By Mia L 

‘Rising Talent’ is a yearly exhibition held at The Gallery in Hastings Arts Forum in St Leonards. Now in its fourth consecutive year, this highly innovative show gives young and emerging artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in a professional gallery, at no extra cost to themselves.

Each year members of the Exhibitions Committee visit colleges across East Sussex and invite selected artists to exhibit. Head of Exhibitions Lesley Barker explained more about The Gallery’s detailed selection process:

“We visit various end of year shows with a completely open mind. We have no idea what each year’s students are going to offer us. We want to be excited, intrigued, perplexed even by their work! They’re the next generation of artists after all …we want to know what their concerns are, what’s going on in their minds?”

‘Hands’ collaborative piece by students at Lewes College

‘Rising Talent 4’ looks set to be The Gallery’s most compelling show yet. This year’s body of work reflects myriad concerns, relating to the current socio-political climate. Exhibiting artists explore a comprehensive variety of themes, from our burgeoning relationship with technology, to concerns of personal identity and displacement within a wider, cultural context.

What’s perhaps most impressive, is the sheer quality of work on display, as yet still untainted by the constraints of the conformative mainstream. I was especially taken with some works by students from Lewes College with personal experience of displacement and refugee status. A fellow artist from Brighton University uses images of the human form as a physical canvas, to depict dystopian fears of automation and the Self.

‘Rising Talent 4’ undoubtedly provides a much needed platform for these young students and their contemporaries, to express themselves within a truly supportive and inclusive environment.

As Lesley Barker concludes;
“It’s a privilege to see the work of these young artists exhibited in our gallery, at such an important stage in their development. ‘Rising Talent’ demonstrates the breadth of the role we aspire to pursue in the visual arts locally, alongside our ambition to support young artists and show the complexity and exciting diversity of their work.”

So save the date and show your support for the visual voices of tomorrow, today!

‘Rising Talent 4’ is running from 3rd-15th Sept 2019 (Private view is on Friday 6th September 6.30-8.30pm). Please refer to The Gallery at Hastings Arts Forum website for further information

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