Techne: Creating Art

11 December 2017

An exhibition presenting work by five artists employed as Technical Demonstrators at the University of Chester has opened at the city’s Grosvenor Museum.  ‘Techne: Creating Art’ runs until 4 February.  

Councillor Samantha Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said:  “The exhibition has been created in partnership between the Grosvenor Museum and the University of Chester, and has been curated by Chris Millward, Technician Demonstrator in 3D at the University.  The show celebrates the making of art through the work of Chris and his colleagues.  With a range of traditional and modern techniques and processes, here is an opportunity to admire contemporary artwork for its craftsmanship, quality and mastery of methods.”   Chris Millward explained:  “My sculptures explore the relationship between physical materials, often marrying the natural with the manmade whilst maintaining a strong focus on aesthetics and craftsmanship.  Embracing different processes, they are a personal attempt to hang onto and sustain an element of order in a world that is besieged by personal and peripheral chaos.  My sculptures are concerned with imposing and maintaining order, so it is no accident that notions of organisational systems, repetition and regimentation are an almost continuous motif in my work.” 

Greg Fuller commented:  “Through drawing my environment, I become aware of patterns that are hidden beneath the surface.  Engaging with the physicality of drawing in ink or charcoal, or making prints by etching or screenprinting, I create the illusion of a wider vista upon a surface. I wish to celebrate the quiet realities of life, realities whose beauty and subtlety are often hidden behind our familiarity with the ordinary.  I live an ordinary life, in an ordinary place: it is only when I try to make works about them that I realise how extraordinary they are.”

Tabitha Jussa said:  “My approach questions the relationship between people, space and time, and explores the way that physical space defines us.  My photographs of the Welsh Streets in Liverpool are part of an on-going exploration into the state of social housing and the redevelopment of these areas.  They ask the viewer to consider these environments, the cultures existing within them, the implications of the removal of the known landscape through redevelopment, and the importance of retaining physical links with the past through the built environment.”  

Tom Hignett explained:  “Having worked and studied in both scientific and artistic environments, I am fascinated by the differences and similarities between the disciplines and the potential to combine their methods and thinking.  My giclee prints explore the nature of digital images and the digitisation process.  By digitising an image, we reduce all that it is, both materially and culturally, into numerical data.  I am interested in how the value of an image changes during this process and, by extension, how our own values change as we upload more of ourselves into the digital universe.” 

Chris Bebbington commented:  “I usually work with traditional landscape and portrait photography, but from time to time you observe something that you wish to share, and the digital photographs in this exhibition are quite different from my normal work.  Some years ago I started to notice the random chairs facing doorways in the streets of a residential area in the small holiday resort of S’illot, Majorca.  Whatever time of day you pass, these chairs remain positioned and unoccupied and appear to serve no purpose.  In my eyes they are charming, strange and thought-provoking.”

The exhibition was officially opened by Professor Timothy Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, who said:  “It is wonderful to see the work of such talented colleagues from the University celebrated in this way.  I am delighted to open this exhibition in the beautiful setting of the Grosvenor Museum.”

The programme of accompanying events includes:
  • Tuesday 16 January, exhibition tour with Chris Millward
  • Saturdays 20 and 27 January, Creating Art workshops with the exhibition’s artists
The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10.30am - 5pm and Sunday 1pm - 4pm, admission free, donations welcome.  Closed 24 to 28 December and 1 January.  

Councillor Samantha Dixon, Tom Hignett, Tabitha Jussa, Greg Fuller, Professor Timothy Wheeler, Chris Bebbington and Chris Millward. 

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