At Aesthetica we like to keep an eye on emerging artists, and one of the best ways to do that is to take note of the numerous degree shows open this summer. Picking our ten favourites, we count down the best art presentations this June. We also take a moment to interview a few successful graduates, to investigate the value of an art degree and the benefits of their chosen Universities. Running from Glasgow to Plymouth, we give you a snippet into each show. Keep an eye on the blog for interviews with graduates in the next few weeks.
1. Royal College of Art, London, 20 – 30 June, www.rca.ac.uk/show2013
With over 500 postgraduate students from more than 40 countries, it’s no surprise the Royal College of Art split their show across six venues. Show RCA Battersea will feature work from the programmes of Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics & Glass, Goldsmithing, Silversmithing and Metalwork & Jewellery. While Show RCA Kensington will include students from the programmes of Design Products, Design Interactions, Fashion Footwear & Accessories, History of Design, Innovation Design Engineering, Textiles, Vehicle Design, Animation and Visual Communication.
2. Plymouth College of Art, 24 – 27 June, www.plymouthart.ac.uk.
Both looking back at the students’ progress across their degrees and looking forward to the future of visual arts, the Plymouth College of Art Summer Show presents work in contemporary craft, fine art, film, fashion, photography, games design, critical and curatorial practices, animation, graphic design and illustration. Across three buildings, four floors and 20 exhibition spaces, the presentation is the grande finale of Plymouth’s creative thinking and making. Everything on show is also for sale.
3. University of Lincoln, College of Arts, 1 – 14 June, www.lincolndegreeshows.co.uk.
With undergraduates from the College’s Schools of Art & Design, Architecture, and Media exhibiting at some of the world’s leading design shows, galleries and trade fairs before they have even received their degree qualification, this show is one to watch. For the past few years BA (Hons) Interactive Design final year students have exhibited at Kinetica Art Fair, London. Their centrepiece this year was on the theme of “Infection” and their degree show, Equilibrium, promises to be another representation of imagination with their Etch-a-Sketch installation.
4. The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, 15 – 16 June, www.ruskin-sch.ox.ac.uk.
After an intensive course of dedicated and rigorous study, 23 final year students exhibit their individual works of art. For the final time, the Old Osney Power Station will play its part as the Degree Show’s impressive venue; the wide range of works will cover multiple floors, individual rooms and large open spaces of the former industrial building. The Ruskin Degree show is both a celebration of the student’s study and the beginning of their creative careers.
5. Free Range, 31 May – 15 July, www.free-range.org.uk.
Slightly different from the straight forward degree shows, Free Range brings together the most promising young graduates at London’s Brick Lane. The biggest event to date, over a hundred courses and more than 3,000 students will take part in a series of free exhibitions across five disciplines: fashion & textiles; design; photography & media; contemporary & fine art; interior design & architecture. Usually attracting around 10,000 visitors, Free Range is the place to find undiscovered talent.
6. Chelsea College of Art & Design, 14 – 22 June, www.chelsea.arts.ac.uk.
As part of the University of the Arts London, the Chelsea college art show is not to be missed. Featuring pieces from those graduating in Fine Art, Graphic Design Communication, Interior and Spatial Design and Textile Design, some of the graduates have already been identified by the arts world at large. Sculptor and inventor Mimi Winsor has been commissioned by the Discovery Channel to create an installation piece for its head quarters in Chiswick, London.
7. Glasgow School of Art, 8 – 15 June, www.gsa.ac.uk.
Offering a chance to see and buy art from the newest generation of creative talent, the Glasgow School of Art degree show opens at the iconic Mackintosh Building at the Garnethill Campus. Work by Product Designers, following in the footsteps of trendsetters such as Timorous Beasties, will be shown alongside Jewellery and Silversmithing, Interior Design and Textiles & Fashion designers’ creations and projects by students in Communication Design whose alumni include the 2012 Deutsche Bank Award winner, Gabriella DiTano.
8. Manchester School of Art, 15 – 19 June, www.artdes.mmu.ac.uk.
Celebrating their 175th anniversary and the successes of their final year students, the Manchester School of Art’s degree show is certainly a party. Entitled, We Are All Explorers, the event is open to the public and is located on the All Saints campus in the New Art School, Chatham, Grosvenor and John Dalton West Buildings. The show also marks the move into their brand new £34M Art School Building.
9. Edinburgh College of Art, 1 – 9 June, www.ed.ac.uk.
Showcasing the work of more than 500 graduating artists, filmmakers, designers and architects, the ECA college will be transformed into the capital’s largest gallery space. Featuring extra-large kitchen utensils, woodland explorations and exorcisms, the exhibition is full of variety and innovation. For the first time the Reid School of Music will also be holding a series of performances of graduating students’ work at late night openings. Previous shows at the College have launched the careers of BAFTA and Turner Prize winners.
10. Graduate Fashion Week, 2 – 5 June, www.gfw.org.uk.
Collating the best of the fashion graduates from across the UK and international universities, the Graduate Fashion Week attracts over 20,000 guests a year. Showcasing the work of over 1,000 graduates, the event includes 22 catwalk shows, a Gala Award Show and a large exhibition from over 40 universities. Featured amongst the graduates is Sarah Goodwin from Kingston University, London who based her work around Steiff teddy bears, incorporating into her pieces the soft pink and blue mohair associated with the treasured toys.
1. Sharon Whyte, courtesy of the Royal College of Art.
2. Nicholas White – Wickhams Target Shed, courtesy of Plymouth College of Art.
3. Kay Bisbrown, Wuthering Tights, courtesy University of Lincoln.
4. Hannah Clarkson- A Spectacle And Nothing Strange, 2012, Resin, iron powder, vinegar, glass, ceramic, wood, copper, acrylic paint, courtesy of Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art.
5. Alex Dodgson – Leeds College of Art – Fine Art, courtesy of Free Range.
6. Sausage Machine, Mimi Winsor, courtesy of Chelsea School of Art & Design.
7. George Gray, courtesy of Glasgow School of Art.
8. Sarah Goodwin, courtesy of Kingston University.