The latest NeoArtists group show ‘Through a Child’s Eyes’ considers the view of the world from a child’s perspective. “If you visit an art gallery and view the exhibits from the height of a young child then it creates a completely different outlook,” say the Neoartists, “which may in turn offer insights into the work that an adult may not perceive.” And insights is certainly what this exhibition produces. I feel it would have been very easy for this exhibition to slip into the realm of simple interpretation. It would have been very easy indeed for this to be a show which contains stereotypical images of child-like art, or images or rattles, prams and playgrounds, but the NeoArtists have gone beyond that and lived up to their name by producing new ‘neo’ art. A plethora of ideas have fixed themselves to the walls of the gallery, and the scope covers photography, sculpture, poetry and painting. Dennis Whiteside reminds us that children dream in black and white, Dorothy Ellin’s wax and resin moulds of a denim skirt make us think about the throwaway nature of the young. How everything is a must have until you have it. And Karen Bricknell seems to be catching many eyes with her piece ‘Headshot’, where she has painted a computer game type image of a fatal gunshot to the head. For the Playstation generation the terrible in real life can be the object of envy in a game.
Some might say that this exhibition is not as full as others, but instead of seeing an emptiness I see a broadening of maturity. I feel the NeoArtists group is going through a second change. It has been through a catalyst of growth as its numbers have swelled, and now is going through an expanse of quality. The level of imagination and talent here is greater than ever before. The group is leaving behind its student experimentation, as a new maturity grows up and around the boughs of the NeoArtists family tree. If the last steps they took were as children, then these new strides are those adolescents on the cusp of adulthood. Time will give us the true extent of their talents, and that moment is not too far off now. An original exhibition that is not to be missed. Through a Child’s Eyes runs until the 1st of May in the Market Place Gallery, Bolton.