Gallery owner Denis Collins officially opened an exhibition entitled The Edge of Art at the Campus School of Art and Design studios in the old council offices in Hill Street, Wexford.
The exhibition of painting, sculpture, print and photography features the work of 13 students who have just completed the second year of a BA Honours degree in Fine Art in the IT Carlow college, including Alison Bermingham, Ronan Moore, Mary Archer, Jamie Sinnott, Richard Walsh, Johanna Martin, Theresa Nolan, Edwina Byrne, Laura Flood, Eddie McGuinness, Claudia Roche, Darragh Fanning and Sonya Weston.
Denis commented that second year is an important time for Wexford School of Art and Design Students as they have to decide what medium they are going to specialise in for the remaining two years of their course.
'That idea of intent is very important in art. Artists need to have strong intent in their work; in other words, they need to have something to say. People who are passionate have something to say and the best artists have passion and something to say,' he said.
He singled out two artworks in the exhibition which he felt reflected the Edge of Art theme. One was an installation by Sonya Weston incorporating a puffer fish made from Prozac boxes, a shark constructed from metal and chicken wire with the contents of its stomach made up of medicine boxes, and fairy light strings of hundreds of Prozac capsules hanging from the ceiling.
Looking at this challenging installation made the viewer think about mental health and how we all respond to it, he said.
At the other end of the spectrum were semi-abstract paintings of buildings by Claudia Roche which he described as being 'full of light, energy and joy in the world'.
'One is about joy and the other is about troubles we have and all the other artists are working within these two parameters presenting different things and that is the way it should be.'
'I hope people will see something that they absolutely love in this exhibition and also something they hate. It's okay to experience these different reactions, otherwise everything would be just bland.'
What is exciting about a student exhibition like this is that we can look forward to seeing what they are going to be doing in a few years as full-time artists, he added.