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New wave of graduating artists reveal work at Milkilling

Press release   •   Jun 24, 2015 00:00 BST

The first group of students to complete the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art-Northumbria University Master of Fine Arts (BxNU MFA) degree recently showcased their work at a special event.

Milkilling revealed the work of the first graduating cohort from the BxNU MFA degree, following the launch of BxNU in 2011, a strategic partnership between Northumbria and BALTIC housed in Newcastle’s BALTIC39 gallery.

Northumbria University’s BALTIC Professor and Turner Prize nominee Christine Borland teaches on the BxNU programme. She said: “The graduate exhibition Milkilling marks a celebration of the success of this new course, in a new building, run by a new partnership and these circumstances came together, like the ‘milk’ and the ‘illing’ to form something full of life and new possibilities.

“The appetite for critically-engaged dialogue has influenced the way the structure of this new course has developed: Peer to Peer is a series of crits and discussions between Baltic crew and the students which has happened throughout the course, focussing in turn on work in the studios and the exhibition spaces.

“’BxNU Respond’ has similarly built on the opportunities for parley over the two years. The majority of the students exhibiting here have had proposals selected and have been mentored to develop a mostly performative public event which responds to, or confronts, an exhibition in the project spaces.

“The intimacy which the students have developed with their immediate context over two years comes through clearly in work which is firmly rooted in this space and place but which faces confidently outward.”

BxNU MFA student David Bilbrough has collaborated with architecture practice Ryder and Yates’ archive of the North Kenton Estate in Newcastle built in 1965 to develop work which evokes a yearning for a time when architecture promised a hope for a better future.

Meanwhile, Rachel Errington incorporated her love of punk music and participation in zine culture, to drive her exploration of the ‘minor’ body in relation to the contemporary cultural and political landscape. Rachel tested-out ideas for her final exhibition piece when she performed in the ‘BxNU Respond’ programme earlier this year in reaction to BALTIC39’s exhibition on vinyl in the build up to World Record Day.

Keith McIntyre, Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University, said: “Students and staff have worked hard to make this new course a success and BALTIC colleagues across learning and engagement, technical and curatorial teams have been generous partners and critical friends.

“Our first cohort is exhibiting an impressive legacy at Milkilling and I’m sure they will go on to great things, we’re looking forward to this course and partnership growing and developing artistic talent in years to come.”

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