Next Wave is a biennial exhibition held at the RBSA gallery in Birmingham. It specifically exhibits recently graduated and emerging artists practicing in the Fine Arts. I was delighted to be accepted to co-curate the exhibition and include my own art work.
”It is hoped that Next Wave will foster critical engagement, lively debate and networking opportunities for the art community and public alike, and at the same time strive to extend and diversify the audience for art in the region.” Caroline Ali RBSA, Annette Lucas RBSA, Annette Pugh ARBSA (Next Wave 2014 Curators).
Two years ago, I exhibited in the first Next Wave exhibition and was awarded a Next Wave Associateship. This encouragement impelled me to get involved with Next Wave 2016.
The process of curating this show began months before any of the art work was seen in the flesh. Artists were chosen from digital applications and a preliminary hang was devised. All of this planning went towards a smooth running installation.
The day of installation was super busy, exciting… knackering! After such a day it was difficult to appreciate what had been achieved. It was only when I re-visited the gallery the day after that I was able to consider what we had put together.
Even though the artists selected have come from different universities, different countries and walks of life, there are a surprising amount of reoccurring themes. These include a strong sense of materials, manufacture, demolition, precision and skill.
But how do all these different themes link together?
That is the job of the curators.
The exhibition was co-curated by Annette Pugh ARBSA, Caroline Ali RBSA, Jack Foster NWA and myself, Jennifer Pardoe NWA. It is the first professional gallery curation that Jack and I have been part of and it has certainly opened our eyes to the sheer amount of consideration that needs to be applied to make a successful hang. As the lead curators, Annette and Caroline’s past experience and meticulous attention to detail has ensured an exciting exhibition, fusing the themes into a readable and comprehensive exhibition of where Contemporary Art stands today. Their leadership has given us an immeasurable amount of knowledge to take forward into future exhibitions.
The process was a joy to be involved with. I would certainly urge everyone to visit the exhibition as it is an accessible way to view some of the UK’s Contemporary Art scene. I am extremely proud of the result and wish the artists all the best with their future careers.
By Jennifer Pardoe NWA