Aspiring young artists are hoping that the figures stack up as they prepare to open their first ‘body shop’ exhibition on the high street.
Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD) creative and media students Hannah Weldon and Amy Johnson will be showcasing their original ceramic and paper torso sculptures at the pop up gallery, on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, as part of the council’s ‘We are Open’ scheme, from May 5 to May 21.
The project, which offers temporary headquarters to creative types in the region, is designed to put vacant premises back on the map and encourage interest and industry for new innovative businesses.
Hannah, 18, of Redcar, has produced work, entitled effeminate embodiment, which captures the body’s form through life size porcelain clay sculptures.
She said: “It’s incredibly exciting to have our first exhibition space especially in such a prominent position as Linthorpe Road.
“I currently have eight completed ceramic torsos which will be available for sale in the gallery and hopefully I will be able to generate a lot of interest for commissions on further pieces.
“At the moment, all my work is modelled on mannequins at college, but if anyone is looking to have a cast made of their own body then I could easily adapt my technique to produce their very own bespoke body art.”
Fellow student Amy, 17, of Ingleby Barwick, will also be exhibiting her ‘mortality’ recycled paper sculptures and wallpaper designs using abstract representations of life and death.
“My pieces have a lot of continuity with Hannah’s work in their shape and form and should work well within the exhibition space,” said Amy.
“Pop up galleries are a great way for young artists to be able to show their work, get experience of retail and deal with the public, hopefully presenting an opportunity for sales and commissions.”
CCAD creative and media course leader Amanda Smith added: “This will be a fantastic experience for Hannah and Amy to be able to hold their first solo exhibitions.
“We introduced the creative and media course to allow students to develop grounding in a variety of art disciplines, including fashion, ceramics, graphics, painting, drawing and photography.
“The course also provides academic support which is essential in the world of higher education, art and business and looks to bridge the gap between education and the real world, addressing the skills required by universities and employers.
“Learning how to show and sell their work in a real retail environment will be an amazing opportunity for Hannah and Amy and will put them head and shoulders above other students prior to starting university.”