Exhibition and Symposium Illuminate the Monochrome

Detail of 'Midas Magic' by Jane Harris

Students, artists and academics from around the UK gathered at the Dye House Gallery on 5th March 2015 to see the Private View of a new exhibition and enjoy the associated symposium exploring the many interpretations of the monochrome genre. In Light of the Monochrome was curated by Heather Boxall, Curriculum Team Leader for Art & Design, Bradford School of Arts & Media in response to research for her PhD at Northumbria University.

"The monochrome has the quality of being luminous, emitting or reflecting light through the painted surface.  Light can also be regarded as a condition of spiritual awareness, divine illumination, which references the ‘transcendental’ or ‘sublime’ often attributed to the monochrome. Artists are also exploring the monochrome through digital and photographic light techniques. This exhibition brings together some contemporary reflections on the genre."

Heather Boxall, Curriculum Team Leader for Art & Design, Bradford School of Arts & Media

Heather Boxall In addition to her own paintings, Heather attracted work by leading figures working in the monochrome genre including Jane Harris, David Batchelor, Pip Dickens, John Hilliard and Estelle Thompson; in addition to a number of her own colleagues, Manya Doñaque and Clare Booker, who are also currently engaged in doctoral research.

Discover more about In Light of the Monochrome and the exhibiting artists by downloading the catalogue

Visitors to the exhibition have expressed surprise at the rich nature and diversity of the work displayed.
You can see exhibition highlights here

Many of the artists featured in the exhibition also contributed presentations at the Symposium presentations. These included an introduction and overview of the genre by Heather Boxall; artist and author David Batchelor speaking of 'Monochrome and Comedy'; Pip Dickens, Lecturer in Fine Art, Lancaster University discussing 'Netherworlds of Greyness: Green-lipped Geishas and Old Sheep Dogs'; '“You see what you see” or “You see who you are”? Reflecting on a few painters making mirrors, walls and voids with pigments and light' by Professor Estelle Thompson, Glyndŵr University; plus 'Metaphors of Life and Death' by Manya Doñaque, and 'Digital Monochrome' by Clare Booker, both Lecturers at  Bradford School of Arts & Media. Demonstrating the research culture which pervades the School, two more staff members gave thoughtful papers: Pam Brook, Curriculum Team Leader for Creative Industries spoke of 'White and the Rhetoric of Modernism' and Lecturer Dr Robert Galeta discussed 'Event, Pattern and Understanding.' Plenary discussions were chaired by Dr Graham Stevens, Associate Dean Higher Education, Bradford College.

David Batchelor addresses delegates at the Symposium
You can see highlights of the symposium here

Immediately following the symposium, the exhibition was formally opened by Nathan Kelly, Head of the School of Arts & Media, and Clare Hallows, College Registrar.

Clare Hallows spoke with tremendous pride of the outstanding collaborative work of Heather Boxall and academic colleagues evidenced by In Light of the Monochrome and of the College’s commitment to removing barriers to the highest standards of achievement.


“Scholarship is growing exponentially in the School of Arts and Media. We continue to drive standards forward with pedagogy, collaborative creativity and the creative process at the heart of all we do.”

Nathan Kelly, Head of the School of Arts & Media, Bradford College

You can see images from the Private View here

The exhibition runs from 6th March until 25th March 2015. The Dye House Gallery is open on weekdays, from 11am until 4pm, with a special Saturday opening on 21st March, from 10.30am  until 1.30pm.