ON show at the Young Gallery is ‘Selected’, an exhibition which seems like a nice idea, and may be an indication of things to come after the exhibiting space was expanded.

Gallery 4, a new addition which now occupies the area made vacant by the DVD library, is as I understand it, run by library services and for hire.

In the past the Young Gallery has had to provide these rental services, and I assume it is now free to show more of the work in the archives.

This is from where the work has been selected, and I’m pleased to see art given an airing rather than resting in storage.

It is a mixed bag, without a theme other than being chosen by what the gallery website describes as ‘notable persons of Salisbury’.

This delightful description would have been perfectly acceptable to the Victorian Edwin Young, but sounds a little comical today.

Notable, eminent, or not, the selectors have picked out some delightful pictures, ranging from Edwin Young to a fairly recent Frank Auerbach.

Each selector has added a commentary to explain something about either the artist, the work or the reasons for their choice.

Some say more than others: Young Friends chair Paul Whitelegg has simply written ‘This made me smile’ about his choice, a lithograph called Odds and Ends by Chris Plowden.

Indeed his comment also made me smile, as the picture is a joyful celebration of how interesting ordinary stuff can be if you know how to look. Nothing further needed to be said.

Gallery curator Peter Riley has chosen a series of prints by Tom Hammick.

These I find charming and guileless; some of his work appears to speak the language of children’s art.

The prints have simple compositions with crude draftsmanship, but the strong dark colours lend an emotional intensity to what at first sight seem like casual sketches of life. They are well worth seeing.

Other artists on show include Fujio Akai, Rory Buckland, Christopher Riisager, Norman Ackroyd; photographs by Tony-Ray Jones and James Ravillious, and sculpture by Bryan Neale, chosen by John Maine. The show runs until January 31.

I look forward to seeing more selections from the archives, but I do have some reservations about this initial offering.

I was left crying out for a unifying theme, or some kind of link between either the pictures or the selectors.

Rather than ‘notable persons’, why not ask writers, musicians or actors to show us what they see in visual art?

It needn’t be only creative people, it could be policemen, traffic wardens or market traders.

Martin Urmson

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