DEGREE SHOW FAVOURITES: MHAIRI EDWARDS, SAHAR LATIF, JONNY LYONS, FIONA SKINNER

Curation, Degree Show, Exhibitions, Inspiration, Openings

MHAIRI EDWARDS

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Mhairi-Edwards-Work(C) Mhairi Edwards

Mhairi’s was probably my favourite exhibition of the entire degree show, especially her thread and glue pieces.  Stunningly intricate, simultaneously light and heavy, they defy perception and leave you wondering how endless Mhairi’s patience must be.

For Mhairi’s website click HERE.  For Mhairi’s page on the DJCAD site click HERE.

SAHAR LATIF

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Sahar-Latif-Work(C) Sahar Latif

Sahar’s suspended thread piece was beautifully tense.  I almost want to give it more space to breathe, to walk around it and see it from every single angle.

For Sahar’s website click HERE.  For Sahar’s page on the DJCAD site click HERE.

JONNY LYONS

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Jonny-Lyons-Work
(C) Jonny Lyons

Jonny’s work is achingly witty, somewhat dangerous, stunningly photographed and quite frankly mad.  His are the kind of set ups that I wish I had thought up or even witnessed.

For Jonny’s (great) website click HERE.  To see Jonny’s page on the DJCAD site click HERE.

FIONA SKINNER

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Fiona-Skinner-Work(C) Fiona Skinner

I find it quite hard to realise that all of Fiona’s pieces are, in fact, screenprints.  I’ve worked around Fiona whilst I’ve been night teching this year and witnessed her jubilation and frustration in the creation of her circular pieces.  But I never had the chance to see a finished one until the show.  If anyone has the nerve to say that screenprinting is easy or a less skilled printmaking technique, I dare them to say it to Fiona.  I think they are beautiful.

For Fiona’s website click HERE.  To see Fiona’s page on the DJCAD site click HERE.

DJCAD DEGREE SHOW: FA; APCP

Curation, Degree Show, Exhibitions, Inspiration

Here is a selection of my favourite pieces from the DJCAD show.  There are lots!

ImageRebecca Greig
At first glance this piece doesn’t look like much, I guess.  But I really liked it because it is quite in line with my love of the unseen and my pieces on the white walls.  Making something of that which is ordinarily overlooked is right up my street.

ImageDaniel Tyminski

ImageNatasha Dijkhoff

ImageI liked this installation too because it makes an example of accidental and natural, beautiful occurences.  I think this was Liam Dunn’s space…we talked about how this was his work space all year, and how it felt right to incorporate it into his final show.  It really reminded me of SKYSPACE.

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L
ayla Rose Cowan, whose work you can, of course, see as part of Any. And. Or

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abriele Jogelaite, who won the Bernard Cooper Memorial Prize for printmaking this year (I won it last year 🙂 )

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IMG_7525.1Morag Cullens, whose work reminded me of DJCAD graduate KATIE JOHNSTON’s work

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ImageMatt Wilson, the lithography master.

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ImageBrendan Collins

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J
ayne Topping

ImageVivienne Russell (I think)

ImageEwan Mclure

Image1Lada Wilson

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Tom Colquhoun

IMG_7571.1Duncan Perkins/Rusty Robin

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Rosheen Murray

IMG_7574Sarah Rowntree (sorry sorry sorry for putting the name wrong on this!)

DEGREE SHOW OPENING

Curation, Degree Show, Exhibitions, Inspiration, Openings

In April my computer hard drive failed and between work trips and holidays it took a little while to get it fixed.  And then when it was fixed I was suddenly off again to England with work!  So all in all I am massively behind with everything.

The next couple of posts will be my favourite bits from the DJCAD Degree Show 2013.

(Artist references to follow)

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Sahar Latif

ImageLindsay Mhairi Stephen

ImageLayla Rose Cowan

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ImageAna Hine

Ana’s controversial masturbation video had people queuing to see her show.  Image

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ImageDan Shay

ImageMhairi Edwards

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ImageAngel Zorn

Probably the creepiest thing in the show.

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WEB

Exhibitions, Inspiration

Apologies for the silence.  Since returning from Brighton I haven’t had much time to settle down with a computer and get down to blogging.  I’ve been a little out of the art loop in Dundee and this is requiring a little catching up.  However!  I would like to show you this:

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I have no idea who this is by, other than they are at DJCAD and possibly on the general foundation course.  I think it is stunning.

Over the next few days prospective first year art students are dropping off their portfolios at DJCAD and I am there to answer any questions about admissions and whatnot.    Naturally the art school wants to put a good foot forward so they have put up an exhibition of students work – it’s well worth a look!

Hello again after a busy week!  Since I last posted I have been to North-east Wales, Dundee, Ayr, Penicuik, Ampleforth and back up to Dundee.  Tomorrow I set off at 8:30am for the south coast for another five days of UCAS fairs and train-hopping.  Hopefully it will be less tiring (it’s more of a big circle than zig-zagging across the UK).

Last night Chris showed me something cool that he had found (not sure how/why) on SNAP! magazine’s website…

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This is the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, meaning “to repair with gold or silver and is generally associated with the reparation of broken pottery.  Gold or silver lacquer is used to join the broken pieces together and the resulting item looks more beautiful than the original; more beautiful for having been broken.

It’s a poetic metaphor for life …”

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Photo Source

There is something incredibly poignant about gluing something fragile back together with precious metal and Chris was right to think that this was something that I would like: much of the work that I made in the third year of my degree focused on celebrating such natural progression, renewal and embellishment.

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Though not as ornamental, the blind embossed prints I was creating aimed to celebrate the miniscule imperfections in our everyday surroundings.  The need to do this first made itself apparent to me within the first week of moving into studio 519 in third year.  Perhaps non-art students won’t have the same visual understanding of this process, so here it is: between the end of the previous years degree show and the start of the new semester the studios are split up using black wooden boards to allow more students to work in the space.  Desks are placed against the walls, and that is it.

And that is how we begin every year.  It takes a while to adjust to your new surroundings.  In the meantime I found it so interesting to watch how people around me reacted differently to their spaces.  Those who were in the studio regularly seemed to surround themselves with stuff, plastering drawings, posters, photocopies, postcards – anything, it seemed – up their walls.  I always considered it an evasion tactic, as if the unspoken pressure that an expansive blank canvas inevitably conveys was too daunting.  (In hindsight, it was perhaps just a means of personalising the environment.  Either way there was some great work created in that studio).

But I, on the other hand, spent my time staring at the walls, enjoying the terrifyingly clean, minimalist, white expanse.  And in staring I started to see patterns and shapes: blobs of plaster that hadn’t been sanded down properly; pencil marks; brushstrokes; painted gumstrip.  Perhaps the most odd was the charcoal fingerprints on the ceiling (but the attempt to capture and produce from those failed miserably [the only time I’ve ever attempted to work with solar plates myself]). I decided to make something of these imperfections that everyone else was seemingly ignoring, and the result was a series of deeply etched steel plates which when put through the press with no ink created perfectly embossed replicas of the marks on the walls.

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One of the artists I was looking at during the period that these prints were made is Susan Collis, whose use of seemingly mundane, everyday objects is very much an alternative use of kintsukuroi.  To the untrained eye, her exhibition spaces – such as that at Ingleby Gallery in 2008 – are unremarkable.

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But upon closer inspection the flecks of paint on an old, well used broom are in fact precious metals and stones.  Screw heads sticking out of the wall are solid gold.  “The age-old trick of trompe l’oeil is not usually employed for such humble things, and the witty poetry in Collis’ work lies in the intense labour expended over many months to craft these precious and beautiful, but ultimately useless objects.”

Love Is A Charm Of Powerful Trouble

There is a whole host of deeper philosophical meanings to all this.  But perhaps the simpler one is the better; that in all cases – and certainly the ones I have noted here – it is a joy to celebrate the little things in life, that we generally drift over and do not stop to take the time to consider.

Links: SNAP!  Susan Collis SEVENTEEN.  Susan Collis Ingleby.  Leaf and Twig.

I am spending the next week on the south coast (Cornwall, Exeter, Portsmouth), the weekend between Sunderland and Dundee, and then I’m off to Manchester on Monday.  Please bear with me on the blog front!

Context, Inspiration, Other, Studio

PRINT PREVIEW

Curation, Exhibitions, Inspiration, Openings

A few highlights from the Printed Matter:::::/Print Process exhibition preview on Thursday.

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A print focused exhibition was always an incredibly exciting prospect, but to see it for real truly made the point of how varied and free the print medium can be.  No two pieces were the same, and with a range of ancient and modern techniques on show this exhibition was as interesting as it was educational.  Not to mention beautifully executed!  Sean and Ellis worked a miracle and transformed the Bradshaw space from ordinary animation corridor to professional gallery.  All in all a great evening.

Printed Matter:::::/Print Process is open in the Bradshaw Gallery at DJCAD Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 10:30am-4:30pm until 16/3/13.  I know I am biased but if you manage to see any student curated exhibition in the next few weeks then this should be it: different, professional, traditional.

CHANCER

Inspiration, Night Techin', Studio

Chance it, don’t care.  Go with the flow.  Mix it up, see what happens.  Who knows, it might be wonderful.  There is a beautiful, serendipitous difference between what it should be and what small releases in control can achieve.

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hat it is /// What it should be.

In my previous posts from the print workshop I’ve documented the inks I have used.  But I did very little to amend the colour resulting from simply blending up all the gunge left at the bottom of the transparent white tin.  To relinquish control over the colour is both satisfying and releasing.  To chance a print on someone else’s carelessness is intriguing and new, to me…

Selling Dreams Not Clothes

Context, Exhibitions, Inspiration

“…beyond the simple recording of fabric and surface detail, the most memorable images fulfil or challenge the desires and aspirations of the viewer.”

ImageIrving Penn

On Sunday I finally made a date with myself and went to see Selling Dreams Not Clothes: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography at the McManus in Dundee.  Goodness knows how it has taken me this long to get there, especially considering my lust for the subject (see previous post).  One thing is for sure; I will be returning!

Displayed chronologically, beautiful photography runs amok in this second exhibition in collaboration with the V&A, cleverly interspaced between mirrors and walls (more on this later).  We begin at the turn of the twentieth century; Edwardian romance soon gives way to the sharp-cut glamour of the 1920s and the clear influence of Hollywood, becoming increasingly free and fantasised in evident reflection of the changing perceptions of fashion, its documentation and its role in modern society.

ImageEdward Steichen

I feel like this is so much more than a photographic exhibition; there are moods and undercurrents that take a little while and a little thinking to come to the surface.  Even in terms of the basic production of the images: all of the very early shots are studio based, with backgrounds and props and lighting.  Indeed this does lend itself to the classic “Hollywood” glamour, but it also has its limitations.  Later the photographs suddenly embrace the outside world as a backdrop, altering the entire dynamic and spectrum of the imagery more than a change of a light bulb and use of studio shadow ever could.

ImageMelvin Sokolsky

“Never pose your subjects, let them move about naturally.  All great photographs today are snap shots”
Martin Munkasi.

Furthermore, we see a parallel shift away from formal portraiture to a more photojournalistic style.  Possibly my favourite image from the whole exhibition was William Klein’s shot “Evelyn Tripp, Isabella Albauer and Nena Von Schlekrugge wear fashions by Talmack, Mollie Parnis and Herbert Sondheim, New York.  Vogue USA 1959.”

ImageWilliam Klein

Published at the turn of the decade, I really think that the ingenuity in the use of the mirrors here was a great sign of things to come, and so clever and modern.

As I mentioned earlier, the entire exhibit is hung on walls with mirrored ends.  As the viewer moves around the space they too are reflected in between the beautiful and the frivolous, like the models in Klein’s shot, as much a part of the entire experience as the photographs they are here to see.  Other narratives to be taken from that would be the influence of fashion on photography and vice versa, and the influence of both on the viewer.  Are we more aware of ourselves as ‘living photographs’ because the mirrors are there?  Is the use of reflection here a metaphor for the entire influence of the fashion world through time?  Probably.  But I really liked this touch, and I think that pushing the message into a physical form really brings the point home.  Clever.

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The Sartorialist

Much later (temporally), Scott “The Sartorialist” Schulman makes his appearance.  Famed for his street-style photojournalistic approach to fashion photography, from the everyday ensembles in the avenues and boulevards of the world to the hot-footed fashionistas stepping forward at fashion week, Schulman has undoubtedly paved the way in his field in recent years.  It is nice to see him included here.

Demonstrated in spectacular style by the very best Tim Walker is the twenty-first century fashion editorial.  “Lily Cole and Giant Camera, Italian Vogue 2005” not only dismisses absolutely any previous fashion editor’s quip regarding the stretching of artistic licence, and like Walker’s other dream worlds epitomises the title and point of this show.  I think it is a shame that Walker did not have more photographs shown, however, and altogether think that the last part of the show was rather weak.  All we are told of fashion photography in the twenty first century is that the sets and budgets are as huge as the poetic narratives, though I don’t feel like this was aptly demonstrated.  In consolation, here is a snippet from Lucinda Chambers’ recent article in Vogue UK about her career as fashion director at the same magazine:

“You have to be slightly bonkers to be a fashion editor.  You need to look at things – not just clothes, but people, places, toys, sweet wrappers, art, colours – in a slightly skewed way.  Anything can spark an idea:  I am writing this on a train to Brighton, from which I can see a very still pond with perfect reflections.  That’s how I want my next short in Sweden: nature still and clothes so stark.  I’m not sure it’s what my editor will think of as a “collections” story, but so, too, in this job, must you be bloody minded.”

“No one works alone.  You may have an idea, and sometimes it may be almost fully formed, but then you call Mario Testino or Nick Knight or Paolo Roversi and tell them about it, and that’s when the collaboration begins.  It’s all about collaboration.  You may have a wizard idea about hair stuffed into huge scarves, inspired by something you’ve seen in Shepherd’s Bush Market, or dip-dyed dreadlocks that you spotted on a plane, and your job is to ignite people to take your dream and run with it.  It really is the best job in the world when you imagine something – anything – and then ask the most talented people in the field to go with you on that journey.”

 Lucinda Chambers  “My Fashion Fairytale” Vogue UK August 2012

Nonetheless we gain a sense of how far the field has moved on, not only in freedom and fantasy, but also in the addressing of the hundreds of issues faced by a modern society.  Though I don’t feel that the choice of Stephen Klein’s images met the bar in terms of their ‘dreaminess’, they starkly confront the themes of “decadence and decay in America…violence…masochism”.  Interestingly, they are the only images to feature men in the entire show. The war-era photographs remain glamorous and bold despite the terror and uncertainty faced by all, instead offering fashion as a means of escape.  Indeed, as we know, Dior’s post-war New Look aimed to do just that, despite the restrictions of heavy rationing.

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Lillian Bassman

Overall I thought it was a well put together show.  I think that there could have been more photographers included – no mention of Patrick Demarchelier – but as an introduction to the huge, huge field that is fashion portraiture it serves its purpose very well.  Hopefully this touch of glamour is a sign of things to come with the V&A!

Most of the images I have shown here do not feature in the exhibition.  I thought it nicer to show what else these great photographic artists could do, rather than simply repeat what I saw online.  I do not own any of the images, and all can be found by simply googling the photographers name.  Many of them, and other works by the artists, can be found in the following books: Unseen Vogue; People in Vogue; The Fashion Book; The Photo Book.