The Best of Bolton Fine Art, Castle Park Forum of Young Art Space, Paderborn, Germany
Saturday 28 May to 12 June 2016
As part of the town-twinning celebration between Bolton and Paderborn in Germany, a group of Fine Artists from the University of Bolton were recently selected to display their artwork at the prestigious Castle Park Forum of Young Art Space on the outskirts of the city, and have just returned from opening their first international exhibition, The Best of Bolton Fine Art.
The invitation came from the Director of Culture at Paderborn Council, Christoph Gockel-Böhner in conjunction with Alan Buckingham, the BA and MA Programme Leader for Fine Art at the School of the Arts at the University of Bolton. Christoph visited Bolton earlier this year to meet the alumni artists in their studios at neo: artists at the heart of Bolton’s thriving fine art community.
Six of the eight artists flew out to Paderborn last week to set up their exhibition and were warmly welcomed by Christoph Gockel-Böhner and his team. The five-day visit had been planned meticulously and included meetings with the University of Paderborn’s Academy of Art and working artist groups such as Raum für Kunst, a collective of fine artists based in Paderborn whose ethos, practice and studios were very similar to that of neo: artists.
Steph Shipley who graduated from the BA Fine Art programme last year, said:
‘We were treated royally with impeccable support from our German hosts and a warmth of hospitality, generosity and professionalism that made our Paderborn experience unforgettable. We spent three days setting up the exhibition which included exciting new art works, some of which had been created in Paderborn following a planned visit by two of us to the nearby British forces base in Sennelager.’
The show connected themes of contemporary culture and included sculpture, painting, film, print, photography and installation art works. It was opened to press and public acclaim on Saturday evening by the Deputy Mayor of Paderborn and Alan Buckingham who flew out especially to celebrate the event; he said:
‘We are very grateful for the amazing efforts of Christoph Gockel-Böhner for inviting us as part of the twinning with Bolton and for organising this show; his infectious enthusiasm has instilled an energy with the artists which has given them a fantastic opportunity to show their work on an international stage.’
The opportunities for future ventures with the new links forged in Paderborn are already being explored. Another of the artists, Ged Young who is a Fine Art Masters graduate and also the Exhibitions Director at neo: artists was instrumental in the curating of the exhibition in Paderborn and producing the exhibition catalogue. He says:
‘Our time in Paderborn was fantastic and we are still on a high. Meeting the artists groups and having a tour of their studios was great and really inspiring. They made us feel so welcome and we can’t wait to work with them in the future.’
Christoph Gockel-Böhner whose investment in the planning of the venture and dedication to its realisation were unwavering, said: ‘I was extraordinarily impressed with the artists themselves, the opportunities that the Fine Arts course offers to the students … and the remarkable efforts of neo:artists to run the neo:studios and neo:gallery. I hope the two week long show in Paderborn will mark the beginning of a closer relationship between the arts scenes and the museums of Bolton and Paderborn.’
The artists would like to say a huge thank you to all those involved: the University of Bolton Fine Art technicians who transported their artworks the 367 miles from Bolton, Alan Buckingham and the Fine Art programme, the Universities of Bolton and Paderborn, the artist groups Raum für Kunst, and Paderborner Kreaturen; to Bianca Gough for translating the catalogue, to the visitors who have attended the exhibition so far, and of course to Christoph Gockel-Böhner and his team at the office of Culture in Paderborn.
University of Bolton artists exhibiting are: Liam Ainscough, Donna Dowd, Sally Hayes, Thaleia Kavvada, Steph Shipley, Andy Smith, Alison Timmins and Ged Young
The exhibition continues at Castle Park Forum of Young Arts Space, Paderborn until 12 June 2016. More information: http://www.schlosspark-paderborn.de/6-Ausstellungen/127-Wechselausstellungen.html?a_id=101120
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