This exhibition celebrates both the long-standing history of art education at Southampton Solent and the tenth anniversary of the Southampton Solent University Art Collection. The formal inauguration of the SSU Art Collection took place in October 1998 for the dedication of the newly completed Sir Michael Andrews Building. It now boasts over 500 works by former students and staff.
What is a collection and why do we collect? Painter John Newlings suggests that, Laid out for our gaze, they are Arks of ourselves, not pretending to be truth or theory but simply being in the world to remind us that art can wobble our views of the social, the political and the material cultures we think we live in." The great national and municipal collections perhaps show some of the essence of ourselves but a collection like the one at SSU, with its intrinsically democratic methodology works are bought from degree shows and have to cover the range of student interest - reveals a wider view of ourselves and the period covered by the collection.
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