Surface is the latest exhibition at Oriel Davies to be produced and created by the Young Curators group. Now in its second very successful year, the Young Curators project has proved again that nine months of graft and energy given over by these young people is time and effort very well spent! This ambitious exhibition brings together the work of twenty-six artists from Wales and the Border regions, and is a real testament to the Young Curators’ genuine enthusiasm and vision for contemporary visual art.

The selection of the twenty-six artists was made from over ninety high quality submissions, and presented just one of the many tasks taken on by the Young Curators. Those selected, the group thought, were perhaps at critical points within their careers or practices: some may have not yet necessarily ‘made it’; some are new, young and emerging artists, just out of college; others may have been working for a while, but have not yet had many an opportunity to show work at such a level. The Young Curators felt that by targeting artists in this way, they could present a particularly fresh and exciting exhibition in the gallery space, which would not only reflect their ideas about what they as Young Curators found interesting in contemporary art, but which would also give lesser-known artists the chance to surface - hence the title.

Surface is the result of strong and professional curatorial team-work. Careful consideration and appreciation by the Young Curators for each of the group’s selections, together with a keen eye for the relationships between the pieces chosen and the artists’ varied practices, has brought to fruition an exciting, visually stimulating and thought provoking exhibition. Importantly, the show also reflects the Young Curator’s impressions of what can constitute contemporary art and some of its varied and dynamic aspects.

The Young Curators project introduces the curating and exhibiting practice to a group of enthusiastic young people who are at the early stages of their exploration the contemporary visual arts field. Their participation in every stage of the curation of this show, from initial concept and selection, through to marketing and hanging the final show, has been vital to the great success of the project.

The 2006 Young Curators were: Jon Cooke, Kim Davies, Naomi Eagles, Sarah Evans, Ffion Griffith, Zoë Human, Bonnie Phillips.

The selected artists are: Karen Bennett, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Richard Bevan, Helen Booth, Morag Colquhoun, Barrie J Davies, Carwyn Evans, Robyn Gittins, Mair Hughes, Kevin Hunt, Matthew Jenkins, Jools Johnson, Justine Johnson, Maggie Jones, Petra Mills, Tim Long, Thomas Newton, Alan Palmer, Matthew Richardson, Mari Roberts, William Roberts, Hugh Sanders, Antonia Spowers, Angharad Taris, Liz Toole, Maureen Vyse

Above: Morag Colquhoun, Red House, Green House, 2003, wood, plant dyes, poplar, 180 x 190 x 106 cm. Copyright of the artist and courtesy of Oriel Davies.