DD14's Silver Arts Award - Exhibition Review

Review of two exhibitions as part of DD14's Silver Arts Award :)

CUPOLA EXHIBITION review by Safiyah Mahmood (DD14)

I attended an Arts exhibition today by the artist, costume designer and sculptor Becky Truman. 

My first thoughts when I walked in were wow! Look at all the colours!

This exhibition, Cupola, marks the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the UK modern circus.  The exhibition is based on life in the circus and it displays costumes, sculptures and trapeze artists. Truman has used different mediums such as costumes, masks, sculptures, life-castings and film either as individual pieces or collectively as part of an installation. She is inspired by movement, characters and emotions of the circus to create pieces of Art. Truman launched, Skinning the Cat, the UK's first outdoor aerial company in 1988.

I liked the outfits and took great inspiration from them to create my own artwork and stories based on circus life when I got home. I will be working alongside this artist, at a mask making workshop, in the next couple of weeks as well as quizzing her all about her artwork and future opportunities for those interested in Art as a career!

I have learnt that when she creates her characters, she thinks about colour, shapes and textures. Truman thought about movement, props and how each character would be suspended before starting her creations, taking all her inspiration from her knowledge of the Circus and shows.

During the circus days, they used a menagerie of animals such as lions, tigers, polar bears and horses and they also used people with dwarfism as a practical joke for people in the audience.

My favourite parts were the outfits and costumes. I really liked the blue and silver one as they are my favourite colours and they inspired me to create something at home. I didn't particularly like the sculpture of a wall of ears, faces and clapping hands, I found it a bit eerie and creepy.

Glisten and Shine: Glass Review by Safiyah Mahmood (DD14)

This exhibition showcases talented, new and established makers from the UK and beyond.

'Glass is a versatile and captivating medium, which touches our lives in many ways and brings much pleasure and joy to those who behold, make and design it. The art form is an ancient craft and is also at the forefront of technology.'

I loved looking around the glass exhibition . It was amazing to see what could be made from glass. There were some exquisite pieces but my favourite was the blue perfume bottle.

I found the whole exhibition, which was in the small cellar room in the Art Gallery quite enchanting, with some amazing glass creations such as vases, bowls, bottles and even some cute houses all made from glass.

I have learnt that a variety of styles and a range of different techniques has been used to make these great pieces of Art. They have demonstrated that being creative and using technical skills, some amazing creations can be made alongside the more traditional classical works.

After returning home I wrote my review up in my Silvers Arts Award Scrapbook and I am sharing it with you all here on our Home Ed blog! Hope you have enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures we took.


  1. Brilliant reviews DD14 well done! You have written a really great description of both exhibitions and clearly shown how you have been inspired by the work of Becky Truman. Especially her use of colour and her costume design. I look forward to reading more about your workshop and interview with the artist soon.

    The glass work exhibition sounds really interesting too, it is amazing what can be created in glass, have you ever seen a glass blower at work? It is amazing to see. Look out for open artist workshops in craft centres you might get to see glass creation in the making.

    ( make sure you gather plenty of feedback from others who you have shared you're reviews with :)

  2. This is a wonderful review. Glass art is always great to look at. All those pretty colors!

    The mask you made is such a pretty shade of blue and silver. It shows a good eye.


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