UK’s largest graduate art fair comes to Brick Lane

Entrance to the Free Range show at the Truman Brewery. Source: Melania Valeri.

Art students from 40 different university courses across the UK are presenting their work at a special graduate show at one of Brick Lane’s most iconic venues.

The Free Range Show, which runs from 21 June to 8 July at the Truman Brewery and marks its 20th year in 2019, includes work from students from The Cass, London Metropolitan University, Nottingham Trent and Edinburgh Napier.

The first two weeks are dedicated to photography and the third to fine art. There will also be a wide range of degree shows taking place, including fashion and interior design.

The show is a celebration of the thousands of graduates learning to plan, curate and build their first own exhibition. It is also an opportunity for the artists to network with industry and their peers, in addition to participate in talks and awards.

Founded by Tamsin O’Hanlon, it is recognised for offering a networking opportunity for emerging artists transitioning into the industry. The show has improved a lot throughout the years, supported by industry’s adoption of technology, which allows artists to use the power of social media to promote and market their show.

One of the exhibitors, Roberta Ripamonti, 24, moved to London in 2014 to pursue her dream to study photography. She is now exhibiting at the show, having finished a BA Photography at the University of West London.

Ripamonti told Eastlondonlines: “The opportunity given by the university to exhibit our work here is amazing. Here we have the chance to look at each other’s work and confront our talents.

“After looking at so many artistic projects, where different materials, way of printing and exhibiting are used, I am now looking forward to work on my own project outside the university work”.

Roberta Ripamonti at the Free Range Show. Source: Melania Valeri.

Janusz Miarka, 48, a recent graduate from the University of West London originally from Poland, told Eastlondonlines: “We put a lot of effort and hard work to create this exhibition and the results are very satisfying. I look forward to the opportunity to be spotted by industry curators and agencies.

“This opportunity may get us a chance to land a future job, besides the fact that we have learnt for the first time to work on creating an exhibition from scratches.”

Janusz Miarka says the exhibition is useful for networking and finding jobs Pic: Melania Valeri.

One of the visitors to the exhibition, Elena Breda, 21, told Eastlondonlines: “It is so great to see so many talented artists going an extra mile to showcases their skills. I am an art lover and I found each one of this work very interesting and I am very excited to be here.”

The Truman Brewery has evolved from a derelict vacant building into a spectacular 10 acres of event space, strategically positioned in one of the most vibrant areas of East London.

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