Degree Show: Edinburgh College of Art
- Susan Mansfield
- 5 June 2017
This year's show features the work of over 500 students
An undercurrent of stories and memories runs through this year's degree show at Edinburgh College of Art in which more than 500 students, across a wide range of disciplines, showcase their work. For the first time, two students are exhibiting in the old fire station adjacent to the college, a building with plenty of stories of its own. Michael Kay Terence adds several more with impressive installations using half a car, a stack of upright pianos and a pantomime horse. His large-scale work compliments the more delicate interventions of Beth Hadshar, made with seedpods and pressed flowers.
On the wall of the main art school building, Chloe Milner's oversize red dungarees catch the breeze, while inside she shows casts of stones and deconstructs her own work thoughtfully in a tongue-in-cheek film. Lara Hirst's small sculptures made using pound coins and jewellery examine issues of value and worth.
Among the painters, the trend is towards extremes of scale. Samantha Parkhouse has created two very large portraits of Mette, a woman undergoing chemotherapy, which face one another, one with eyes open, one with eyes closed, a story held in balance. Ellie Lee is a surfer who paints the sea, aiming to capture the sensations of waves in attractive paintings made with enviromentally friendly materials.
Juanita Zaldua's small acrylics are no bigger than postcards, but well worth a second look, as are the subtle paintings of Lana Svirejeva-Hopkins, even if they are shown against a dazzlingly bright orange wall. India Cawley Gelling's intricate drawings are inspired by the skyline of Edinburgh's Old Town which stretches out beyond the studio window, while Rebecca Heselton uses a turn-table and lighting to animate her delicate sculptures of houses on stilts. Alex Weir is planning to serve up refreshments in a colourful culture cafe (mine's a Francis Bacon Roll).
Fionnula Mottishaw immerses the viewer in a rich world of objects and stories; Daisy Silver weaves stories around the objects in her quasi-museum; Tess Glen using paintings and fabrics to tell a complex story about modern womanhood.
If a memory is troubling you, Dr Joe Squirrel will be happy to remove it and implant another of your choice in Nicol Guerra's clever MFA installation. Fellow MFA student Daniel Cook had made films which evocatively explore stories of Edinburgh eccentrics, while Niamh McConaghy, in her paintings of plugs and chargers, has hit on a resonant object through which to examine not only our obsession with electronic devices but our connectness or not to one another, socially and politically.
Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2017, until 11 Jun.