1:16pm Wednesday 2nd May 2012
By Sylvia Vetta
There are an incredible 450 exhibitors taking part in this 30th anniversary year of Oxfordshire Artsweeks but there are also four talks. The Art Forum, now in its tenth year, is organised by Summertown Artweeks to bring a serious art debate to a city with leading art schools as well as this vibrant art scene. Head for the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on May 16 to hear speakers from diverse artistic backgrounds attempt to answer the question What is Art?
The Art Forum, chaired by Jim White of the Daily Telegraph, includes Sam Zealey, a sculpture student at the Royal School of Art; Dr Jason Gaiger, the head of the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art; Prof Shelly Sacks, social sculpture practitioner and interdisciplinary artist, Oxford Brookes University; and author James Attlee.
Art changed radically during the 20th century; you can argue that Picasso began the challenge to established ideas. Think Carl Andre — when is a brick not a brick but a work of art? Today (see Page 43) I preview the graduate fine art show at Oxford Brookes where the work uses everyday materials, in addition to paint, ink and bronze. There are sound installations, landscape and conceptual pieces. Pictured (above) is a wooden sculpture by Ruskin student James Lomax on display at Malmaison throughout Artweeks (May 5-27) In this artistic environment — where anything goes — What is Art? is a difficult question to answer, but the speakers will attempt to and hear comments from the floor.
The Art Forum: Wednesday, May 16, 7pm The University Museum, £7 (£5 concessions) on the door (includes a glass of wine from 6.30pm).
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