James Cook University’s final-year New Media Arts students have been given a taste of creative life after graduation, with a student-curated exhibition opening in Creative Arts & Media’s eMerge Gallery last Thursday.
The exhibition, showcasing the work of young performance artist Paul Mumme, from Brisbane, was organised and curated by JCU students in preparation for their own graduate exhibition at the end of 2017.
Creative Arts & Media lecturer, Vicki Salisbury, said the project was a chance to give students hands-on experience ahead of graduation, but also opened their eyes to the type of future they could aspire to.
“Paul came and spoke to the students early in the semester and there’s two things I think left meaning with us: his attitude towards creativity and his drive to create work,” said Vicki.
“He’s a young man who’s only just submitted his PhD, but has so much work because he can’t not make it. Like Matthew Gianoulis, a local graduate: they’re both at a very high level in their professional practice already, and both said a similar thing to these students: it isn’t just about submitting your assignments, but continuing to stretch yourself and put out creative work because you just can’t not do it.
“The whole idea wasn’t necessarily to feature Paul Mumme, but was to find an easy show to set up – there wasn’t a lot of shipping or logistics, with it all able to be done online. But it gave the students an understanding of how everything happens to put a show on and that there is a lot to it. It’s like putting a magazine together: it takes a lot of time and following up, and a lot has to happen behind the scenes that no one sees or appreciates.”
The eMerge Gallery has been under-utilised for several years. However, Vicki said there are now plans for it to be used for at least the next 12 months.
“We’re pretty happy to have Emerge Gallery – which is a space that hasn’t really been used for a few years – as a space to teach classes and hold exhibitions. We’ll be showcasing the work of students, lecturers and researchers – that’s our point of difference at Emerge, our work will have an academic component.
“Creative Arts & Media really wants to claim this space again for our students – use the gallery as their creative outlet, claim the foyer for their own work. We’ve got really talented students here, and students who are working not only on their own arts practice but reaching out into the community, like the festivals and events happening, and working to help coordinate things across North Queensland. They then deserve to have their work showcased here in their own school at least.”
Catch the Paul Mumme Exhibition at eMerge Gallery, James Cook University from now until 26 April. Gallery open 8:30am – 4pm Monday – Friday, and closed on weekends. More of Paul’s work can be viewed here.