IF you want to know what sort of art is being produced in schools these days, you could do worse than visiting the latest exhibition at the Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse.
Threads, Strands and Working Hands is the title of this show, which incorporates a lot of textile work, as well as painting and photography. Taking part are Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, Brooksbank, Rastrick and Brighouse High schools and the exhibition is part of the Peter Brook Art Prize.
The work of Hipperholme and Lightcliffe students has been influenced by an exhibition by the Textile Art Group, and artists like Gustav Klimt and fantasy painters. Eva Arkesson has produced an intricate and beautiful textile piece, which is brightened by buttons and jewellery, while Rosie Barrington goes for a winged female figure.
Shannon Potter’s racy female is housed in a gold frame. Amy Bowker has a nicely conceived pair of amorous faces and Rebecca Crossley’s four fantasy horses’ heads is well-chosen in colours.
Brooksbank Schools’ project of 50 Faces has led to some powerful self-portraiture with the techniques used including weaving, soldering, collage and stitching. A number of the portraitists have included texts to add to the emotional appeal of their work.
Catherine Jennings’ Faded is an excellent piece, regretting the past (not hers) and there’s some further sadness in World Behind my Wall, with tears falling from the eyes of Dovile Dirzinskate.
More optimistically, Lydia Cheney chooses Woven Hope as her theme and there’s a hint of mischief in the eyes of Julija Petrauskyte who incorporates a large butterfly in her work, titled Wanderer.
Sarah Cocking in Refraction makes interesting use of black and white photographs, paintings and mirrors, along with an image of a young man and the words “I just haven’t met you yet.”
Rastrick High pupils studying art and photography, have also produced some interesting work, exploring urban and rural landscape in the surrounding areas.
Ranjeet Kaur, using threads and colour photography has created some very pretty images in Woodland Strands, while Laura McKean’s Court View is an immaculately presented collection of photographs of Oakfield Tennis and Bowling Club – even down to an engraved brass plate with her name and the title.
Limits, by Rebecca Coates, mixes photography and mirrors in effective fashion, while Hannah Perrin uses three-dimensional effects intelligently in Dead or Alive.
The exhibition is open Monday to Saturday, except Wednesdays, and runs until February 28.