Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Degree Show stars of Wales

Once again the degree shows of Wales have turned up a lot of interesting work (as well as the odd persons who weren't trying very hard, or who lacked or shunned guidance - but I shall cheerfully mention these no more). The shows at Aberystwyth University School of Art, Newport (Caerleon) and Trinity College (Carmarthen) were very different in scale, concept and emphasis. Having been spoiled by the fabulous architecture at Aberystwyth, I still find it a bit odd to see people at other schools having to exhibit underneath stairwells and in other spaces that might be bypassed by the visitor, although these spaces present obvious challenges and opportunities for creativity.

Above: Sophie Guiver, Trinity College Carmarthen

Aberystwyth continues to present a more conservative approach to exhibition overall (although it is always lifted by the light pouring through the magnificent skylights upstairs) - though a growing number (and not just in the Contemporary Concepts and Practice group) are bursting away from the white cube approach to use a variety of presentation styles, which I applaud. In this way they are perhaps catching up with other schools of art, while maintaining standards of technique, particularly in printmaking. It was also good to see those who had grasped drawing skills, though it is still rare to see someone who has done so to a level that they feel confident to become playful or to introduce deliberate rather than clearly accidental distortions.

Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. Because I did genuinely enjoy all the shows I attended. I was, by turns, inspired, challenged, intrigued and amused.
I shall leave you with a series of image of pieces that particularly struck me, in no particular order. They are all installation views and as such do not perhaps convey the full intent of the artists, for which apologies, but then I am loath to reproduce things in an accurate, copyable form without permission. So you will have to make do with my own style of recording.

Rob Perry, Aberystwyth (MA)

Laurence Stephens, Newport (documentary photography)

Tristan Hooper, Newport (documentary photography)

Heather Dobbins, Trinity College Carmarthen

Heather Dobbins, Trinity College Carmarthen

Amber Bolwell, Trinity College Carmarthen

Nikki Warlow, Trinity College Carmarthen

Elisabeth Williams, Trinity College Carmarthen

Elisabeth Williams, Trinity College Carmarthen

Daniel Roberson, Aberystwyth (MA)

Samuel Cooper, Aberystwyth

Aletia Thomas, Aberystwyth

Aletia Thomas, Aberystwyth

Kimberley Lewis, Aberystwyth

Rosemary Fahimi, Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth. I thought I'd taken photos of everyone's labels, but I missed this one - apologies. Could someone help me out, please?

Chiara Tocci, Newport (documentary photography)

Ella Edwards, Newport (fine art)

David Hucklesby, Aberystwyth

Rebecca Backshall, Aberystwyth

Lisa Stiff, Aberystwyth

Sarah Poole, Aberystwyth

Constanze Thielecke, Aberystwyth

Emily Payne, Newport (fine art)

Emily Payne, Newport (fine art)

Rowena Clee, Newport (fine art)

Richard Wood, Aberystwyth

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