The Oriel Davies Open 2012 showcases the work of 38 artists selected from over 600 diverse submissions. This exhibition is a demonstration of the wealth of artistic practise both locally and internationally, with each piece pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. Within this show visitors can find a range of innovative materials used in a variety of ways, creating social and environmental juxtapositions.
Among the varying mediums used in the chosen submissions for this show, visitors can find sculptures from artists such as James Clarkson, Ruth Boothroyd, and Rosie Dolton, whose piece ‘Untitled’ (2011) consists of a wooden crate colourfully embroidered with roses, turning something old or mundane into something surprising and attractive. Ben Woodesen, another successful artist chosen for this exhibition, has created a mixed media collaboration which consists of a precarious sheet of glass balanced on a bungee cord in the corner of the gallery space, entitled ‘Slice and Dice.’ This piece feels like a physical manifestation of the precarious and unpredictable nature of contemporary artistic practise, and perhaps the unease felt by emerging artists. ‘Coal Sphere’ (2011) created by Jessica Lloyd-Jones, allows the viewer to find something intriguing and oddly beautiful where they perhaps normally wouldn’t. Her piece engages the viewer, requiring them to look into the lens of the coal ball, where they will be surprised to find plant life growing within.
There are also a stunning collection of photographs on show for this exhibition, including artists such as Tom Lovelace, Anna Solum and Barbara and Zafer Baran, whose ‘Moon Drawing 9764’ and ‘Star Drawing 7012’ pieces use scattered light to create hauntingly beautiful compositions. One of the larger collections of photographs within the gallery space was contributed by Mike Perry, who has titled his pieces ‘Mor Plastig 15 Bottle Grid’ (2012). This photographic series consists of 15 images of old bottles, found washed up by the sea, presumably along the Welsh seaside. The textures and colours of these dirty, squashed and cracked found objects makes for surprisingly attractive images, perhaps indicative of the vibrant yet rugged landscape in Wales, and these certainly reflect the diverse and colourful amalgamation of social cultures found in this exhibition.By Liz Buckley
Image: Mike Perry - 'Mur Plastig' (courtesy Oriel Davies Gallery)