I’ve always really enjoyed attending art school degree shows. I first started going to them when I was 14 or 15 – when I decided I going to go to art college, in some way, shape or form – and in the past I’ve mostly ended up at the shows in Edinburgh. But I’ve always enjoyed seeing what new graduates have to offer, and the shows at my own ‘arts university college’ were no exception. Our own Costume exhibit made a huge impression on everyone, with dramatic dark lighting and fanciful costumes suspended in the air overlooking more sober ‘civilian’ models.
My 1935 Joan Crawford suit seemed to prove popular with tailoring enthusiasts – and my green 1930s ‘seductress-style gown’ was an equal crowdstopper! (The back is the most impressive…)
If you were wondering what I was wearing, it’s a lovely mid-1940s spring suit with a self-made hat and my trusty handbag.
My friend Kie Yamamoto is a model-maker extraordinnaire who refuses to use pre-built model parts on principle. Here is my favourite character from her model box for Directions to Servants.
And I also cannot not mention Marja-Lisa Bergstrom Hedenquist’s exciting model box and scenography concept. A glimpse below, or see her accompanying blog about her project on Antonin Artaud.
My favourite exhibition, without any doubt, was Illustration. The quality of the work was all very high, and nearly every piece was interesting and moving in some way. (Shout-out for my friend Nathan Hackett…who won a prize!!!…but actually I wrote down far too many names to list here) I also really enjoyed the screenings in Animation, and Fine Art was also memorable: a real mixed bag, with interesting paintings and sculptures of fine workmanship alongside the usual student-y installations and bad portraits. One of my favourite Fine Art pieces (I didn’t snap any of the paintings) was this plant installation, Illuminati Plantarium by Diane Chipchase.
I also really enjoyed this beautifully-made wooden staircase, Downfall by Hollie Mackenzie, which really exploited the material well.
I don’t have many photos of the AUCB degree shows because to tell you the truth, it’s best to see things in the flesh. Though they are now over in Bournemouth, most of them are moving over to London (though in some cases, in a reduced capacity.) See http://aucb.ac.uk/ for more information.
A selection of Costume graduates (myself included!) are exhibiting at the Prime Cuts exhibition at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, 12th-17th July: http://www.primecuts.org.uk/
And Fine Art, Illustration and Photography have a joint show called Feral, part of the Free Range exhibition, also at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, 5th-9th July: http://www.feralshow.com/