Visitors to the Summer Show this year cannot fail to notice the work of BA (Hons) Fine Art student, Nicola Wood, as she has been given permission to use the long corridor that links the Lister Building with the Yorkshire Craft Centre as her canvas. She is not only painting the walls and ceiling but even the floor has been boarded out so she can transform it as part of her final degree submission.
Nicola is currently hard at work transforming what was always a rather dull passageway into a delightful interlude between different parts of the building. But this is fine art not decorating, inspired by an artist’s perspective and some rather complex theories. Although she is still hard at work ensuring that it is finished in time, Nicola has already found her painted corridor has the power to enhance the mood of everyone who uses it!
Nicola explained, “All my work is based on architecture and I felt that this was a way of taking it right back. It is about looking at our surroundings in a new and fresh way. Even the most mundane spaces can be beautiful if you actually look at them. During the three years of my degree I have walked up and down this corridor and watched how the light changes so much during the day, making brilliant shapes and shadows. Other people just never noticed it as they hurried by with their heads down. I want them to be totally surrounded by the artwork so that they feel part of it.
This has been months in the planning and is taking six weeks to complete. There were lots of things to consider like Health and Safety meetings and risk assessments before I could start work. I have painted things depending on what would suit the sloping, irregular spaces using a technique called eurythmia, so as you walked down the corridor what look like wonky lines straighten up.
I have had some volunteers to help with the actual painting as it is such a mammoth task. I have had to work in the evenings when the corridor was not in use and by the time I finish I will have done every weekday evening from 5pm until 10pm, plus weekends, for six weeks. I have used twenty six colours of paint so it will be really vibrant and cheerful.
I will have a couple of regular canvases in the show but the corridor is like my trump card! As it has started to take shape people’s reactions have been amazing. I have loved how they stop in the corridor to hold conversations now or have even skipped down it. The corridor is already used differently and as I am going to stay on to study for my MA Visual Arts I will get to see how it evolves over the year. I hope that it inspires someone else to take up the challenge to do something special with it again next year.”