Degree Show season is upon us once more and art students up and down the UK are in the process of preparing their final projects for examination. The concluding exhibitions offer a public audience an insight into the brightest new talents at work in the art industry. From Edinburgh to Plymouth, London to Norwich, Aesthetica takes a look at the best emerging artists.
1. Nottingham Trent University, 30 May-7 June
Celebrating 170 years of art and design, Nottingham Trent University shines the spotlight on over 1,000 students as they present their work in exhibitions, catwalk shows and performances. Creating jewellery out of waste plastic while you wait, “audible” textiles, a souped-up bath, unconventional techniques such as trapping knit in latex to invent exciting silhouettes and clothing with hidden images visible only through smart devices are just some of the concepts coming out of the School of Art & Design which will be unveiled during the Degree Show festival.
2. Falmouth University, until 23 July
Spread over multiple sites in the South West and London, the Falmouth University Degree Shows 2014 are in venues as varied as multi-storey car parks and former police stations. This year over 1,000 graduating students exhibit pieces in art, design, media, performance and writing. Regularly featured at international institutions from New York’s MoMA to London’s National Portrait Gallery, in the last year alone Falmouth alumni have secured Turner Prize, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, Threadneedle Prize and Carnegie Medal nominations and wins.
3. Plymouth College of Art, 11-18 June
Looking back at students’ progress across their courses and looking forward to the future of art and design, Plymouth College of Art’s Summer Show, will see its city centre campus transformed into one big gallery space spanning three buildings, four floors and 20 exhibition spaces – featuring work in fine art, illustration, film, fashion, photography and more, with all work for sale. Previous students include Andrew Ford who is already shooting regular covers for NME; Tom Coghill, who is collaborating on a book with Robin Maddock and Tom German who was in last year’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival.
4. University of Lincoln College of Arts, 31 May-16 June
Showcasing 11 unique undergraduate programmes, the University of Lincoln highlights the impressively high standards of research and creative thinking of its students. The School of Architecture explores a range of topics from imperialism, piracy and slavery to issues of identity and social integration. While the School of Performing Arts presents the students’ final pieces of drama and dance, looking at everything from drag to multimedia performance. The School of Media exhibits productions in TV, radio, documentary, scriptwriting, audio design, photography and more.
5. Edinburgh College of Art, until 1 June
Clay busts of pop singer Lionel Ritchie, life-size human puppets in evening wear and a refrigerator made from car parts are among the highlights of this year’s Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show. For nine days, the College will be transformed into the capital’s biggest gallery space as it celebrates work of more than 500 graduating students. Previous shows at the College have launched the careers of BAFTA and Turner Prize winners. For the first time, the intricate work by students from the College’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture will be displayed in the ECA Sculpture Court.
6. Manchester School of Art, 14-25 June
The Manchester School of Art believes an art school is more than just a place; rather it is a community and a laboratory. The role of the institution is to encourage creative risk taking, to question boundaries and challenge the conventional, allowing students to expand upon their artistic language and produce a dialogue. This year, the title for the Degree Shows is Alwaysallwaysland. One of the students involved is Melanie Wheeler, her work is an examination of 3D and 2D representational images and the disorientation of the senses to emphasise the perception of an object.
7. Goldsmiths University of London, 30 May-14 July
Kicking of the Goldsmith Degree Show season is the faculty of design with the Undergraduates’ MATTER and the Postgraduates’ NOT THIS. Audiences can expect to see Belen Palacios’ transformation of London’s walkways and Hannah Fasching’s reimagining of the cinema. In the Art department Klavs Kurpnieks considers home through video and Claire Luxton questions social and political history with steel. The eclectic programme of exhibitions, shows and performances champions Goldsmiths’ stream of outstanding students. Previous alumni include Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas and many other now-famous artists.
8. Arts University Bournemouth, until 27 June
The Summer Shows at Arts University Bournemouth provide the public with the opportunity to view the innovative work produced by graduates. Including collections from undergraduates and postgraduates, the higher education showcase can be seen in various venues across London. Foundation student, Angela Kim, has produced a vibrant and coloured piece to ask viewers to question their own identity and realise that their present thoughts and actions have an impact in the future. Dilara Murzagaliyeva was inspired by the Royal Academy’s Sensing Spaces and has produced a work that explores public space.
9. Norwich University of the Arts, 2 July-8 July
Norwich University showcases 500 new graduates in its Degree Shows, with a number of fashion students presenting at Graduate Fashion Week at the start of June. Works on display will include paintings and illustrations, fashion garments and textile patterns, sculptures, photographs, short films and animations, portfolios of graphic design work and video game demos. The University provides courses in some unique subjects, such as Animation and Games Art and Design. The Animation students have worked with companies including the BBC, Latitude Festival, Baby Cow, Nickelodeon and balloon dog.
10. University of Salford School of Arts and Media, 12-14 June
Create Salford 2014 is a showcase for the best creative work from the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media students – with special input from our closest industry partners and friends. The festival runs at MediaCityUK and the programme features original theatre productions, immersive visual arts exhibitions, daring fashion shows, debut film screenings and creative workshops. The three-day programme is packed with stand up comedy, digital performances, radio productions and one-off performances of everything from Coraline to Rabble Dance.
1. Nottingham, Trent, Lolita Cameron – BA (Hons) Photography – Technoshaman, courtesy of the University and the artist.
2. Falmouth University, BA Hons Contemporaray Crafts – Jasmine Bowden, courtesy of the University and the artist.
3. Plymouth College of Art, Tom Kirkman, BA (Hons) Film, Process, courtesy of the University and the artist.
4. Image courtesy of University of Lincoln College of Arts.
5. Edinburgh University, Leah Pendleton, courtesy of the artist and the University.
6. Manchester School of Art Melanie Wheeler, courtesy of the University and the artist.
7. Goldsmiths University of London, Rebecca Cooper – video installation The Simultaneous Death and Birth of My Social Self : Part Two. Courtesy of the artist and the University.
8. Arts University Bournemouth, Identity, Angela Kim, courtesy of the University and the artist.
9. Norwich University of the Arts, image courtesy of the University and Fashion Department.
10. University of Salford School of Arts and Media, courtesy of Create Salford.