The School of Art, Science & Technical Classes takes as its point of departure the use of MOSTYN’s building as an art gallery and educational establishment from 1903 to 1912. A variety of exhibitions took place and a range of arts and science-based classes were taught alongside other subjects. Some of the subjects on offer included life drawing, light & shade drawing, brushwork, geometrical drawing, woodcarving, metalwork, dressmaking, elocution, music, French and shorthand.
J. Hanmer Hutchings, who trained at what later became the Royal College of Art, was the head of the school and, together with various artists and academics, led the classes, which were supplemented by lectures on associated subjects.
For the exhibition the gallery spaces will be separated into single exhibition spaces. Each of the ‘rooms’ will be based on a particular subject and discipline taught in the original school. MOSTYN Visual Arts Programme Curator Adam Carr, some 100 years on, curates the new ‘classes’, with solo exhibitions by Camille Henrot, FORT and Meirion Ginsberg. An additional room, will survey the time of the original art school and its links to the present, along with a history of a number of local schools.
The three artists have been chosen for their international relevance and mastery, or emergence and promise, in the respective disciplines of the classes, which are ‘brush drawing’ (Camille Henrot), ‘metalwork’ (FORT) and ‘light and shade’ (Meirion Ginsberg). Each exhibition will present an expanded notion of, and break new ground in, how those disciplines might be today, at the same time speaking of their tradition. The terms are employed in this context with some irony. Arguably the original terms are outdated and have been replaced by new definitions, or have been co-opted by the term ‘Contemporary Art’. Paradoxically, they offer new ways of seeing and interpreting the work – in the same way that the History Series uses the past as a lens through which to reconsider the present.
The historical presentation will continue in the spirit of the previous History Series exhibitions in harnessing a rigorous approach to research that creates strong and unexpected links with the local context, celebrates the history of the building and the surrounding area, and establishes new pathways for understanding society today.
This exhibition is curated by Adam Carr (Visual Arts Programme Curator, MOSTYN), and co-curated by Jane Matthews (Engagement Manager/Research MOSTYN) with Richard Cynan Jones (Operations and Facilities/Research, MOSTYN), and produced by MOSTYN.