Oxford University’s Fine Art School Opens its Doors
This weekend the students at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford opened its doors to the curious and keen to view a sample of their students’ drawings.
Having spent yesterday pottering about the nooks and crannies of their studio I must admit, conscious of how pretentious it will sound, that taking a tour of an art school is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing ways to whittle away a few spare hours. The Ruskin building itself, in the heart of Oxford, is historic and grave in its character. Walking through the doors and into the Georgian architecture, one would be less surprised to find characters from an Austen novel having tea than a clatter of art students blasting 90s music from paint splattered stereos.
The purpose of this weekend’s particular event was to give locals and other students the chance to see what goes on within the Ruskin whilst also providing a platform for the students to display and sell some of their work. The school’s big event, the annual Art Show of the final honours students, will be taking place this Summer. Last year, this was in the form of a display curated within the shell of Oxford’s former gas works. The drawing sale was something of a taster of what the annual show will entail; as a glimpse not so much at the art works as the artists behind them- as they flitted about between stalls whilst their presence at the final show will merely be in the names contained in the labels by the art works.
The casual collective of the art work made it not so much like an exhibition than a jumble sale with fine art crammed in each nook and sprawled across spiralled staircases.
The atmosphere, flavoured with the smell of turpentine and acrylic paint, was the perfect antidote to the cleansed and sterile atmosphere of most art galleries and was a whole new way to approach art; refreshing and worthwhile.
This article was originally published in the Oxford Tab. To view the article in its original format please click here.