HND Art Show
Bishop Auckland College art and photography students brought a splash of colour and a flash of shutter in making striking statements on climate change in a thought-provoking exhibition.
Bishop Auckland College art and photography students brought a splash of colour and a flash of shutter in making striking statements on climate change in a thought-provoking exhibition. Sixteen high-level learners expressed their concerns by naming their display in Bishop Auckland Town Hall’s sought after gallery space, ‘Our Planetary Pickle’. They then showcased works which highlighted their worries around global warming and man-made environmental destruction to friends, family and the public. With notable originality, their works included an image of a horse in a gas mask, a forlorn looking tiger under threat of extinction, and a painted warning of weather woes in Africa.
For several days each year, students take over the coveted gallery, with eight budding artists and the same number of photographers included this time around. All are studying for an HND Higher National Diploma Level 5 qualification, just one grade below a degree. They included Gabrielle Knotts, 27, and Kurtis Topping, 20, both from Newton Aycliffe and sitting an HND Level 5 Art and Design programme. Gabrielle said: “I am really enjoying being a student at Bishop Auckland College, and seeing my artwork in the gallery was a real thrill. “I started my own business last summer, and this course has helped me to develop my skills in 3D digital art and to promote my original artwork and prints through my website.” Kurtis completed a two-year level 3 course at the college, before committing himself to his current higher-level programme. He said: “My art helps me to relax, to take my mind off things. To me, art is not just pretty colours and pictures, it’s meaning and feelings. “If I can find a way to help others through art, I’ll be able to fulfil my career aspirations.” VIP attendees included renowned local artists Stuart Langley, who specialises in 3D and light installations, and children’s book illustrator Chris Saunders. Course tutor Sabrina Brett said the exhibition was a key collaborative element of the students’ learning.
She added: “The work was based on the topic of climate crisis and sustainability and how we, as artists, have the ability to adapt our ways of working or using our platform, and sharing art with viewers, to have a voice to draw attention to the damage we are causing and promote positive change. “The students worked with varied materials, techniques and processes which made for a very diverse, interesting show. “The feedback we received this year about the show was fantastic and we look forward to seeing where these artists go in the future. “The students got some fantastic feedback and I personally believe it was the strongest show the HND course has delivered yet.” Gabrielle’s artwork can be viewed at gabrielleknottsart.shopify.com.