Scottish art school degree shows: six graduates exhibiting this year
We talk to some of the country's up and coming artists, including Alice Tod, Lucas Battich and Kirstie Douglas
As students graduating from the Scottish art schools prepare to showcase their work to the public, Rachael Cloughton talks to six art and design students about their upcoming degree shows
Alice Maselnikova is graduating from the art, philosophy and contemporary practices course at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. Her central piece, The Womb, is a large sculptural installation that creates an inhabitable space, a solace imitating a mother’s womb with a gentle rocking movement, soft, organic-shaped cushioning and dimmed light. For Alice, her last year at art school has been the most inspiring: ‘I think I found my real interest and artist’s focus thanks to this final year, as interactive art is something that I can imagine working with for quite some time.’
Lucas Battich, also from DJCAD’s art, philosophy and contemporary practices course, is interested in the tension between concrete sensation and the abstract language of digital code. ‘My work approaches this through a variety of artistic disciplines, from sound and moving image to book production and computer-based art,’ he says. ‘My intention is to take my studio practice further with postgraduate study … it will also be good for me to take some time to refine my practice and try out new projects before a masters course.’
At Edinburgh College of Art, sculpture student Richard Phillips-Kerr is focusing on the blur between digital and real life. ‘By life-casting myself I have created my own, 1:1 replica, physical avatar. Through projection-mapping a cast, I create the illusion of life.’ He plans to project his face on to the cast live, for most of the degree show. ‘This means ten days in a dark room, straining my neck so that my “real” face matches up with my cast’s face.’
Phillips-Kerr already has experience making work outside of art school, managing DIY music nights. ‘I love doing that stuff,’ he says. ‘I’ve realised how conducive being part of an enthusiastic peer group is to making exciting work.’
Alice Tod knows exactly what she’ll be doing after leaving ECA’s fine art MA course. ‘I’m very fortunate to have been offered the graduate traineeship with Edinburgh University’s centre for research collections, starting in September. The job relates quite closely to my practice, as I’ll be working with different aspects of archive and collection management.’ At the degree show, Alice will exhibit found imagery and collected ephemeral material. ‘It will mostly consist of prints made from the serendipitous overlap of images in newspaper clippings given to me by my dad, and which I’ve been hoarding for the past few years.’
This year’s degree show at Glasgow School of Art is a landmark year for the college, with the newly opened Reid Building hosting its first design school exhibition. The product design engineering students will be among the exhibitors in the new space. Kirstie Douglas, one of the course’s students, says her year’s work will focus on both the technical and aesthetic sides of product design. ‘Each student [will present] a diverse range of different projects. The show should offer an exciting, interactive range of products with prototypes for visitors to try out for themselves.’
GSA fashion student Francesca Stride will also exhibit a new collection of work in the Reid Building. Last year she was awarded the Pringle for Wool School 2013 award. ‘I worked with the design department at Pringle so my jumper could be realised and reproduced as a quantity to be sold. It's not often that as a student something like this is possible.’ But her taste of life beyond art school doesn’t mean she’s excited to leave. ‘I'll be really sad to leave the Glasgow School of Art. It's been such a wonderful experience coming in to study something you love every day — sometimes it feels a bit lucky.’
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Fri 16–Sun 25 May.
Edinburgh College of Art, Sat 24 May–Sun 1 Jun.
Glasgow School of Art, Sat 14–Sat 21 Jun.