Ebbing, flowing encounters

Ebbing, flowing encounters

Second year BA Fine Art student Lucy Cunningham is one of 35 emerging artists and makers to have been selected to show her work at this year’s Ones to Watch exhibition at Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds.

This annual exhibition showcases work by graduates and current students from across Yorkshire. Lucy’s work appears alongside fellow student Naeema Abed and Fine Art alumni Louis Pawlett and Lee Kay-Barry.

An event on the evening of Friday 9 March gave people the opportunity to meet the artists and celebrate the opening of the exhibition. In this article, Lucy Cunningham writes about the launch party and considers her own work alongside that of others in Ones to Watch 2018.

“There’s an electricity in Yorkshire I feel, with so many upcoming artists emerging, wanting to exhibit and work together.

Lucy Cunningham, Saturated Blue, 2018“The opportunity to be involved with Sunny Bank Mills ― a welcoming, inspiring gallery ― alongside such a diverse range of practitioners is exciting. The gallery’s annual Ones to Watch allows me to gain exposure, too, whilst I’m studying, furthering my work and opportunities for future engagement.

“My work on show features a sound piece alongside a series of prints ― fragments of language stemming from my poetry practice; drawn to the echoes of myth and fleeting conversation we encounter.

“My practice looks to explore the fragments of writing and speech that leak into each other, syllables that tumble, push, and force themselves out. This particular body of work, Saturated Blue, is inspired by both childhood and more recent moments of love, loss and change, joined together by the sea as an entity that gives and takes. Hopefully, through the work, other people relate to this sense of relinquish versus acceptance, through their own individual experiences.

“It’s the journey as opposed to the specifics that I’m concerned with, the narrative built to move people in different ways.

“Saturated Blue by Lucy Cunningham_Ones to Watch 2018Reflecting on the recent launch party, Ones to Watch continues to bring together amazing characters, and thus conversation: both visitors fuelled by a passion for art, and artists producing stirring and engaging work. Its elevation of such a diverse range of disciplines pushes the boundaries of what is possible with creative output. It celebrates how art today is not purely about the observational still-life in graphite, but spans across challenging films, exciting textile-sculptures, moving soundscapes and performative spectacles.

“Discussing my own and others’ work on the night, it was clear how exhibitions like this make people see that the art-world is something to embrace rather than feel excluded by ― and how in following the thread of works shown, there was a sense of journey to the whole exhibition that everyone joined.

“One artist noted how ‘…you have this intense meditative experience, where you share experiences with the makers through their work, through textures, colours, emotions felt, so that you leave the gallery feeling full – you take away a morsel of each artwork and it fills you with so much energy.’”