Each spring term, we try to give our year 12 students the opportunity to publicly exhibit their work, particularly as we are in a fantastic area for creative networking as well as unique venues. In the past, we have had opening night exhibition launches at Constellations, and last year, we were in the works to have our yearly exhibition at Northern Lights (the pandemic scuppered our plans!). As we were racking our brains to try and figure out an alternative that would still safely allow our students to exhibit, we got a timely email.
Enter Event Horizon, a virtual gallery, exhibition space, and creative launchpad established by our former students, James Murphy and Jordan Kabyamela, with their development partner, Scott Redmond. James reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in collaborating with them in their online gallery space, which also allows students to price and sell work.
As we always do, we allow students creative input on the theme and curation of the gallery. Although we won’t be able to curate in a physical space, the gallery will be turned into a videogame experience, where you can wander around, look at art, shoot zombies, and shoot the artwork itself to have a closer look at it (and even purchase affordable digital prints). Definitely different from your typical white wall gallery experience!
Students chose themes and voted on Dreams, which has allowed them to explore the concept in any way, shape, or form that they wish (including Nightmares). Students from each creative subject have made outcomes based on this theme, which means that students in more than one subject have the challenge of making diverse responses!
Students have been able to explore themes of horror, imagination, escapism, and imagining ideal possibilities. We have really enjoyed seeing how students’ responses are so personal, and this will also be an opportunity to develop more personal work for their portfolios, whether for university applications next year, or creative careers. The structure of the project has been open-ended to allow for creative expression, yet we have made sure as a department to embed the creative process of ideas generation, research, reference photography and drawing, planning through sketches, and media experimentation, in order to arrive at a more refined final outcome.
We were able to see a preview of the space yesterday on a zoom with James and Jordan, and we are excited to see the final gallery with all the student work (including a room for year 13 portfolios)! The next stage of development that we may work on with Event Horizon is to create a virtual reality walk through.
We are looking forward to the Launch on 19 April- watch this space!