Chester Art students hope for global Response to exhibition

Posted on 2nd June 2012

Fancy viewing an international art exhibition without even having to leave the comfort of your own home?

The Response exhibition team in the Second Life guises.
The Response exhibition team in the Second Life guises.
Hopefully the experience encourages the students to focus on the key areas they would be expected to consider in a real life professional situation.
Chris Millward, Technical Demonstrator

On Thursday, June 7, a group of Art and Design students from the University of Chester are going global with their very first exhibition which will be open to everyone with an internet connection.

Going live at 7pm UK time, Response is a virtual exhibition featuring the work by a selection of students and staff from the University’s Art and Design Department, as well as local and international artists.

Hosted in Second Life, Response forms part of an educational experiment, which has given five second year students the chance to learn about the intricacies of curating a large scale exhibition without the space restrictions and the immense costs that can often kill an event before it has even started.

Second Life is a real time, online, social network where anyone can create a character (avatar) and interact with an entire population of users based all over the world.

 Response will feature exhibits by:

  • Cameron Patterson, aged 20, from Durham, whose work explores the theme Gravity by using photography and painting
  • Stephen Green, aged 21, from Northwich, whose graphic design work finds alternative takes on the theme of Portrait
  • Mike Richardson, aged 20, from Wirral, whose playful photographic work explores relationship between reality and fantasy under the theme of Human Form
  • Niall Haycock, aged 20, from Chester, a graphic artist who has created and photographed a series of objects and sculptures based on the theme Handmade
  • Danny Nash, aged 21, from Northampstonshire, a graphic artist whose photographic and design work is themed around Motion.

Exhibiting alongside the group will be several Chester-based artists, such as Chloe Holt (www.chloeholt.co.uk) and some from further afield including places as far away as Chile and New Zealand.

Now in its third year the experiential learning project was devised by Chris Millward, the Art and Design Department’s Technical Demonstrator. The project forms part of his MA dissertation and allowed him to accumulate teaching hours in Second Life while encouraging his students to focus on the key areas they would be expected to consider in a real life professional situation.

He said: “As part of their final year our students have to curate their own exhibition focussing on key areas such as networking, publicity, proposals, advertising and group work.

“This project has given the students the chance to learn these professional development skills in an environment where they can overcome the usual limitations such as space, money, health and safety, and hopefully the experience encourages the students to focus on the key areas they would be expected to consider in a real life professional situation.”

Chris has created exhibition spaces within Second Life on a virtual island that comprises of public galleries and private teaching spaces.

Educationally, students can attend tutorials, seminars and exhibitions through their Second Life and arrange group meetings and activities from wherever they have a computer.

Only authorised staff and students can create work and display in the building and galleries but the general (virtual) public are free to explore the creations and join the exhibition group as guests. 

To find out more about the exhibits visit http://uocresponse.wordpress.com/ which has been designed and built by the students to promote the exhibition and their work.