Fo­lio show­cases young artists’ tal­ents

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID JAMES

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

PHOTO: DAVID JAMES/STUFF

Mitchell Blake with his fo­lio art­work which makes up part of a new exhibition at the Mil­len­nium Pub­lic Art Gallery.

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