Hertfordshire Open 2020 Exhibition

UH Arts and St Albans Museum and Gallery are delighted to launch the first Hertfordshire Open. 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:

Gallery 1

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.

Gallery 2

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.

Gallery 3

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.

Gallery 4

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

Yva Jung, Morning Dew, 2019

Allistair Covell, To The Beat, 2019

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