Peter Hanmer talks about Discerning Eye Exhibition

UCA Farnham Fine Art student, Peter Hanmer who graduated in the summer of 2014 talks about his recent experience of being selected for Discerning Eye in the Mall Galleries, London. He also talks about his time at UCA Farnham studying Fine Art.

I first heard about the annual Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries a couple of years via the website art quest, at the time I simply noted it down as something I might want to enter in the future.  However, on my graduation in May, I began experimenting with different sizes of work partly due to having more space constraints than I had when I was at University and also to push my practise forward in different directions. The piece selected for the show ‘Wishful Thinking’ was the smallest I’d made so far; it was extremely challenging but worthwhile.  Since then I’ve worked on series of pieces of a similar size as something I can do alongside larger works.  I thought it was important to demonstrate I was seriously engaged with my practice so I submitted new work rather than use the work I had made whilst at UCA Farnham Fine Art.

The experiences I had at UCA Farnham Fine Art where great preparation for Discerning Eye, and being selected for Facing Extinction; The Exhibition, in early 2014, in the Elaine Thomas Gallery concurrent with Gustav Metzger in the James Hockey Gallery was what originally gave me the confidence in my practise to continually push my work out there. My submitted piece for Discerning Eye was chosen by the critic Helen Sumpter writer for the Art Review and set up for the exhibition coincided with the set up of the selected alumni exhibition Make/Believe in the James Hockney Gallery in Farnham.

The experience of Discerning Eye was extremely positive, it felt good and was a boost to my confidence to exhibit work for the first time outside of UCA’s umbrella and for the work to be chosen by a noted art critic only adds to that feeling of accomplishment. The show looked great and the artist’s private view was a great networking event, I chatted with Helen and various other artists who had work in the show and the positive feedback on the work was very encouraging.

Artistically I’ve recently finished a new major work ‘Regressive Flight’ which I have submitted for the Signature Art Prize. I have also been working on an ongoing series of miniatures where small characters are interacting with toy soldiers.  After having some time to independently develop my practice I plan to apply for postgraduate study. I’m going to keep making and there are several other open submissions and competitions I’m thinking of entering work for.

The show was on from 13th – 23rd November 2014


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