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Hub Collective exhibition

Review by Diane Chieke

On a chilly autumn evening, I made my way to Hyde Park book club.

Once I arrived, I took shelter in the warmth away from the cold and proceeded to the basement, which had been transformed into a beautiful space by Hub collective. The wall across from the entrance to the basement was aligned with an array of unique Art pieces. On the right was a DJ stand with an atmospheric red and purple hue shining down on it, and the space in the middle was left open so that people could enjoy the art without obstacles, and also enjoy a dance once the DJ arrived.

Upon entering I wanted to get a feel for what this exhibition stood for, to the artists and those who came to support them, and so I began speaking with people.

The first person I spoke with was Saba. Saba was a medical student turned Art student and her interest began when she met someone who was studying fine art, who then introduced her to others with the same degree. Saba got stuck in with some of the projects that these students were required to do and thus Hub was born through their shared love of art.

And now here they were creating a space for like-minded people from numerous backgrounds, connected by their shared core values, joining to create something they believe in. Not only this, they wanted to raise money to support those in need. Raising money for Roma and flood aid in Pakistan through the charity Al Khair.

I also spoke to friends of the artists who expressed their encouragement for the night and how much they enjoyed the artwork. The theme throughout the night, I found, was exploration and acceptance and how art represents this, as there are no boundaries in art only expression.

As someone who has always enjoyed Arts subjective nature, I was delighted to find how different in style each piece was. From oil paintings, acrylic, print works and photographs, they spoke to the unique nature of each artist and the expression of their own emotions. Take Tulips by Aksha, she created a set of beautiful abstract pieces, Tulips, being one of them; with faint reds and blues that bloomed from beneath the soft oranges of the canvas, allowing the lingering flowers to settle beneath, like ghost flowers emerging from a long sleep.

When I asked her about her inspiration for this piece, she shared that in making it she was thinking about the passing of her beloved cat. I asked Aksha what words she would use to describe her works, the words were ‘connection', 'depth' and 'emotions'. Which I thought matched her work well and also represented the theme of Hub itself.

Pieces like ‘prints that have never seen the light of day 2’ by Leah Sarah, also captured my attention. The rough sketchy lines of the female form and the tentacle-like swirls around her head leading away left a lasting impression on me and made me think about how the female body can be represented in so many ways.

I was also intrigued to see some of the works had comical traits, such as the four large photo prints (by Manuela Amey) taken in different spots around Leeds, with Manuela as the main character, sitting next to or holding large signs that say things like “need someone to climb trees with” and “looking for a man not a boy”.

The loveliest thing about this exhibition was the personalities behind the work and the friends that came to support them. It was a safe space for people who come from different walks of life, to be themselves and explore. I really enjoyed the work of these unique artists and the atmosphere they created.

I asked Saba if she and Hub are working on any other projects and she explained they might do however it will be in regard to each of their university studies. Either way, I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us all.

If you would like to donate to any of the charities the link remains on the ticket website which you can access through the hub collective's Instagram page.

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