Skip to main content

Grays School of Art Degree Show 2017 Part 1!

So that's it again for Grays School of Art and all the new graduates. Time to go off and make it, out there in the big bad world. But one heartening thing I've seen from this years crop is that many of them already have! I mean been out there making things happen. I'd met Allana Hardie in March at the Walk the Block Festival where she did a great blind drawing of me and Mary and then again in April when she volunteered for the Nuart Festival. She ended up saving my bacon as I rushed to set up some projectors and had no car to transport everything. Through out the week she was on hand, directing traffic, delivering lunches and generally doing whatever needed to be done. One of my favourites from this years show was the work of David Iain Brown. After speaking to David I learned he'd also volunteered in April for the Look Again Festival, helping with the install and build of The Listener in Union Terrace Gardens. I'd actually shared a picture of him and didn't even realise. 

In the grand scheme of things these are small interactions or moments but certainly ones which can have a lasting effect. In a world of self centreism and instafame to give up your time to help whether its a huge art festival or to set up a small show with friends can have an impact. As I wondered round this years show I was delighted to see work I recognised from the C.A.P. Pre Degree Show show a few months before. Although not exactly the same I recognised the artists motifs and it added an extra sense of appreciation. C.A.P. tutor Michael Agnew told me this is the first group who have completed the C.A.P. course from year 1 to graduation as its a new course structure, replacing the individual areas of practice like sculpture, print making and digital and moving image, instead bringing them all under one umbrella. And I would say its paid off, the breadth of work was wide and there was a certain dynamic energy to their show which I think was missing a little bit from other areas. 

Painting still stands alone and students presented some interesting work. I enjoyed Alison Grays compositions and Jack Dunnets minature paintings were excellent (both in post no 2). The design studio was filled with typography and cutting edge design but I often think it would be interesting to mix things up a little and show some of this work over in the C.A.P. space or up in the painting rooms. I guess the strong work will stand out but its almost a design overload. Same with the commercial photography work, I often find myself just glancing as I walk past and then its forgotten about. It's also a pain in the arse to photograph for the purposes of doing a blog post about! And alas, you will see that not all the students work is featured below. I did split it up into cohesive sections with design and C.A.P. below and product design and painting to follow in a second blog post. With so much to see it would be difficult to photograph everything, it would also probably become a little boring. I try to capture the bits that catch my eye or the work that gets my attention, after all art is subjective, one mans trash is another's Monet. 

But for all the new graduates, the journey is really just beginning and I don't think there's been a more exciting time to be in Aberdeen. With a host of opportunities to get involved in huge art festivals, galleries like Seventeen offering graduate shows and studio spaces like The Anatomy Rooms it might just be worth holding off on that bus ticket to Glasgow but make no mistake, you have to work to make it work. But its worth it! 

Popular posts from this blog

Painted Doors 2017 - Year 2 Recap!

It's been a busy old year and I for one cannot wait for the christmas break. I'm lucky to be off til the new year and I'm hoping it'll be a chance to catch up and take stock. Its certainly been another busy year for art and culture in Aberdeen and especially putting art into the public realm. Nuart Aberdeen, Look Again Festival and Painted Doors both provided lots of incredible opportunities, and the artworks were nae bad as well. But with famous street artists and international design stars on the programme, what makes Painted Doors special?
Firstly all the artists are from or are based in Aberdeen. And many of them are new faces to me which is a good sign that we have a healthy creative scene in the city. I pride myself on getting out and meeting artists and creatives and spend a lot of time trying to help promote and shine a light on their work but even in the big village of Aberdeen where everyone knows everyone its fantastic to come across new faces. The artists fo…

Nuart Aberdeen 2018 - Production Week Part 1!

Its a month since Nuart Aberdeen unveiled the new additions to the cities mural and street art collection and its been great to see the public reaction. As with last years festival Nuart attracts a lot of attention and when you consider the level of work that goes into pulling off a festival of this scale its well deserved. Of course its been a great eye opener to the work that friends Sally & Claire have put into organising Look Again Festival which will be kicking off again in June. Of course its always a team effort and I love the Nuart approach which is that everyone plays a part from artist to helper and its only through this group effort that they can do what they do. And seeing behind the wizards curtain I can vouch for that!

I'll be forever grateful to Nuart for bringing these artists and works to Aberdeen, literally changing the face of the city and helping to make it a destination for street art fans. For me personally, Nuart has not only given me insight into the wor…

'Markings' by Jo Mcintosh at Parx Cafe!

'Markings' is the current show on display at Parx Cafe in Aberdeen's West End. Located just off Rubislaw Terrace. 'Markings' showcases the work of print maker and book maker Jo Mcintosh and features a lovely selection of work from editioned screen prints to hand stiched accordion style paper books. Although Aberdeen isn't short of galleries it's quite nice to be able to grab something fine for lunch while checking out what's on the walls. Its probably one of the things I miss the most about the EARL of Sandwich, that and the fact they gave me a panini tab!

Parx Cafe has been a regular spot to check out new artists and its refreshing to find an artist like Jo who's got an extensive background in the arts and I'm only just discovering her work now. From her degree in fashion design to running creative workshops and now in her current capacity as a lecturer, Jo has certainly been carving out a unique style and approach to her art. Although her work …

'Darkness Can't Exist In The Light' by Jo Muir at The Anatomy Rooms!

If you've been in town recently then you'll certainly have seen the banners and posters proclaiming "Art is the new Oil" although I think its less a proclamation as it is a question. The poster is part of a campaign by Citymoves Dance Agency to promote their 3 week festival of dance which finished a few weeks back. Now partner organisation with The Anatomy Rooms (Citymoves have taken on the large open plan dissection rooms) they aim to bring contemporary dance to the forefront of Aberdeens cultural offering. I'm sad to say I couldn't make it the various events but did get a look at Jo Muir's exhibition, organised to coincide with the festival.

Jo is one of the numerous artists based in the Anatomy Rooms studios and has spent the last 12 months hiding from day light and working out her ideas. She was finally ready to present a new body of work which seemed like a perfect fit with Dance Live and so over the course of 3 weekends the show was open to the publi…

NUART Aberdeen - Part 1, Production Week!

By now the sight of a giant yellow cherry picker at the Indoor Market is a common sight with hundreds of photos appearing across Instagram and Facebook. NUART Aberdeen kicked off last week with the arrival of our first artist Martin Whatson. I had the pleasure of seeing Martin at work up a cherry picker in Stavanger for NUART 2014, a sight that definitely makes you stop and stare. Having initially met team NUART on their first few visits to Aberdeen I'd offered to help in any way I could and was given the role of artist host. I would be meeting them at the hotel, showing them around and hopefully giving them a little insight into our fair city.

So on a sunny Wednesday we headed to airport to meet the infamous Martin Whatson. Being the first to arrive I was a little unsure what to expect, after all I've been a huge fan of street art for 10+ years and to be honest the whole concept of NUART in Aberdeen has been blowing my mind for months. So when this tall blonde Norwegian appear…