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'An Honour and a Privilege' - Josh Selected for Major Art Exhibition

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A young artist from Peterborough has been selected to display his work in a prestigious Midlands exhibition just months after graduating from university.

22 year-old Josh Hazell completed his Fine Art course at the University of Worcester last year, and has now been hand-picked alongside other recent graduates to showcase his work as part of the New Art West Midlands (NAWM) 2015 exhibition.

The exhibition will promote the work of 30 graduates from five Midlands universities at four venues across the region in the coming months.

Josh’s film piece, ‘Man. Machine.’ will be shown at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

He explains: “Man. Machine. developed from a live performance which I did early last year. I act as an automation, methodically destroying an apple with my teeth; taking bits and then spitting out the fruit scrapings, rather than swallowing them.

“The performance is an act of endurance and invokes the gag reflex for the viewer. This physical response is aimed as a warning towards the viewer to resist the insatiable, though potentially perilous, desire of contemporary society for new information and knowledge through technological change.”

The selected piece reflects Josh’s key area of interest as an artist – the influence of technological advances on modern society and human beings’ dependency on machines.

He was able to develop this interest through research conducted during his time at university, and says that inclusion in NAWM – which last year attracted 100,000 visitors across all venues – is a huge step in his fledgling career.

“Being selected for NAWM is both an honour and a privilege,” he says. “I attended the exhibition as a visitor last year, so the fact that I now have the opportunity to display my own work alongside some of the best creative practitioners of 2015 fills me with great excitement.”

New Art West Midlands is a Turning Point West Midlands initiative, and is currently being showcased at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Barber Institute of Fine Arts and Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. For further details on the various exhibitions, visit newartwestmidlands.org