On Wednesday I went with a group of Fine Art students to see the University of Hertfordshire degree show, #Headlines.

At the entrance of the exhibition we were given an introductory newspaper keeping in theme with the title of the degree show. I thought this was a really interesting way to introduce us to the show and to help us find our way around.

Straight away there was paintings hung in the entrance of the show, welcoming us and giving us a snippet of what was to come. I was at first disappointed to find the pieces only had a name written next to them and no title, I really wanted to know more about the pieces. Fortunately bigger pieces of these works were  exhibited elsewhere allowing us to explore their meaning.

The first room we looked at was the Illustration room. I was really inspired by this part of the exhibition. It  was bright, well lit by natural light and even though all the works were exhibited quite closely it did not seem crowded or overpowering. I feel this was partly due to the light and also the white walls, making the space look bigger than it is. In comparison to the first works that we saw at the entrance, these works had labels  and descriptions so we could see what was in the artists mind when creating this piece. Along with this we also got a brochure that shows all the different work and descriptions of all the illustration and graphic design pieces. This was a great thing to produce because it is a reference point for all the students, this is where we can find them again and remind ourselves of their work.  This complemented the business cards I had picked up along the way.  I thought all the business cards were clever because they reminded us of the works we had seen. I picked up a fair amount of cards to give me ideas and also contacts for the future.

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The next part of the exhibition we saw was the Art Therapy. I found the ideas behind each creation intriguing and very well thought out. I could see how it could benefit people who took art therapy courses. Although I personally am not thinking of going into Art Therapy I found the progression of ideas and the final outcomes cleverly thought out.

After this we found the Fine Art section. Personally I thought the works that were exhibited were well done and had a lot of work behind them. However I did not think the way in which they were exhibited showed this off. There was no set pathway to get around the section so it felt like we were in a maze and missing a lot of things. Also the way each section had been split up made it feel too separate and detached. Due to the walls I felt the lighting was not as strong as it could have been, although viewing it was pleasant, I feel if more time had been put on lighting the pieces would look stronger. Saying this all the pieces were well labelled and explain and just as in the illustration area, business cards were available.

I thought the Graphic design part was similar to the illustration in the way it was set out and the lighting. Although there was a high volume of pieces, it did not feel cramped or overpowering in any way.  I really appreciated what the Graphics students had produced, I felt it was high quality and some of the pieces really captured my attention. All of them were labelled well and they all had contact cards.

The photography part of the exhibition was something I really appreciated. I thought a lot of the pieces were strong and had meaning behind them.  The layout of each section was simple yet highlighted the quality of the photo given the amount of space hung between each image and each person’s work.

Along with these I also have viewed the games animation and the special effects exhibition rooms. Although I  thought these two rooms were interesting and the work that had been produced was spectacular, it is not something I can say I’m personally interested in. However I feel that you never know when you might need future contacts and what people have to offer could help me and I could help them.

Overall I thought the exhibition was very well executed. It caught my attention throughout, making me eager to explore and discover more. In the majority of the rooms the work was laid out well and for that reason it showed it off in a way which appealed to the audience and captured their interest. I was impressed with the quality of a lot of the pieces and how the artist chose to display them.  The contact cards were something that I was also taken by as they were eye-catching and bold and helped us to remember the artist long after we had seen their work.

I am definitely planning on returning to Hertfordshire University next year in order to see what more it has to offer and to gather strong inspiration and ideas for my own degree show.

Photos of the show

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