A week ago today I attended INTERFUSE, an exhibition held by fellow students in the Gallery North Project Space. Art students host exhibitions all the time, but what was special about this one was the fact that it blended the work of both Northumbria and Newcastle University students together. To my knowledge this has never been done before, which is a shame as it seems like such a waste of two such creative communities that are right on each other’s door step. At the same time however it made INTERFUSE all the more exciting.
As if the concept of a collaboration wasn’t exciting enough, the content of the exhibition was even more so! It was really dynamic, a blend of all sorts of mediums ranging from audio, installation, performance, video, painting – you name it, it was all there. It was a really strong combination of works, probably one of the strongest and most interesting blends I have seen in a very long time.
One of the key elements that made INTERFUSE so effective was audience participation. You had pieces like the one above which people were welcome to crawl into (and trust me we did, we had quite a party in there!) Then you had ones like the one below which was so temptingly tactile you had to remind yourself touching artwork is not acceptable!
Sadly I did not see the performance piece, it drew such a big crowd that I literally could not leave the little room with the tent installation (not that I’m complaining, any extra time I get to spend in the company of fairylights is absolutely fine by me!)
When I say this exhibition had everything, I am not lying. The above was definitely the funkiest piece, it was like walking into a mini disco! Music was blaring, lights were flashing, colours were going crazy. I’m not usually one for conventional club music but in this instance I was entirely fine with it! Maybe if we set up some hip arty club consisting of installations like this I wouldn’t feel the need to drown my sorrows over the terrible music that gets played in most places!
In contrast to the energetic club-like room, you had pieces like this. The moment you put headphones on you are choosing to shut out the world and immerse yourself entirely in the piece. And I really like that element; in a way it almost gives the work total control over you which I think is very interesting. Sound is definitely something I want to look into working with, especially given the fact my video works really aren’t functioning for me, yet the audio in them all somehow still appeals.
Another thing that I thought made INTERFUSE such a strong exhibition were the details; it was just the simplest things such as tape outlines on the floor, but it just brought everything together and really demonstrated the thought and time that had gone into all this.
It was probably one of my favourite exhibitions so far this year. It is the first of four and let me tell you, I will definitely be going to the next one. I have no idea what to expect next time, as I really don’t know how they are going to top this one. We’ll just have to wait and see!