CalibrationAgnieszka MlickaRuskin Sschool of Fine AartNothing in the cultural world polarises opinion so much as the debate over the value of modern art. Iis it a deep and insightful reinterpretation of an artistic tradition or merely pretentiousand posturing? Aagnieszka Mlicka’s exhibition cannot be said to have resolved this apparently unsolvable debate, but her work does provide several interesting perspectives and demonstrates clear potential.The exhibition was staged, aptly enough, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Aart, whose entry hall provided a fine display space for this small collection of works, although if the artist hopes to find a larger audience a more public and spacious venue may be needed.These works are designed to serve as a distillation of the core of finalist fine-art student Aagnieszka Mlicka’s essential artistic philosophy. This philosophy is expounded from the very beginning of the exhibit in the transparent invitation cards and the montage of transparencies which greet the visitor. These reflect the artist’s avowed interest in layering effects, question reality and meaning, and evoke her fascination with structure which plays a key role in the almost architectural style of some of her works.This style is effectively exploited in order to create feelings of entrapment and social confinement. This is most effectively evoked in her drawing of a female figure, trapped within the intermeshing buildings of a nondescript city, epitomising the confining and enclosing effect of the web of society. Ppowerful as this image is, the image of the social animal as a caged beast is, ironically, something of a tradition in modern art, which perhaps rather undermines the originality. Mlicka’s architectural vision of her art is expanded in her effort to incorporate the fabric of the gallery into her display.Mlicka has also added interest to her work by including the ideas board on which her ideas are born and developed; she thus provides an insight into the artistic process. However the quality of her future exhibits would be much improved by the inclusion of some form of written description or discussion of the artist’s ideas and philosophy. The experience of viewing the display would also be enhanced by an attempt to give an obvious and instructive structure to the arrangementof the pieces.Overall I do feel that despite these minor problems this was a well organised and conceived first event which effectively conveyed the artistic vision. Ssome parts of Mlicka’s exhibit are extremely interesting with great potential and it is to be hoped that with consideration expansion and maturing she will succeed in forging her own unique and dynamic style.ARCHIVE: 6th week MT 2005