Students’ cost of living experiences explored in new exhibition

  • Date

    Fri 13 Jan 23

A person wearing an outfit made out of colourful balloons flops forward over a barbed wire fence in a field

A new art exhibition based on the cost-of-living crisis and current instability around the UK is set to launch at Art Exchange.

The show will a range of different exhibits, including posters, drawings, videos and steel sculptures.

The exhibition, called Precarious, aims to create a platform for artists who explore precariousness – from living within the permacrisis of UK politics, to navigating social justice and gender identity in an often hostile environment, while avoiding boring jobs – and simply figuring out how to pay the rent.

Artists have been working with students at Essex on their exhibits, and drawn inspiration from how they are overcoming challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis.

The exhibition will begin on Tuesday 17 January, with a special launch party set to take place two days later.

Other events planned throughout the month-long exhibition include a lunchtime tour, a chat with the artists, a sewing and up-cycling class, and communal supper offering free vegetarian stews and homemade bread.

Jessica Twyman, Curator of the Art Exchange gallery said: “The more I talked to students around campus, the more I realised the effect of the cost-of-living crisis on their everyday lived experience.

“We invited artists to work with our students, listening to how they were coming up with strategies for supporting each other, such as communal living.

“The outcome is a fascinating exhibition of young and emerging artists who utilise their creativity as an act of defiance against our challenging times.”

The artists whose work is being featured in the exhibition include Private Eye cartoonist Tom Armstrong, Daisy Blower, Tom Bull, Iris Gunnarsdottir, Elsa James, Dion Kitson, Rudy Loewe, Rebecca Moss, Paul Westcombe and Josh C Wright.