This year’s GSA Degree Show features work from over 500 graduating students across the School of Design and the Mackintosh School of Architecture. The School of Fine Art, whose undergraduate students were significantly impacted by the recent fire in the Mackintosh Building, are represented in a specially curated exhibition of digital prints in the McLellan Galleries.
Kim from Central Station gives an overview of a selection of works on show:
Entering the newly opened Reid building with a camera in hand and a notepad, Lesley Booth (GSA Press Officer) greets me and outlines where each programme is located. I head to the press launch where I get chatting to two journalists who seem mightily impressed that I’m here for the show; they reveal they’re actually here to try and interview a couple students on how the fire has affected them. I realise I’m in the wrong place and head downstairs to see the graduates’ work. On the upside, the Design students have the honour of being the very first to exhibit in Steven Holl’s specially designed building.
Aptly, I come across Lyndsey Smith’s photographs of journalists and can’t help but smile at the natural order of things. Cliff Andrade is another photographer who catches my eye with his photos of the island of Madeira, he explains his journey exploring heritage.
The typography is especially strong this year. Nicholas Davis presents ‘Life of a Letterform’ which challenges the perception of form in a refreshing way. Additionally, Zheng Li’s 3D letters and screen prints grabbed my attention with the letters themselves appearing to be in motion.
Using the first perfect number as her starting point, Alice Rooney uses #6 to create systems dispersed across 6 sheets of acetate. Sean Mulvenna also uses systems, albeit in a very different way. Inspired by the Augurs of Ancient Rome (religious figures who interpret the will of the Gods by studying bird flight), Mulvenna has cleverly introduced a method of divining narratives.
Female empowerment and gender inequality is explored in both Franc González and Rachel-Jane Findlay’s works. González has scanned the female figure in 3D and returned it back into the physical world as an unrefined 3D print. Findlay’s study of female action heroes screen printed as movie posters reinforces the strength of the woman’s role.
The Visual Communication department seems to be such a tight knit, organised bunch. They keep a regular blog, hold events and even have their very own Twitter page. Perhaps the lack of physical barriers (they work in an open plan studio) is a real advantage in growing together as a collective.
Of the jewellers, I was particularly drawn to Catriona Clark and Nicole McCarron’s angular pieces and Kara MacAulay’s red seaweed-like necklace which hangs beautifully near Jordane Symington’s contrasting materials.
The Fashion and Textiles work is not to be missed, in particular Michelle Ho’s futuristic prints and Catherine MacGruer’s geometric designs. As well as Laura Muir who makes kitting look cooler than ever with her ‘Knit, Knot, Knit’ merino wool creations.
Each Fine Art graduate has a digital print hung anonymously in the McLellan Galleries. I ask Lesley for a floor plan, however none seems available at present and I sincerely hope the artists gain recognition for the public opening. Interestingly, in most cases, it is still possible to distinguish the painters from the sculptors, photographers and environmental artists. Below are a selection of prints I enjoyed.
Unfortunately, the Product and Interior Designers were still installing their work at the time of my visit, though I’ve since been told there’s much to see!
An open studio event for the Digital Culture programme takes place this Thursday 19 June from 10.00 – 16.00. Degree Show 2014 is open to the public until 21 June.
Words and photos by Kim Stewart.
Please visit here for more Degree Show reviews on Central Station.