Folio showcases young artists’ talents
The inner life of some of Marlborough’s most talented young artists is the subject of a new exhibition at the Millennium Public Gallery.
Folio runs from May 12 to June 17, and is the first exhibition of its kind since 2013.
An initiative by the Marlborough Youth Council in partnership with the public art gallery, Folio is a showcase of outstanding NCEA artwork by Marlborough college students from Queen Charlotte College, Picton, and Marlborough Boys and Marlborough Girls Colleges, Blenheim.
The exhibition is an opportunity to see a presentation of work representing weeks of effort for formal NCEA assessment, in a format rarely seen by the public.
It is also a hugely insightful exhibit demonstrating the sophistication of our youthful artistic talents from the region.
Gone are the days of simple still life in watercolours - a fruit bowl here, a landscape there - the students’ work on display blends a wide range of mixed mediums with a thoughtful expression of what it means to be a young person growing up in the early 21st century.
The works reflect a world saturated by social media, isolation, the threats of ecological catastrophe, and unstable geopolitical politics, the moods range from hopeful to melancholy.
Marlborough Youth Council member Felix Jackson says that the exhibit highlights a year’s worth of hard work for many of the students and the youth council is pleased to be able to help show off the pieces in a public forum, a chance that many students may not otherwise get.
‘‘By us helping contribute, it’s a big help for the youth of Marlborough so they can be noticed and recognised for their talent and their work,’’ says Jackson.
‘‘They’ve put a lot of work in, too, because it takes a lot to make these folios, a lot of time and effort. So this is a perfect opportunity to be able to support a cause like this.’’
All the pieces show the gradual development of ideas made by the artists over the course of an entire year, and the exhibit is a select group of the very best from the region.
‘‘For this show specifically, I think the teachers at the colleges decide on which artwork is displayed, that’s the teachers’ preferences and understanding on what they thought were the top boards,’’ says Jackson.
‘‘Within every folio there is a theme, and that theme is then developed as you progress through the board. And that is a huge part of the folio boards and the marking of them, is that there is a development both through the theme and through the technical elements.’’
Jackson says it’s good to see the arts being recognised, as it is typically our sporting endeavours amongst our youth that get the spotlight.
‘‘A lot of work goes into something like sports, and everyone can see how much work and effort goes into that. But something like folio boards, you don’t really see the end results after putting hours and hours of work in. So, this opportunity to have these folio boards available for the public to view ... balances that out a bit,’’ he says.
One of the artists chosen to display their work, Mitchell Blake, says he chose the motifs of a rose and a clock to represent the impermanence of the material world, and life.
‘‘It’s representing the flow of time and change,’’ says the artist.
‘‘It started with the rose, because of the contrast of reds against the black and white. That’s definitely where it started. And then it moved through to the hands, and the figure, and the watch, and showing the flow of time, and decay.’’
Deep stuff all round. The show is certainly a must see for the variety of voices on display, and a great way to support our young talented artists.
Folio runs until June 17
Mitchell Blake with his folio artwork which makes up part of a new exhibition at the Millennium Public Art Gallery.