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Reality: Tap To See More

17 April 2018 | London Calling

Our contributor Mollie Balshaw tells us about a brilliant new exhibition that she’s curated at Paradise Works. Reality: Tap To See More is a Level 5 BA (Hons) Visual Arts undergraduate exhibition by students from The University of Salford.

The exhibition will take place on Thursday 19 April, 6pm – 9pm at Paradise Works.

Reality and technological advancements are not uncommon topics covered in the creative sector as of the last few years. It is typical of human nature to question our surroundings and have a personal response to developments that occur around us. Changes to the way we understand the world catch our eye and captivate our imagination, but also have the power to terrify us. For the last three months, I have been working intensively on a project that seeks to find some understanding of this, from the perspective of twelve young people existing amongst immense cultural changes.

The project is an art exhibition, taking place at the newly renovated artist space Paradise Works in Salford. Presenting eclectic works in painting, sculpture, film and sound, the exhibition Reality: Tap To See More showcases the vision and vitality of emerging artists from BA (Hons) Visual Arts at The University of Salford. The exhibition features new work by second year students that demonstrate their individual responses to the relationship between the digital and the physical worlds.

Across a variety of media, Reality: Tap To See More acknowledges the key role that digital experiences and actions now play in our everyday lives. The artists consider how the physical reality of life is mediated by the digital; creating a showcase of uneasy ideas.

As the creator of the exhibition theme and lead curator of the show, I have made it my priority to push the messages that the artists I have been working with want to convey. The way that I and my fellow artists interpret the changes to our society and the ways we must discuss and interact with them are at the core of the show, and I am keen to ensure visitors get a clear understanding of this. We have found that as young people it is often hard to make our voices heard, and the way we are encouraged to express our thoughts and ideas comes out instead in the work that we make. This way, we create a visual response to our environment and experiences that others can interpret and prompt discussions about.

Visitors to the show will be presented with a wide variety of responses to the modern world and ever-growing usage of technology to define our reality. Physicality is becoming less appealing, and a space that doesn’t exist is creating a new lifestyle for people across the world, as well as opening up possibilities Back to the Future may even raise an eyebrow at. However, for every positive influence presented, there must be a downfall.

We’d really like visitors to ask how physical objects are becoming redundant? Or, if constantly looking at our phones will affect our memories in the long run? These are the type of ideas we’ve been thinking about in the lead up to Reality: Tap To See More, through artwork that presents the experiences direct from the source.

Getting the opportunity to work with a fantastic group of artists each with a unique and challenging vision has changed the way I interpret the world and has influenced me deeply. I hope that guests to the show will feel the same. The work is a testament to the success of our relentless ambition and I hope that many are touched by the work that they see on opening night. It is going to be very special, and I am extremely excited to unveil it in a few days’ time.

Catch Reality: Tap To See More on 19 April, 6pm – 9pm at Paradise Works, East Philip Street, Salford, M3 7LE.

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