OVADA Oxford Open 2013

OVADA (Oxford Visual Arts and Development Agency) is a local arts space that put on events and exhibitions to support and promote contemporary art.

OVADA Statement:
“OVADA exists to facilitate and promote access to high quality visual arts for all the residents of and visitors to Oxfordshire. We aim to put artists, the development of their practice and its successful promotion to audiences at the heart of our work.”

During November OVADA hosted an exhibition of artwork carefully selected by Tom Freshwater, contemporary arts programme manager of The National Trust. Emily Korchmaros, Curator of Modern Art Oxford and Dr Tracey Warrant, Curator and writer. The exhibition showcased contemporary artwork by artists connected to Oxfordshire who are all at different stages of their career.

Whilst visiting the exhibition two pieces stood out for me…

Madame Freude, 2010 – Frieda Van De Poll
Ceramics and knitting


This piece is a disconcerting representation of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, who was the embodiment of joy and dance but was also the meet-and-greeter of dead souls. Outwardly amusing and cheerful but with a deeply dark undercurrent, this piece looks very much like a character from a fairy tale.

Parasite, 2013 – Emily Motto
Net, home-made play dough coloured thread, fishing wire and wool


Materials lead, this piece explores how materials behave with each other and their surroundings. Home-made play dough had been pushed through nylon netting creating texture but as it had dried in the air, it had crystallised and small pieces had fallen from the structure. Whilst working with these materials Emily Motto questions the control and responsibility between the properties of the materials and her intentions and expectations as the artist.