Nottingham Trent, Nottingham
2 - 12 June 2011
Reviewed by: Holly O'Meara
Half way this year’s Nottingham Trent Fine Art degree show exhibition I came upon the intricate work of Rachel Wing who specialises in pen and ink drawings. Her piece in the show was based on observations she had made whilst on a walk in the countryside. These observations were shown to us through text and drawings. The space it had been displayed in complimented the idea and work as you had to walk around the narrow upper gallery to view it , slowly realising that you were accompanying her on a mountain walk as she showed the different heights of where she noted her observations. And you got to the summit you reached a staircase, with a descent ahead of you. As an eager explorer, her work felt to me as though it brought an actual breath of fresh air into the gallery, inviting each viewer to share the walk with her,
Along the way small segments of text described many details of her walk from just putting her walking boots on to the noises of her surroundings to the changes in weather, conjuring up the atmosphere and giving a real sense of being elsewhere other than an exhibition. There was no temptation to view the other artists’ work on the opposing walls whilst you followed the walk. She had drawn some of her observations on bits of wood and slate, which brought the countryside into the gallery, and added an extra dimension to the drawings and text on the flat wall. I liked the feeling that these were objects that she had found on her walk, and that we were being invited to share their colour and texture with her. This feeling was enhanced by the detailed drawings entwined with the text, which allowed you to share what she was seeing, whilst leaving enough gaps to fill with your own thoughts. When I go for walks, along with taking in the views and nature, it allows me to get away and sort through my thoughts I was curious to find out the random thoughts of the lone walker, almost frustrated not to be told more. Perhaps the blank space between the drawings and text could be deliberate and even companionable way to invite the viewer to input their own random thoughts as they walk through the work.
Fine Art student at Nottingham Trent
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