Ones to watch at this year’s Art School degree shows

Ones to watch at this year’s Art School Degree Shows

Charlie Cook, Glasgow School of Art

Look out for these names at DJCAD, ECA and GSA events

It’s that time of year again when Scotland’s art schools unveil a kaleidoscope of new talent in their annual Degree Shows. Colleges throw open their doors to the public to show off the work of hundreds of students in a broad range of disciplines, from painting and sculpture to fashion, film-making and product design. We spoke to some of this year’s new faces:

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

Ones to watch at this year’s Art School Degree Shows

Lily Chasioti, DJCAD
Jamie Watt, Fine Art
Jamie’s work includes a reconstruction of a medieval Scottish guillotine and a jumbo-sized branding iron. He was inspired by the story of Thomas Aitkenhead, an Edinburgh student was the last person to be executed for blasphemy in Britain, in a city on the cusp of the Enlightenment. He says: 'My degree show work explores the paradox of activities that simultaneously bring people together whilst dividing them, such as religion, football and alcohol.'

Lily Chasioti, Fine Art
A QR code laid out in pebbles in Dundee’s Botanic Gardens forms the focus of Lily’s work, The Garden of Evolution. Visitors who scan the code with their smartphones will find sounds and voice messages to accompany them in their walk. She says: 'This natural environment functions as the tabula rasa in order to discuss the role of technology in the evolution of man.'

Kenneth Meek, Graphic Design
Kenneth has a Designers & Art Directors Award for his project, a browser extension which gives online shoppers a chance to see where high street fashion garments were made and by whom. He says: 'It provokes users to voice their concerns, research their favourite brands and view Amnesty-approved alternatives.'

Edinburgh College of Art

Ones to watch at this year’s Art School Degree Shows

Lucy Wayman, Edinburgh College of Art
Lucy Wayman, Sculpture
A room-sized installation made from mop heads knotted together and a wall-work made from interwoven pairs of tights form part of Lucy’s degree show work. She says: 'It’s really important for me to have the hand-made element in the work, it gives the piece more stature because of the overwhelming amount of work'

James Boyle, Sculpture

Giant suction darts stick to the outside walls of the art school buildings, they look like toys but their scale lends them a sinister air. James says: 'I make a lot of work inspired by our society’s obsession with violence. It’s hypocritical, in a way, we give our children toy guns and tell them they can attack their best friends, but we’re totally against war.'

Eileen Xie, MFA, Jewellery & Silversmithing
Eileen’s work is informed by her background as an immigrant from China growing up in Australia. 'My pieces draw on the feeling of rootlessness, not being sure where my home is. I took a lot of inspiration from the shoreline, particular the rescue equipment there. I am also inspired by the more political issue of the refugee crisis, people’s determination to go out and search for a home.'

Glasgow School of Art

Ones to watch at this year’s Art School Degree Shows

Mariam Syed, Glasgow School of Art
Mariam Syed, Textile design
Using her Muslim background, Mariam has designed a series of brightly coloured prayer rugs and head coverings. 'When my son turned seven, I wanted to present him with his own prayer rug to cherish. I decided to design a prayer rug that was both exciting and encouraging for a young child. I went on to complement this with co-ordinated silk scarves that could be used by young girls to cover their heads while praying, and fabric covers for the Quran.'

Charlie Cook, Sculpture and Environmental Art
Childhood play is an inspiration for Charlie’s sculptures, which include a ramp with 98 rocket balloons attached to it by wooden pegs and a car tyre suspended at the summit. He says: 'A younger me used to shake trees and see how many leaves I could shake off - now I’m making ramps and seeing how many balloons I can make lift off.'

Georgina Clapham, Painting and Print-making
Using her considerable skills as a painter, Georgina investigates and subverts Renaissances ideals of beauty. She said: 'My painting "Ideal portrait of a man" is of a friend of mine who is a transgender woman. It is based on the idea of dismantling the portraits of Renaissance Florence, which created a distinctive stereotype of female beauty.'

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Sat 21–Sun 29 May; Edinburgh College of Art, Sat 28 May–Sun 5 Jun; Glasgow School of Art, Sat 18–Sat 25 Jun.


1. Jessica Barrie25 May 2016, 5:28pm Report

Interesting article but you have failed to mention any students from Grays School Of Art, Aberdeen. Are we to assume that there is no reason to look out for students there?

2. Kellsey Morris25 May 2016, 5:41pm Report

I agree. Where's Grays School of Art?

3. Abi Buswell25 May 2016, 6:02pm Report

Gray's School of Art is a Scottish art school, is it not? So why has it been excluded from this biased article?

4. Bea25 May 2016, 6:03pm Report

Great to see graduates being recognised, but very disappointing to see absolutely no mention of Gray's School of Art. Such a shame to see that people think there are only 3 good art schools in Scotland.

5. Paul Hudson25 May 2016, 6:24pm Report

This is a bit of a half-hearted attempt at highlighting art degree shows ! Why have Heriot Watt, Grays and Dundee not been included? A desk-bound attempt at journalism perhaps?!

6. Kate Fahey25 May 2016, 6:53pm Report


I am a graduate of Gray's School of Art and The Royal College of Art, and have appeared in the RSA New Contemporaries and soon to be appearing in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries. It would be really great if you could acknowledge Gray's School of Art and Moray School of Art in your review

- or are we all to assume there is no one to watch / no art school degree show north of Dundee???

7. Eleanor Cheetham26 May 2016, 11:45am Report

Not a great article - I am encouraged to see that students are getting recognition for there hard work at Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. However Susan you have failed to mention Grays School of Art, Aberdeen and Moray School of Art, Elgin. As a past student of Moray School of Art and a current third year Contemporary Art Practice student of Grays School of Art it is very disheartening to read your article with no mention of the North East region of Scotland.

8. Sunil Vishin28 May 2016, 8:01am Report

Congratulations must go to Duncan of Jordanstone for managing to creep in to this central belt-centric article. Commiserations to, well, the that big old land mass we call the rest of Scotland where apparently nothing happens that's important in the Art world.

I am lucky enough to be on one of the art prize judging panels for this year for Gray's School of Art and I can tell you that the quality of the work at Gray's and the dedication of their students matches those of the other art schools.

Would like to hear a response from Susan. Actually, scrub that, how about you come up here and see for yourself. It's open to the public from 18 - 25 June 2016, the same times as Glasgow.

9. Jimmy12478411 Jun 2016, 7:24am Report

Completely agree how amazing the Unmentioned schools are but the list magazine only covers central Edinburgh Glasgow and Dundee

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