By Jonathan Phillips
When first year fine art students Ellie Ashdown and Jack O’Brien were told to put on an exhibition for their course they could have just shown it in a local pub.
But, together with 15 other students, they rented out chic London gallery, The Rag Factory, and put on their exhibition, called Medium.Rare, that wowed over 300 people in one evening.
“We weren’t given any set boundaries so it was a very exciting opportunity to get out there and do something,” said Ellie, 20. “There was a massive range of work which was really great as we thought it would be difficult to make sure everything worked cohesively together.”
Jack, 18, said they were lucky when it came to the location. “Some people put them [the exhibitions] on in pubs or in abandoned spaces that they found but we found a space called the Rag Factory,” he said. “The space was amazing and only for £20 each to rent.”
Jack, who also works for fashion magazine, Super Super, managed to secure mainstream sponsorship for the event from Budvar and Southern Comfort.
Dr Harriet Riches, senior lecturer in art history and visual culture at Kingston, was very impressed by what she saw. “The venue was packed when I arrived at 8pm,” she said. “The event seemed to have attracted lots of visitors and people were spilling out onto the street.”
Silas Denyer, the founder of the Rag Factory, just off Brick Lane in East London, said: “I thought they were very good. From an artistic point of view, you wouldn’t have thought it was a first year show; it looked more like a third year show. I’d be very happy to have them back.”
Take a look at the video of their best bits, or you can see more on their website: themediumrare.tumblr.com.