographs by different artists which meditate upon alternative gender narratives and depictions of masculinity. In addition, there is an architectural painting which is unclear in its setting- is it a interior or exterior view? Is it a private or public space? The questions posed by the piece are reminiscent of Virginia Wolfe’s past musings on private vs. public space and contemporary discussions on the physicality of gender and its importance.