The Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition, a small show featuring the top eight shortlisted works, is well worth a visit. There is plenty to make you think and sometimes great beauty. The exhibition has quite a sombre, contemplative feel and sometimes as with Julian Day’s piece Requiem, (2012-1014) and Fear by John Keane (2012-2013) the works strike sparks off each other when images of people facing the terror of Stalinist show trials are accompanied by the steady plaintive hum from the synthesisers close by. The four portraits which make up Fear are beautifully painted and very moving. You look at them helplessly as they stare out silently, asking for recognition and justice and there is nothing that you can do.
I was lucky to see Mobius by Owen Waterhouse on a day when sunlight was flooding in through the church windows, lighting it perfectly and showing off the sinuous movement that runs through the curves of the polished steel. It is beautifully constructed, a very fitting tribute to the steelworkers of Sheffield.
When I first saw the photographic images which make up Marcus Lyon’s Exodus (20210-2014) from a distance I thought that they were stained glass windows. He is interested in the way that the world is too visually complex for us to make sense of within a single image so I suppose that is as good a comment on them as any.
An interesting show, right in the heart of York. I hope that some of the hundreds of people milling around in the streets around the Yorvik centre will find their way inside by chance and be surprised by it.