A piece by Andrea Rowbotham

Earth themed event allows students to go back to basics

Fine Art students from Somerset College went back in time as they exhibited pieces themed on the earth at the opening of the Appledore Visual Arts Festival last week.

Interpreted in many different ways through many media, the theme allowed artists to use materials taken from the earth, including mud and clay, just as their predecessors had done at the very beginning of art.

Sandy Brown of Appledore Visual Arts Festival said: ‘The earth theme allows artists to go back to the year dot and use materials that were first used thousands of years ago. It gives the artists the same impulse our forefathers had when they picked up iron oxide and thought to draw buffalos on cave walls.

‘Artists were able to use the earth to make stunning pieces of art.'

Somerset College BA (Hons) Fine Art student of the year, Andrea Rowbotham, said: ‘The theme was inspirational and worked so well with the sustainable education we've received on the course. The influence of Genesis at the College is really coming through.

‘We were able to produce stunning works of art based on the earth. Each artist had a different interpretation of the theme, including using images of prosthetic limbs that are in contact with the earth, tools that are used to shape the earth and pieces themed on fossils in the earth.'

More than 200 people attended the opening of the Appledore Visual Arts Festival, opened by renowned ecologist and editor of Resurgence Magazine Satish Kumar, as the students displayed their Core exhibition.

Satish said: ‘All art emerges out of the living earth, art is not a profession but a way of life. The earth has given the students inspiration and vision to create these works of art. They have produced fine works of art from the earth. The work they have presented has a connection with the earth in many different forms.'

This was the first time Fine Art students from the College had opened the festival. Somerset College was able to put on their biggest exhibition at the festival as more than fifteen students displayed their works at Core.

Somerset College's Fine Art students are also displaying their works of art at the Summer Degree Shows at the College from Saturday 21 to Thursday 26 June. Visit www.somerset.ac.uk for more information.

The students will also display works of art at the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton between 19-28 June, visit www.thebrewhouse.net/theatre/Core-Essential-Part/ for more details.

The College's third year Fine Art students are also displaying at Paintworks in Bristol from 8-11 July. Visit www.paintworksbristol.co.uk/ for more information.