BxNU MFA | Graduate Exhibition


3 – 21 June 2015

BALTIC’s project space at BALTIC 39

David Bilbrough / Tim Croft / Rachel Errington / Joanna Hutton / Ricky James / Gethin Wyn Jones / Lily Mellor

The eight practices (one collaborative, in addition to the work of two individuals) represented in the BxNU Master of Fine Art graduate exhibition Milkilling have been forged in the early years of a new course, a new building, a new partnership. With good grace and patience the students have worked through the contradictions of intense scrutiny/freedom and opportunities of their new-fashioned situation. These circumstances came together, like the ‘milk’ and the ‘illing’ to form something full of life and new possibilities.

View exhibition catalogue


David Bilbrough has worked with the Ryder and Yates archive of the North Kenton Estate, Newcastle, built in 1965. His work evokes yearning for a time when architecture promised hope for a better future.

Comedy and humour are central themes for Tim Croft, who hijacks a variety of objects, artefacts and identities in his ‘routine’ of works, which perform to confront, tease and cajoul in equal measure.

Rachel Errington incorporates her love for punk music and participation in zine culture, to drive her exploration of the ‘minor’ body in relation to the contemporary cultural and political landscape.

Joanna Hutton’s fidgeting, nervous sculptural works reveal periods of uneasy stasis as they evolve into new forms. Traces of an earlier form or activity are often evident as processes of depletion or erosion take their course.

Ricky James’ improvised performances see him function in the manner of a travelling salesman. Activating the space between performance and presence, the performances incorporate an unlikely series of everyday objects to create absurd or inappropriate gestures.

Gethin Wyn Jones’ film, FEAR, uses the vocabulary of cinema, in particular the genre of horror, to create a state of anticipation. Though visual and aural cues suggest otherwise, we are insistently denied the release of climax.

The truisms ‘carved’ into Lily Mellor’s sculptural multiples question the inherent etiquettes in situations of this nature; testing the boundaries, while embracing with enthusiasm, the notion of exhibition as event.

James & Mellor’s videos document the pair in performative scenarios, placing themselves/each other in positions of alternating vulnerability and trust, reminiscent of ‘care’ in medical or institutional settings.

Installation View. Milkilling BxNU MFA | Graduate Exhibition. BALTIC's project space at BALTIC 39. 3 - 21 June 2015. Photo: Colin Davison © 2015 BALTIC