Hoi Polloi: BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree Show 2018

This event has now finished. Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.

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Who this event is for

  • Everyone


Abercrombie Building, The Glass Tank, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


The final year students studying fine art at Oxford Brookes University will be holding their degree show Hoi Polloi, a summative exhibition of their artwork as a collective. ‘Hoi Polloi' roughly translates to ‘the masses’ or ‘the common people’. In the sense, the exhibition is centred around a group of creative individuals coming together to showcase their finest artwork, encapsulating three to five years’ worth of hard work and ever-developing artistic practices. Spanning the Glass Tank gallery and the Richard Hamilton Building, you will be given an insight into some of the newest emerging artists.


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Hoi Polloi will transport you out of the gallery space, whether into outer space or delve into familiar locations and situations; revealing the deep secrets and complex theories on what it means to be human; questioning identity, both from the past and present. Hoi Polloi offers something for all audiences, covering a huge range of themes in an exciting range of innovative and traditional mediums. The work takes shape in many different forms, from figurative painting and embroidery to live performance and sound art, all brought together into one large feast for the senses. You will see installations and questioning works which will immerse the audience in digital age struggles and ancestral familiarities. Performance pieces will challenge art world normalities and place the work off the gallery wall. Whether the work is raising big, existential questions or focusing in on the everyday moments in our lives, the work in this exhibition is sure to get audiences thinking. The degree show marks an exciting change in over thirty art student’s lives, as a final chapter to their degree. Celebrating all of their achievements, Hoi Polloi aims to demonstrate the best of their abilities in the transition from student to practising artist.

Hoi Polloi is independently fundraised by the final year fine art students of Oxford Brookes University and kindly supported by the Glass Tank Gallery.

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An events programme will run from Saturday 12th - Thursday 18th May. This will feature artist talks, workshops and tours, as well as a closing night event on the final day of the show.

The Hoi Polloi programme of events will run alongside the week-long exhibition, between 12th – 17th May. The exhibition is open daily from 11am – 6pm, with a late opening on Thursday 11am – 9pm. All events are free to attend and open to the general public.

Saturday 12th May

TOUR: Artist-Led Exhibition Tour 12 (noon)

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Join us for daily artist-led guided tours of the exhibition, departing at 12pm from the Richard Hamilton Building.

This experience offers an excellent opportunity to explore the exhibition in more detail, enrich understanding and gain insight into the work as well as the chance to engage with the exhibiting artists themselves.

No booking is required for this event.

TALK: ‘Hoi Polloi – Creative Talks’ – 3pm – 6pm | JHB208 Chakrabarti Room

Hoi Polloi Creative Talks Event Image

Join us for an afternoon of intriguing artist talks with Aaron Williamson, Erica Scourti, Joy Miessi and Music Hackspace.

This series of short late-afternoon talks aims to bring together a group of exciting speakers to share insights and experiences from the creative industries to inspire and inform a new generation of creatives.

'Hoi Polloi' means the masses, ‘the common people’. As a group we feel that it is important to facilitate progressive conversations and spark debate using our position as creatives to proactively influence, inspire and implement change and positively impact on the wider society.

Open to the general public and FREE to attend.

There is no need to book for this event

Sunday 13th May
WORKSHOP: ‘Make Your Own Alien Creature’ with Artist Kate Davis – 10am – 3pm

Hoi Polloi Make your own Alien Creature Event Image

Join artist Kate Lizzy Davis for a fun day of working with clay, exploring the beautiful grotesque and the wonderful.

Whether you are a practicing artist or an amateur arts and crafts addict, all are welcome to come along and share the Sci-Fi magic. You will spend the day making your own alien creatures using oven hardening FIMO clay.

The day will begin with a brief introduction, then straight into designing your alien creature followed by a tutorial from the artist whilst making your figure using wire, masking tape and clay. There will then be an hour break where you can relax as your clay figures bake in the oven and then cool. When you return to the session you will be painting your figure using paints provided, bringing your creature to life.

This event is FREE

To book your place, please email - brookesartists@gmail.com

TOUR: Artist-Led Exhibition Tour 12 (noon)

WORKSHOP: Experimental Life Drawing Class – 1:30pm – 3pm

Hoi Polloi Experimental Life Drawing Class Event Image

The third year BA Fine Art students at Oxford Brookes University are running an exciting ‘Experimental Life Drawing’ workshop with a twist.

Join us for a refreshing, experimental approach to gestural drawing and mark-making capturing models in motion. During this dynamic we will respond to life in movement as models pose in a range of costumes, fashion and wearable artwork. This class promises to visually challenge the conventional life drawing class.

In this alternative workshop we will be showcasing exciting emerging talent in fashion and costume as well as re-energising illustration and fine art drawing.

This event is FREE

To book your place, please email - brookesartists@gmail.com

Monday 14th May
TOUR: Artist-Led Exhibition Tour 12 (noon)

WORKSHOP: ‘Introduction to Fine Art Cob Building’ with Artist Jemima Hall – 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Hoi Polloi Cob Building Event Image

Mud has been used to create structures since human beings started building shelters 10,000 years ago. Similar to the method swallows use to build their nests and by learning from them, we started piling up blocks of dried earth. What we now know as ‘cobbing’, is the process of mixing and massaging earth, water and straw together to create these blocks to build with. As an experimental process, it is now not so much about necessity for shelter, but exploring the fun side of working with cob!

Join Hoi Polloi artist Jemima Hall and be inspired to reconnect to what is beneath our feet, oneself and your fellow cobbers. Become acquainted with this ancient practice and get messy!

This event is FREE

To book your place, please email - brookesartists@gmail.com

Tuesday 15th May
TOUR: Artist-Led Exhibition Tour 12 (noon)

WORKSHOP: ‘Pulping Party’ with Artist Ellie Monk – 6pm – 8pm

Hoi Polloi Pulping Party Event Image

Join us for a pulping party! Hoi Polloi artist Eleanor Monk introduces pulping as an artistic practice.You are invited to bring your sentimental tickets, letters and receipts to be turned into paper confetti, blended into pulp and reborn as handmade paper. Create a beautiful blank slate from your memories, or if that feels a little bit too extreme, use some of ours!

Any skill level is invited, but please bring your patience for the fiddly bits.

Dresscode: wear something you don’t mind getting wet, this is a pulping party after all!

This event is FREE

To book your place, please email - brookesartists@gmail.com

Wednesday 16th May
TOUR: Artist-Led Exhibition Tour 12 (noon)

Thursday 17th May
LATE OPENING: Celebratory closing event with live performances, sound and light installations. 6pm – 9pm