This year’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design graduates are prolific in their output. Some have already independently organised several exhibitions outwith the college. Others have created Kickstarters to fund ambitious projects post-graduation. On top of quality, so great is the scope of variety and individuality of the work on display, and what’s almost always guaranteed with DJCAD is the prospect of experiencing something you never have before. Last year it was a deep fried sword, this year it’s designer air.
The Time Based Art & Digital Film course can seem a little ‘out there’ for the first time degree show attendee, but a true highlight. It is a visual smorgasbord of goings-on. Step into ‘The Void’ of Ryan Esson – an unnerving mirrored infinity. You can’t be sure whether you’re in heaven, or in hell. Laura Corrigan presents SHUAIR – bottled and branded designer air– something seemingly impossible, yet the familiar glitzy campaign photos are disturbingly close to home.
The aforementioned Kickstarter film comes in the form of Corpach – a mystery thriller, with the teasing Prelude on show. This is a joint project between Jeppe Rohde Nielsen and Alan McIlrath. In 1975, a young girl goes missing from her small community in Corpach, the Highlands, after what seems to be a paranormal earthquake, the aftermath is devastating. What we’re given is already highly engaging, and we can only eagerly anticipate the feature length film to follow. The future bodes well for both the final film and the success of its creators.
From Fine Art and Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices there is such a plethora of work you’ll be hooked for hours.
Molly McEwan’s blinking eye is daunting and uneasy. Her array of ceramic characters filling nooks and crannies are toy-sized and interacting like a giant game of chess. While you are drawn into their world, the eye watches over you, and it’s not clear if it’s protective or intrusive.
Lucas Battich has a simultaneous video and projection piece showing you every colour from the digital spectrum and plays over a 24-hour period. Another screen shows the generation of endless digitised colour variations of Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square. One after the other a new image is created, exploring how Albers’ investigations on colour theory could be continued in a contemporary format. We are left to question the reality of the art imagery we consume in today’s techno-centric culture.
Samantha Wilson demonstrates that drawing and painting are still an incredibly powerful medium. Her larger than life characters can be seen in a dizzyingly packed crowd, or in solitary, but each one is compelling. “It is the eyes that get you”, a fellow enthusiast remarks, and they really do.
In the same room Jenni Bangs’ theatre-inspired ceramics are comforting and nostalgic. Having a background in performing arts herself, tokens of the stage can be deciphered from intimate objects that suggest the physical exertion on the performer’s body: while the artist relies on their hands, the performer must rely on their feet.
For the intrepid spectator, what is always intriguing is the selection of RSA award winners for next year. Lucas Battich, Samantha Wilson and the Corpach collaborative team of Jeppe Rohde Nielsen and Alan McIlrath are just some of the chosen few. After the huge successes that came to DJCAD graduates this year at the acclaimed New Contemporaries (the representing artists’ scooped up 7 prizes in total between them – the most of any Scottish art school), it’s been asked consistently if this year can match it. Yet, for the college and its students’, things have gone from strength to strength. The graduate show is outstanding, and these young artists have more than enough talent to not only defend and but champion DJCAD’s continuing triumphs.
Images courtesy of DJCAD.
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