Summer is here and with it we say goodbye to the steady structure of term time, as art students from across London have deinstalled their degree shows and left to embark on their creative careers.
But what for the first and second years whose time in the limelight hasn't yet arrived? Exhibition Evenings, a student-led showcase, brings together a range of many talented art undergraduates. We take a look at the July showcase and the artworks that featured.
Alex Bell, Fine Artist at Chelsea College of Art, displayed 'Annie's Formula' a not-so-exotic potion widely revered by all the blogging housewives as the ultimate solution to this fear of the unknown! Ingredients include 1/8 cup liquid soap, 1/4 to 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup strong peppermint herbal tea. More than a contemporary installation, Annie’s ‘Fun, Effective Floor Wash Formula’ is a display of certain desires for a consistent renewal of products and evolution in technology to improve our quality of life. These 3 precious liquids are raised on their pedestals here and given the status they truly deserve in the eyes of the concerned housewife. Alex's work touches on themes every shopper has met: trust of a brand, fear of the new and our relationship with products.
Central Saint Martins student of BA Graphic Design, Jordan Gamble, pushed the politics of Exhibition Evenings with 'The Power of a Name'. For this he hand-engraved messages into a body of slate, to create three memorial plaques. The messages on these plaques where open to interpretation but specific enough to relate to the individual. The crux of the project lies in those he chose to honour: Osama Bin Laden, Ted Bundy, and Al Capone. With aims to show just how powerful certain peoples names are in relation to messages we hear about them, Jordan allows the viewer to question their own relationship with that figure and second guess the meaning of the language within the piece. The result? A captivating series of works that give a direct and lasting hold on those who engage with them.
Student of University of Hertfordshire, Lucy May Walsh, has an endless fascination with harnessing the fleeting beauty as part of our everyday lives. Her weapon of choice? A polaroid camera.
The ‘Cigarette’ series portrays human presence. The Polaroid images captures a time and a place where that cigarette was smoked. What thoughts took place? What conversations were held over the course of the harmful habit? The small size of the Polaroid images create an intimate viewing experience; just as the thoughts and conversations may have been. The ‘Oil’ series takes a similar approach to beauty with the focus on the visual forms of oil and shadow on a surface, leaving the image looking fluid and painterly. Lucy's work focuses on process and observing her own experiments. She fully 'embraces the happy accident'.
Recent graduate of BA Sculpture at Central Saint Martins, Jessie Churchill explores a continuous change within his practice, encompassing installations, paintings and photographs all entwined. Boundaries and limits don't restrict his pieces; Jessie often introduces previous elements and works into new contexts. By submerging painted sculptures into stage sets of backdrops and lighting, the surrounding environment becomes a frame for the object. The backdrop draws out depth, making it appear as flat-recorded image when photographed. By re-introducing 3D elements into the display technique of the photograph, using metals, enamels, spray paint and prints, this idea of the 3D is re-immersed back into the work.
Through the medium of string, computer-science post graduate Alice Pardis explores both herself and her influences. The aesthetics of her work are clearly just as important as the concept. “I use parcel string, outside of its earthly purpose, to create something that is intricate, delicate and yet surreal.”
In her first piece, a fusion of both her father's Persian heritage and her mother's profession as an eye specialist become apparent. Using Islamic design and Persian rugs as a foundation, she forms patterns that mimic the aesthetics of a Persian carpet with an eye-like focal point. It is given the name pièce de résistance because the medium is resisting conventional use. The second honours music and creation and more specifically, the beginning of time. Made from 100m of string, it is displayed with a print from John Dryden’s Ode to Saint Cecelia on pressed Nepalese Lokta bush.
Kent based artist and filmmaker postgraduate Nikolai Deaves, from The University of Goldsmiths, treated audiences to Crying for a Dream, a recollective of the 30 hour performance piece that spanned across the UK. Designed by social media, responses were taken through Twitter and the artist’s website to design a vision quest and a pilgrimage for a 21st coming of age rite of passage. With the artist foraging for food, walking barefoot and submerging into the icy seas of the English Chanel, this interactive performance work reflects on societies disconnect to growing older. .
You can see more from the student artists featured in the most recent Exhibition Evenings by visiting their websites: