David Bilbrough / Tim Croft / Rachel Errington / Joanna Hutton / Ricky James / Gethin Wyn Jones / Lily Mellor
The eight practices (one collaborative, in addition to the work of two individuals) represented in the BxNU Master of Fine Art graduate exhibition Milkilling have been forged in the early years of a new course, a new building, a new partnership. With good grace and patience the students have worked through the contradictions of intense scrutiny/freedom and opportunities of their new-fashioned situation. These circumstances came together, like the ‘milk’ and the ‘illing’ to form something full of life and new possibilities.
The truisms ‘carved’ into Lily Mellor’s sculptural multiples, question the inherent etiquettes in situations of this nature; testing the boundaries, while embracing with enthusiasm, the notion of exhibition as event.
David Bilbrough has worked with the Ryder and Yates archive of the North Kenton Estate, Newcastle, built in 1965. His work evokes a yearning for a time when architecture promised hope for a better future.
Rachel Errington incorporates her love for punk music and participation in zine culture, to drive her exploration of the ‘minor’ body in relation to the contemporary cultural and political landscape.
Gethin Wyn Jones’ film, Fear uses the vocabulary of cinema, in particular the genre of horror, to create a state of anticipation. Though visual and aural cues suggest otherwise, we are insistently denied the release of climax.
Comedy and humour is a central theme for Tim Croft, who hijacks a variety of objects, artefacts and identities in his ‘routine’ of works, which perform to confront, tease and cajoul in equal measure.
Joanna Hutton’s fidgeting, nervous sculptural works reveal periods of uneasy stasis as they evolve into new forms. Traces of an earlier form or activity are often evident as processes of depletion or erosion take their course.
Ricky James’ improvised performances function in the manner of a travelling salesman. He incorporates an unlikely series of everyday objects to create absurd or inappropriate gestures; the use of which activates the space between performance and presence.
Mellor and James’ videos document the pair in performative scenarios, placing themselves/each other in positions of alternating vulnerability and trust, reminiscent of ‘care’ in medical or institutional settings.