Artwork: Lydia Cruz
Artwork: Lydia Cruz

La vie est faite de petits bonheurs. This means that life is made of small instances of happiness. It also means that I don’t want to write my essay so instead am Googling French quotes.

But that it’s the little things in life that are important is a familiar concept to us all. However, when it comes to art it seems to be the case now that bigger really is better. The bigger the work and the bigger the reputation of the artist, then the bigger the splash it would seem. A Bigger Splash was even the name of a recent exhibition at the Tate Modern, considering the relationship between performance and painting. When did art become so attention seeking? At least the Mona Lisa is sly about it, coyly grinning away whilst the rest of the Louvre wonders what it has to do for all the guards and mobs of crazed fans, resentfully muttering that she doesn’t even go here.

I obviously don’t own anything that would be considered ‘art’ by a curator or auctioneer; if I did I would be rich and on a tropical island rather than staring at a giant SILENCE sign on the top floor of the Library. However, this doesn’t mean that my postcard reproductions can’t bring me pleasure. They’re familiar sights to me, they bring a little bit of colour to the walls and create a bit of atmosphere. This is why most people hang ‘art’ in their homes.

And this is why I think ‘Art On The Rocks’ is so great. It consists of student artworks in various locations around the town, promising to add “a splash of colour to your usual watering holes”. It’s neither dramatic nor imposing, and it does not scream for attention and critical engagement. In venues such as Taste and Mitchell’s you almost don’t notice it. Instead it made me want to sit down and stay in this welcoming atmosphere rather than go to the Library. In this role, art can stop a space from feeling clinical, instead evoking mood, mind-set and memories. You may look with your eyes, but you respond with your whole being.

The combined efforts of ArtSoc, PhotoSoc, Anthropology Society and ST.ART work to bring a flourish of feeling and awareness to your day-to-day life, and pleasantly break up the monotony of lectures, Library and your preferred source of caffeine.

‘Art on the Rocks’ will culminate in a gala at the Vic on 12 April. Work can be viewed all week at Zest South Street, Zest 2 Go Market Street, Con Panna, Aikmans, The Vic, Mitchell’s, Taste, Luvian’s Ice Cream Parlour.

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