While enjoying my last few days of mid-week freedom, I have become decidedly retrospective and nostalgic for this time last year, when I was finishing University. This has not the least been helped by the influx of End of Year shows that I have noticed popping up on Facebook through my UCA connections. Luckily, I have found help to relieve this itch in the form of the 2nd Year Illustration show in Stepping Stones Studio.
Placed in the middle of town, within a supremely funky cafe by day/bar by night, it is great to see an independent arty hub not only opening but succeeding in Maidstone- especially with the controlled decline of Maidstone UCA.
As my first time visiting there was much to take in, but what I did see was an assault of colour, style, texture and talent. Large group shows always provide a feast for the eyes and the illustrators here were no exception, with individual styles placed deliberately to contrast and harmonise. With delicate, understated advertising, exhibition catalogues, contact cards and display ephemera, the work on display definitely took centre stage in the space (in a way in which I felt was more successful than my graduation exhibition in Free Range). That is of course subjective, but the location was certainly well chosen and sympathetic to the feel of the exhibition.
Pictures after the jump…