The Chester Artists Collective

Last night was the preview of – Beyond These Walls, held at The Contemporary Art Space, The University of Chester.
Featuring Artists: Caroline Backhouse/ Annabelle Buckley/ Sandra Christie/ James Green/ Neil Greenhalgh/ Philip Elbourne/ Brenda Sharp/ Estelle Woolley

Private View – Thursday 5th May 6 – 9pm
Exhibition Continues until May 27th
Open weekdays 9am – 4pm

Now Chester Artist Collective is an artist led, not for profit organisation established in 2010 by Caroline Backhouse and Estelle Woolley, both Fine Art graduates of The University of Chester, and my wife knows both of them. This comes through their work with The Chester Link. Although that is really superfluous to their work desplayed at Beyond These Walls.

Both Caroline and Estelle’s work shines out. As none of the work at the exhibition bore any description beyond the media it was created with, so it seems trite to impose my own personal thoughts and feelings. However, to see Caroline’s textile pieces hanging from the ceiling brought a certain unease, should you be drawn in? Should you be repulsed? As you first walk into the space you see these pieces as though floating with no visible means of support, deep darks reds with overtures of animal maybe even human intestines hanging as thoughts in your head. Drawn in as you’ll inevitably be, the dryness of these textile pieces brings a dryness to your mouth. You’ll question what you see, you’ll be intrigued by how they are made. You may even see something really quite different from me! You will certainly see something different in another piece by Caroline, a corner of the space filled with her trademark textiles. But here you’ll want to sit in amongst the work, invited as you are to touch it, you should. Soft and delicate, its contrast to its hanging counterparts a wonderful relief.
Whilst Caroline’s work drew the eye with its deep blood reds, Estelle’s work blended. Its muted tones of white and grey blending with the inevitable white and grey of the gallery space. A comment on prescribed medication? Nurturing and loss? How delicate the facade of life can be propped up by medication? Or just beautifully made little pieces? So wonderfully delicate you feel as though they could fall apart under your gaze. To work with the site so well, so sensitively, requires something extra. These are pieces to be mulled over, exquisite thought process.
To say anymore is to interfere with the artists silence on the pieces. I shouldn’t get in the way of the spectator, inject my personality and interpretations. Go and see for yourself. There are other works to see as well, there are after all eight artists exhibiting. So if my taste doesn’t match yours, there’s always the “other” work.
Should you get there, persevere if you can’t initially find it. The gallery space is right at the back of the building from the main entrance you’ll no doubt arrive at. The travel through the hallways will give you a lovely insight into up and coming students too, if you are lucky enough to spot some on the way!
Full details of the exhibition here
Or here

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3 comments
  1. would you mind if I added this blog to our website? I will credit you of course, it’s a lovely piece of writing

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