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20
Oct

AAW Day 2: Mural Painting

Today’s mural painting along the walkway to Vanbrugh Paradise allowed me to unleash my forgotten artistic side. Stretching the length of the covered walk way, this blank canvas was open to anyone and everyone who walked passed fancying their hand at a little light relief in the form of art. It is perhaps one of the most obvious and easiest ways to get people involved with ‘community art’, and it certainly gets some great results, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love getting down and dirty with a paintbrush?!

By the time I had stumbled across the mural (there were three of them in between posts) one was beautifully painted by members of the AAW team, depicting a fun and naïve illustration of campus, complete with the obligatory duck. Having seen this, I was slightly apprehensive to add to the work as I haven’t picked up a paint brush since A-Level, and although competent I was painfully aware that it takes me a long time to come up with anything of artistic value when put on the spot.

So there I was, feeling nostalgic with my sparkly pink (yes, I know…) paint, ready to pounce on the canvas. And what did I decide to draw? A flower. I wish I could have come up with something better, but I just couldn’t, I got too caught up with the excitement of pinks, blues and purples, that I fell shamelessly back into the groove of a twelve year old. Luckily I was with a friend who did just that too, so at least I could feel very immature with someone else.

This activity I think really epitomises the aim of the week, it’s so simple, yet so much fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my twenty minutes of slapping some paint onto a piece of fabric, in the vain hope that it could be classed as artistic genius. Alongside my flower I did write a very pretentious quote about something to do with art being the elimination of the unnecessary, in many ways, I really do hope that gets covered up by some other child-like flower too, but hey, I was trying to fulfil my History of Art title and cliché.

The mural will be up for the remainder of the week, so next time you walk down Vanbrugh way, cast your eye over it and seek out all the ducks, bears, hearts and shameless flowers. You might even spot the odd masterpiece or two.

20
Oct

AAW Day 1: Launch

Bringing together SASSY, The Norman Rea Gallery and The Art History Society, Arts Awareness Week is running throughout week 8 with the desire to enlighten and inspire students through all things arty. An exciting week of activities ranging from extreme knitting to a chic art auction set to the dulcet tones of jazz, this week promises to be a great way to kick start your summer of relaxation. The three societies are aiming to bring awareness of the arts to campus, involving all students with activities, not just those studying History of Art and the like. The Zahir shall be covering the events all week long, the first of which was the launch party, held at the Norman Rea Gallery.

There is always an exciting atmosphere at the Norman Rea, wine flows freely and the art is usually very enjoyable; it is a hubbub of artiness, therefore it seemed the perfect place to launch AAW. The current exhibition, ‘Catalyst’ is their summer exhibition which is open to all students and members of the wider community. Pieces are submitted and then selected by a board from the gallery- York’s own version of the Royal Academy summer exhibition. Pieces ranged from large oil canvases of a mother and daughter’s relationship, to smaller, intricate glass works depicting Langwith’s transition from HesWest to HesEast. A catalyst is something which stimulates a change, creating metamorphosis from the old to the new; all of the works on display here plot this transformative theme. A particular highlight was Kat Bashford’s ‘Untitled’ which hung like bunting across the gallery space, with each panel depicting her housemates mimicking a pose captured of them when they were younger. It is a reflective work which highlights a personal transition from childhood to adulthood.

The Launch Party provided a platform on which the rest of the week can rise from. Tickets for various events were sold and pink post-boxes to submit your SASSY postcards could also be found. Speaking to organisers, AAW really does hope to be fun and informative and a perfect way in which to make everyone aware of the art around them. This week hopes to be a good one, so maybe you should all get involved- you never know, you might become quite the art connoisseure