A Subjective Form of Media

‘Art is subjective’ is a phrase that can easily describe the new exhibition at Crescent Arts, Scarborough.

Pre-pop to post-human: Collage in the Digital Age is an exhibition that caters for the elite and those with knowledge in the field of printing but this does not mean that only those will enjoy it.

The printings feature images of scientific advancements, planes, motorcars and ammunition merged with food, art and seductive human forms.

The exhibition includes work by Pio Abad, Marie Angeletti, Helen Carmel Benigson and Gabriele Beveridge and many others.

The eye-catching and unique images around the gallery show how the artists create collages through digital methods including digital printing on fabrics such as silk scarves.

It is clear that each artist draws on imagery from popular culture and some offer up new, surrealistic landscapes, fusing popular icons or images into entirely new vistas.

In an age where technology and the internet dominate everyday life, there is a feel of an avant-garde Dadaism with a touch of early pop artists.

A particular piece by Berry Patten really stood out as a work of digital art meets classic art. The piece Tributary created a sort of fine art feel that was less ‘contemporary’ than the rest of the pieces in the exhibition.

By using photographic collage, Berry explored the changing sensory understandings of the digital image and her work echoes our distorted material perspective.

This was not a piece for everyone with someone saying that ‘the colours are nauseating’ and ‘the only good thing is where it’s placed next to the one on the right because it brings out the pink more’.

But then again, art is subjective. Everyone has their own preference.

The highlight of the exhibition was the collection of some of Eduardo Paolozzi’s BUNK prints from 1972.

These iconic pieces of work started as tear sheets from magazines and were made during his time in Paris after World War Two.

For anyone interested in concepts on futurist visions from the past then Paolozzi’s work is something to see.

Featuring images including scientific advancements, planes, motorcars and ammunition merged with food, art and seductive human forms that foreshadow the fusion of technology and life.

The fact that they are still in pristine condition and are still inspiring artists in today’s society is one reason to get down and see this exhibition.

According to the curator, Isobel Harbison, Paolozzi’s BUNK prints were not created in the traditional sense but instead were made of printed pieces collaged together.

By doing so, Paolozzi maintained the jagged lines and adhesive markings of the originals.

The other artists in the exhibition fuse foreign bodies in a new, alternative or synthetic landscape that creates a contemporary counterpoint to Paolozzi’s iconic work.

For any fans of collage artists will enjoy this exhibition. There is an outstanding collection of work in the exhibition that is worth a visit.

There is no doubt that this exhibition is not for everyone but there is a handout explaining how the images were created and the meanings behind them.

However, I would advise that you see the art with your own eyes first before reading this as you get to interpret the images yourself.

That’s what art is all about after all. It’s a truly subjective form of media.

This exhibition is worth the visit down to Crescent Arts and will be held there until June 21.


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