On Saturday, On The Rocks set the tone for their 2018 festival with an ”immersive art exhibit,” held at the top floor of the Union. The theme of the exhibit was ”Life in St Andrews,” and showcased art of all mediums: from sculpture to film to photography to performance. Priced at £5 a ticket, attendees were able to come and go from the event all day from 12 - 8, as well as take part in a variety of workshops organised by the committee.
Although the chosen venue of the Union could be considered unprofessional or ineffective exhibition space, the committee utilised the area well, designating each room to a different artistic medium- sculpture, workshops, painting, creative writing, fashion, film, performance, technical design, ”your thoughts,” and photography - and provided maps on the walls allowing for a simple navigation around the space. Ticket holders were greeted by an On the Rocks style installation in the form of hanging origami birds - however apart from this, the decoration was minimal. The works on display were sourced from creators outside the University as well as students, such as school pupil’s sculptural work and winners from the ”Junk Kouture” fashion design competition - which helped to tie into the Life in St Andrews theme, which certainly ran throughout the exhibition, if very loosely.
The performance room included an engaging short play by a pair of students and the Your Thoughts space allowed guests to share their thoughts about their own Life in St Andrews: responses ranged from ”unique” and ”vibrant” to ”posh,” ”cold,” and ”not as good as Edinburgh.” Combined with the variety of workshops on offer run in collaboration with other student societies - such as Persian calligraphy and a pottery class - the event certainly provided an ”immersive” experience for ticket holders.
The exhibition succeeded in indicating the wide scope of artistic mediums which the festival itself will include when the main event comes around. On The Rocks is St Andrew’s own annual arts festival which will next take place in April 2018 as the largest student run arts festival in Scotland.