Immeasurable, The Blythe Gallery Imperial College, London SW7 5NH       April 28 - May 7, 2015

Students from Middlesex's MA Fine Art course took over Imperial College's Blyth Gallery in a two-week residency which saw them explore the boundaries of their research and practice.

 

Taking a new approach to the annual MA Fine Art interim exhibition, 'Immeasurable' saw 11 students spend two weeks in Imperial College's Blyth Gallery creating their works, thus placing as much focus on their research and process as on the completed pieces.  

 

With the gallery space acting as a thoroughfare for students as well as an exhibition area, artists could invite passersby to interact with their projects while feeding off the energy and creativity of their peers working and making around them.

"For those who prefer for the making practice to be private, it's quite a challenge to be making work in a public setting and responding to the situation," said Roddy Hunter, the then Director of Programmes: Fine Art at Middlesex. "It's great that everyone has come together and challenged themselves to work in this way, without a planned outcome."

"There's a lot of evolution when you work in a space like this," said Limor Chen, whose site-specific installation consisted of a rope installation infused with spices, which encouraged visitors to engage through sight, touch and smell. "You cannot plan and think, 'this is how it's going to be'. You create something, and it evolves while you're in the space working."

 

"I had to really adapt to be site-specific," said Lynne Benarroch, who normally works with large-scale oil on canvas and metal but chose to focus on knitting and crochet for the Blyth Gallery residency. 

"My response was to go in completely the other way to what I'm used to. It's been rewarding; I've learnt a lot about myself in terms of patience and work ethic. It's been a good exercise, all about process and learning about myself; working with people, which I don't normally do and engaging with other practices."

Fiona Wallace, whose work deals with identity, history and cultural memory, invited people to represent themselves visually through a variety of coloured paints, each assigned to a different value or element of their personality. The result is a series of very different circular artworks revealing how participants viewed themselves and what shaped their identities. 

 

"I've had a really positive response," Fiona said of her project. "It's a great idea working with other people. Even though we're all doing separate projects, we are flowing into each other and affecting each other. It's been fascinating."

The residency culminated in an exhibition and performance on Thursday 7 May, where visitors had the chance to interact with the artists and their artworks, and the artists reflected on how the environment had shaped their thought process and making.      

'Immeasurable' was curated by Mindy Lee and Susan Sluggett of Blyth Gallery. 

 

For more images from the residency and exhibition, visit the Immeasurable Facebook page.