St Andrews is not a big town, it is hardly a town at all. Nonetheless, you would be amazed by how many gems it can hide, some of them still unknown to many second and third years. I am not referring to the town’s beautiful spots hidden between medieval walls or its sunsets on the pier, but to what its own students manage to create every day out of their artsy and twisted minds.
In My Room is an art exhibition which took place in St Regulus Hall last Sunday. Born with the idea of bringing bohemian Paris to Scotland, it hosted several kinds of visual art. Tasnim Siddiqa Amin, coordinator of the exhibition says: ‘I brought up my sister’s canvases from London to have at least something to begin my first exhibition with. I made an offhand comment to a friend about the fact that I have so much art work that I may invite a few friends to see it. Two and a half weeks ago the idea first came to my mind, and a few days later it was already showtime.’
As the name itself suggests, In My Room happened in Siddiqa Amin’s very own bedroom, which was turned into an impromptu gallery with drawings and paintings hanging from the wall. Aiming at the promotion of all kinds of art, the exhibition put on display (and some even on sale!) jewelry, photos, clothes and even some poems. In My Room was free entry, with donations appreciated. Siddiqa Amin was helped out by a staff of gallery assistants welcoming the visitors on the door and offering refreshments to the contributors. ‘Contributors began as a favour from friends’ the coordinator continues, ‘then I started announcing I was looking for art on Facebook. Gathering more than 50 pieces of art was easier than I expected’.
The exhibition kicked off at 6pm with just a couple of visitors, but it was a real success by the end of the night. Performances of spoken poetry by Samantha Emily Evans, Sverre Tidemand, Hella Peter, Laura Trad, Jemima Tyssen Smith and many other young poets of the St Andrean community were well received by the audience, delighted by the poems’ several nuances. Tara Cha, a visitor of the exhibition, says: ‘I was able to collect fantastic insight into what some of the current amazingly talented students are up to. I feel grateful that I could experience it all in such an incredibly intimate and heart-warming setting’. With artworks going from necklaces to Yeats-inspired monologues, to medieval-like drawings and abstract sketches, In My Room brilliantly managed to capture the many sub-cultures co-existing in St Andrews, bringing them together on the four walls of Siddiqa Amin’s room. Recalling the last decades of the XIX century because of its bohemian atmosphere, the elegance and the professional approach of Siddiqa Amin to the subject of art and art exposition deserve a round of applause. Receiving support from members of other societies and freelance artists, the exhibition has proven that individual projects can still reach quite a level of popularity when backed up by motivated people.
Hoping that In My Room was just the first of a series of autonomous expositions, we are now looking forward to the next student-run exhibition. Keep your eyes open!
Photos provided by Nicola Simonetti