Open Exhibition Ferens Art Gallery, Hull To 22nd April 2018
Previously known as the Winter Exhibition, the popular Ferens all-comers show is always worth a visit, although this year I do not think it as impressive as last year’s. Can’t say I could put my finger on the reason why – there just didn’t appear to me to be a stand-out item. Yes, all a matter of taste of course, and there was in this first week of the show a fair smattering of red dots. Two pictures I’ll mention: John Creighton’s ‘Road Through Cropton Forest’ a charcoal (?) work on paper, atmospheric and light, a haze hanging in the air. By way of complete contrast, the pin-sharp ‘Fractured’ by Maia Weerdmeester, created with permanent markers to make a dazzling pattern of lines, colours and shapes, bears a close look. Unlike the days of the Winter Exhibitions, the hang seems to be less crowded but there were still over 300 works on display. I wonder what the rejection rate was. One little niggle: I arrived at 4.15, the gallery closes at 5. But the shop closes at 4 which means no catalogues could be bought. There should be some available at the counter on the way in. If one of the attendants hadn’t given me his well-thumbed copy I would have been clueless as to who did what or what the prices were. So thanks to that attendant!