'Transformations' - A word with the curator and artists

Taking refuge in the quiet side gallery away from the usual, chaotic tornado of bubblewrap, sticky tape, planks of wood, which usually precedes the opening night of an exhibition, I managed to grab a quick chat with ‘Transformations’ curator, Tilly Heydon.

Heydon, who is in her third year of studying History at the University of York, is no stranger to the curation and exhibition world. Last year at the Norman Rea Gallery, she was part of the collaborative team, along with Henry Ellison and Kalina Kossowska, who worked with the LUMA Film Festival on their exhibition surrounding the films on show. Heydon will soon be working with several other projects throughout York, such as ‘And How Do You Feel About That?’ at The New School House Gallery. She is already looking into studying curation after graduation.

‘Transformations’ features artworks from artists that Heydon has known from her home county of Suffolk, including Saskia Martindale, and her brother Reuben, as well as Rondi Park, and India Vingoe. When I asked why she brought together works from four artists instead of focusing on just the one, Heydon stated that she wanted to look at ‘art across a theme’, especially at ‘how things relate’. This has meant a space filled with a variety of works of all manner and materials, much to Heydon’s delight. ‘I wanted it to be vibrant and exciting’ she said with a grin.

The exhibition is filled with eye-catching pieces that stop you in your tracks, whether its through bright colours, or a massive structure that takes centre stage (and is the cause of some pre-opening frustration) or something that simply makes you smile inside (keep an eye out for the ‘Pot Heads’!) there is much to grab your attention. As Heydon explains, ‘I want to capture people and make them think about what they’re looking at’.

Artist Rondi Park sets up.

A FEW WORDS FROM THE ARTISTS, Saskia Martindale, Reuben Martindale, and Rondi Park.

What are some of the main inspirations found in your work?

SM: The main inspiration in my work at the moment is the human figure. The different shapes and colours fascinate me. I also really enjoy using one shape to create something else, or finding images within images.

RM: I think different forms of mark making have inspired me to respond to form and shape. Looking at the difference in human impressions on the clay sculptures and providing books for the viewers response, trying to create a visual conversation about the works.

RP: My main inspirations are the emotions that I get from doing art work. I always think of how to translate these fun and delightful feelings to the visual.

Could you tell us about a particular favourite piece of yours on display?

SM: My favourite piece of mine in the exhibition is 'Pot Heads' because it's transforming my drawings into real life. I feel like the faces have real characters, creating these new people out of strangers I drew on tubes in 3 seconds.

RM: My favourite piece is the installation. I really enjoyed working on a larger scale to anything I had before. Trying to create something with a strong concept, yet visually enticing and simultaneously interactive for the viewer.

RP: My favourite piece is the kaleidoscope. I really liked actually making the installation for my piece and make it all coordinated. It’s all about the fun of the piece.

'Transformations' opens from 26 October, at 7pm.

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