Catz Fine Artists host An Insight into their work

With our award-winning Arne Jacobsen buildings, Barbara Hepworth sculpture, and Tom Philips tapestries hanging in Hall, St Catz has a strong tradition of interest in art and design. Our Fine Art alumni include art curator Jane Neal and illustrator Katherine Walker, however, the work of the students is often only seen at the Ruskin School of Art. In order to share their work amongst their fellow students, last term our current Fine Art students hosted a group art exhibition in College, entitled An Insight – the first time a show of this nature has been held at St Catz.

The exhibition showcased artwork, seen below, by five Catz students: Eleanor Capstick, Mihaela Man, Julia Michiewicz, Emily Stevenhagen and Xu Zhi-Wei. The aim of the exhibition was to break the boundary between Fine Art and the College that exists as the students’ work is generally only seen at the Ruskin School of Art, and never by their fellow Catz students.

Emily Stevenhagen (2018, Fine Art) said of her work: “My studio practice largely consists of oil painting, with a particular focus on ‘The Crowd’ as subject. The three paintings I presented in this exhibition are part of an ongoing series exploring the idea of crowd gatherings, with each painting small groups of young people in dynamic motion. The work is concerned with the fine line between friendship, fun and aggression.

“I thoroughly enjoyed organising this exhibition – I felt it was of particular importance given that it was the first exhibition of this sort to take place at St Catz. Fine Art as a subject is often separated from college life, as our work takes place at the Ruskin, so we felt it was necessary to break this boundary by showing our work to fellow Catz students. It was also really exciting to be able to present our work in such a unique architectural space, which is so different from any other space we have access to in Oxford.”

Gervase Rosser, Fellow in the History of Art and Director of Studies for Fine Art since 1992, commented: “It was an excellent display and a very good event, attended by a nice cross-section of the college community. The students should really be congratulated for celebrating their creative work – normally only seen at the Ruskin – in the college setting.”