Students’ exhibition in shopping centre

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The sight of a once busy, now unoccupied shop in Northampton town centre will be a depressing sight for many people.

But a new lease of life has been breathed into two empty shop units at Market Walk – between the Market Square and Abington Street – thanks to a team of second year students from The University of Northampton.

The students have used this location to stage their Spring Show, an exhibition packed with photography, painting, drawing, print making and sculpture.

Fine Art student, 21-year-old Bethany Murray, explained: “We were given six weeks to bring it all together. We have split into different groups, such as ‘publicity and marketing’ and ‘preparation and hanging’. About 90 students were involved, with about 73 artists showing their work. This has been an incredible opportunity for us to learn an awful lot and it gives us an insight into what we can do.”

Bethany is one of the featured artists, with a series of abstract cast pieces created using plaster, ink and salt. The swirling images ‘force the human eye to find their own shapes within the work’.

Bethany said: “I like to look into how other people read these images, it is strange what people can see in them.”

Meanwhile, 20-year-old photography student, Lucy Sharpe, has produced a work entitled Listen, which includes rows of photos showing the hands of two people as they tell two different stories.

Lucy explained: “The idea came from the fact I’m partially deaf so I have to lip-read and look at people’s body language to see what they are getting across.”

Taking photos every 10 seconds, one series of images shows someone describing a painful memory and the other someone describing their job, using sign language.

Lucy said: “I set the images up in a grid form so people would read them like they are reading a story.”

Fine Art student, Ashleigh Moodey, aged 21, used ink bubbles to create a series of pictures and combined these with photographic images, to suggest memories.

Broocke Ross, a 21-year-old Fine Art student from Rushden, is also exhibiting some abstract work, called Obfuscation, which reveals shadows blocking images of light.

Broocke said: “It is everyone’s dream to see their work displayed like this in a public area; it is good to get yourself known like that. I also like people to see my work as I want them to get something from it.”

The Spring Show will run until Wednesday, March 27.