Exhibition finds its place online

AN exhibition by Priestley College students that was due to take place in Warrington town centre will still inspire others after it was moved online.

Fine Art students were scheduled to exhibit their canvases in a retail unit in Golden Square, but their plans were disrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

However, tutors were determined the A-Level pieces should still reach a wider audience so created an online gallery to give the artists the recognition they deserved.

“We were as disappointed as the students that their work wasn’t going to be put on display so we felt the online gallery was a way to celebrate their achievements,” said tutor Steve Lane.

“It arguably opens up their paintings to a wider audience and we hope it offers some people a welcome distraction during these difficult times.”

The students’ work was developed between last September and February of this year. The committed artists – many of whom hope to go on to careers in the arts – would often arrive early for lessons and spend their free time in the studios at Priestley perfecting their skills.

Among them was former Irlam and Cadishead Academy pupil Alex Reid who will study Computer Games Technology after Priestley College.

His work focussed on what he saw as a correlation between quality of life and innovation in technology and his style was influenced by one of the greats.

“My primary inspiration most definitely came from Da Vinci. His work concerning anatomy bore great influence on society at the time, which I find to be very useful today,” he said.

Another of the young artists is Bethany O’Raw whose work explores the effects of mental illnesses and aims to portray these emotions as a physical piece of art.

The former Wade Deacon High School pupil, who hopes to study architecture after completing an Art Foundation course, took inspiration from the medium used by artist Eric Lacombe as well as his techniques.

“I think the online gallery is a good way of reflecting not only on your own work, but that of our peers as well. It allows us to take a step back and just appreciate it,” said Bethany.

You can find the gallery at www.priestleyalevelartshow.com