Student mock protest opens art exhibition at Thames Tower
19 January 2023
Students from the University of Reading School of Art opened a public exhibition of their work at Thames Tower yesterday [18 January], following a mock protest event outside the prominent Reading building.
The 'Placard Parade' began outside the Thames Tower building, which is opposite Reading Station, and saw students holding aloft placards they created to demonstrate something they are passionate about. Statements on the placards ranged from the personal to the political and were designed as part of their degree programme, which looks at the art of signage and freedom of expression.
The exhibition, entitled Arachnophobia and Other Tales, is on display on the ground floor of Thames Tower and is open to the public. It is a multi-media exhibition of new work by undergraduate students from Reading School of Art, comprising painting, film, sculpture and installation.
The themes the artists are exploring are multi-faceted and touch on a range of contemporary issues from imagined realities, nostalgia, fragility, desire and grief to diaspora, identity and the male gaze.
Running until 9 June 2023, the exhibition is part of a long-term project for Reading School of Art, in partnership with Thames Tower and HS Projects.
HS Projects, founded by experienced curators Alistair Howick and Tina Sotiriadi, specialises in delivering artistic interventions and projects in unexpected places.
Dr Florian Roithmayr, Reading School of Art, said: “It is really important to us that students have as many and as varied moments for real-life experiences and professional training as possible. Exhibitions are an important part of art education, and we are thrilled to be partnering with HS Projects and Thames Tower on this fantastic opportunity for our students to demonstrate their work in Reading town centre.
“Furthermore, we are very proud of our students who have put so much thought, time and effort into these pieces and it is wonderful to see them on display for the wider Reading community to engage with.”
Tina Sotiriadi, HS Projects said: “We like the challenge of working in non-gallery spaces outside of ’the white cube’. Working with a wide range of spaces from Grade I listed buildings to office spaces, we transform unconventional places into interesting forums for artistic and cultural exchange and produce art exhibitions that seek to engage new audiences with the arts.
“The ground floor area of Thames Tower provides an excellent exhibition space and, with its large floor to ceiling windows, offers great visibility to the passing public who are welcome to come in and view the exhibition. It’s a great opportunity for the students to gain experience in external public group exhibitions while raising their profile and engaging with a new and wider audience.”
HS Projects will be curating two exhibitions a year at Thames Tower and has already said it would like to partner with the Reading School of Art for future exhibitions.