The Project Café, 23rd March
The GU Art Appreciation Society has composed an exhibition to showcase students’ artwork and offer upcoming artists a platform. The event was a wonderful experience that will hopefully be continued in the future.
The atmosphere in the Project Café resembled a vernissage with everyone in fancy outfits, and drinks in hand. The fairy lights and the interior design make it feel like an Instagram post come to life. On the walls you find all kinds of different media from acrylic paintings and drawings to photographs and even a short film. The artworks all have their own fascination, some colourful, some monochrome, but all mesmerising. As different as the styles combined on paper and canvas are the topics they depict: you can find portrayals of different places, both real and imagined, bodies and faces, gender and feminism. This exhibition clearly shows the diversity of students and of life itself.
Like every museum, you can find artist, title and a short text about the piece next to every artwork. Unlike museums, the texts aren’t simply descriptions of the picture or speculations about the artist’s life, but rather the artists’ inspirations and thoughts that went into the work. This gives the viewer a more in-depth perspective on the art and helps you understand and connect with the creator in a way classical exhibitions don’t.
The most striking difference to museums, however, is the atmosphere created by the audience. The place is packed and people are happily chatting away. It is not a devout worship almost resembling a church, but a cosy appreciation. People discuss art and other topics, filling the exhibition space with a warm, friendly atmosphere which makes art feel accessible. The only negative aspect of this chatty mood becomes clear when the short film is screened: Some people still can’t keep their mouth shut which is quite distracting. But that is a nuisance that can’t be avoided, I guess.
It is this welcoming air that elevates the event from an everyday experience to something unique. This does not take away from the impact of the art itself but adds to it. It helps make people feel at home with art. Hopefully, the GUAAS will keep their inclusive atmosphere for future events, as it could break down barriers and diminish the elitist notion sometimes associated with exhibitions while simultaneously encouraging students to create art themselves.