Brookes Architecture and Fine Art students showcase work in Albania

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Students exhibit work at National Gallery of Arts in Tirana.

Work by architecture and fine art students at Oxford Brookes forms the centrepiece of a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana, Albania this summer.

The exhibition, The City: Visions and Realities, explores the contemporary condition of the city and offers inspirational ideas for the future as seen by the new generation of artists and architects.

Curated by the Gallery's director, Rubens Shima, the exhibition brings together designs and models by Oxford Brookes Architecture students plus installations and artworks by the Fine Art students. It also features artworks from some of Albania's leading contemporary artists and projects by postgraduate architecture students from the Polytechnic University of Tirana.

Work by more than a dozen Oxford Brookes undergraduate and postgraduate architecture students has been selected for the exhibition.

Highlights include the Museum of Nature project by third year undergraduate Paul Nicholls, which was short-listed for the RIBA President's Bronze Medal, and the London Gliding Club project by postgraduate Elliott Wingfield. There are also the remarkable digital projects for the airship docking station in east London – including 60-second movies showing the building opening up to receive the airship - by Andrew Longlands and others.

While the architecture students offer inspirational ideas for the city of the future, the fine art students focus more on the problems and the present. The installation by Lois Muddiman depicts an Oxford of the future, submerged by water, while the video by James Winnett offers a terrifying vision of life on a twilight housing estate, to the accompaniment of Elgar's Nimrod. Jezella Garner's assemblage explores ways in which an individual's identity can be created and protected through material objects while Penny Ellis's video installation discovers the hidden sights and sounds where road, rail and canal meet in King's Cross, one of London's busiest districts.

Laura Degenhardt, whose painting 'High Street' formed part of the show commented: 'I was thrilled to be invited and very excited to have my work in a national gallery.'

Head of Architecture at Oxford Brookes, Professor Mark Swenarton, added: 'We are delighted to take part in this exhibition and to contribute to the intense debates now taking place in Albania over the future development of their capital city.'

The exhibition runs until 31 August.

The Department of Architecture would like to thank Architects Design Partnership, Assael Architecture and Haverstock Associates for their generous support.