Hertfordshire Open 2020 Digital Exhibition

50 Artists - 80 Stunning Works – The First Hertfordshire Open

UH Arts and St Albans Museum + Gallery are delighted to launch the first Hertfordshire Open, brought to you in digital form rather than the planned exhibition in St Albans.

This spectacular showcase introduces artworks by 50 artists connected to Hertfordshire who were selected from nearly 200 submissions. We are sharing works created by established and emerging artists, as well as first-time exhibitors. The wealth of visual art mediums is celebrated across painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, textiles, film, photography and found objects.

The 80 artworks are presented across four virtual gallery spaces and will be launched individually between Friday 3 April and Tuesday 14 April.

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Gallery 1 – Now Open

The first gallery features a collection of large sculptural pieces, as well as wall-based works. This diverse group share a tactile quality that awakens a sense of touch and sensory exploration – we imagine running our hands over soft threads, cold metal, rough wood, textured paper and wet clay. Artists play with the poetic and emotional potential of a range of materials, others repurpose found objects to give them new meaning and potency.

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Gallery 2 – Now Open

Enter the second gallery which explores the theme of landscape through both conventional and surprising approaches. A sense of place is conjured through abstract paintings, printed compositions, ceramic interpretations, photographic works and paper cuts. Enjoy two-dimensional pieces alongside a cabinet of curiosities – a collection of small, intimate pieces that introduce further themes of domesticity, identity and reclamation.

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Gallery 3 – Now Open

In the third space the viewer is confronted largely with works exploring people – from formal portraits, groups and figures in a landscape. Each depiction carries its own narrative, ranging from content that is biographical, poignant, topical to controversial, disturbing and/or political. Many of the works here share aesthetic values that are vibrant, bold and reflective of contemporary culture.

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Gallery 4 – Now Open

At first these three films appear very different, yet on closer consideration they share many qualities. All depict a human activity – sweeping, collecting, painting – all of which are ritualistic, rhythmic and accumulative.

Robert Verrill, Sweeping Dust, 2018, Video, 2min 2secs

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Yva Jung, Morning Dew, 2019, Video, 4min 4sec

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Allistair Covell, To The Beat, 2019, iPad painting animated film, 4min 11secs

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Discover the Artists

Aid & Abet Hannah Ainsworth Anji Archer

Jean Atkinson Alex Ayliffe Alex Barakova

Michael Bradshaw Henriette Busch Giulia Cacciuttolo

Lil Cahill Fiona Chaney Allistair Covell

Nina Fraser Bethany Freeman Katy Gillam-Hull

Sally Gorham Janie Graham Suman Gujral

Amy Harman Eleanor Havsteen-Franklin Aran Illingworth

Yva Jung Permindar Kaur Jamie Kirk

Julie Leaming Clair Lycett Diane Maclean

Laura Marsden Charlotte McClelland Helena McGrath

Maria Meyer Judith Moule Dave Nelson

Simeon Nelson Robbie O'Keeffe Freya Pocklington

Amanda Ralph Anna Ray Margaret Rice

Harriet Riddell David Stein Andrew Szczech

Robert Verrill Imogen Welch Grace Woodcock

Harry Woodgate Esther Wragg Stephen Wragg

A screenreader accessible version of the labels is available on the artist pages here

St Albans, Logo

The Exhibition is sponsored by Marks & Tilt Gallery. Part of the Hertfordshire Year of Culture

Marks and Tilt Logo HYOC2020