It was both great and sad to see the MA degree show going up in the atrium of the Victoria building. Great as it pulled together and showcased all the work done by this year's Art & Design MA graduated. Sad because it means that they are leaving us.
We could of course mumble and complain about the lack of exhibition space for each graduate etc. but let's focus on the positive. Our section was represented by five ceramic graduates and one design graduate who all put on a great display.
Adele's work really comes together when displayed like this as it not only shows off her ceramics but also the shadows each individual piece creates. Her work is the most architectural of all and each pieces is pieced together by joining many identical little pieces of clay (piece, piece by piece). By overlapping layers of ceramics at different angles she creates for me very interesting patterns, some of which remind me of the architectural geometries found in Islamic art.
Alex is strictly speaking not a ceramics but uses clay as one medium of many in which he makes his vessels. I particularly liked the group at the end where the same vessel is replicated in many different materials. This is part of his project of how different materials influence the perceived value of a piece.
My photo doesn't do her work justice. Ann combines these slab built vessels and platters with patterned surface decorations which, combined with her carefully chosen glaze, create pieces that hover between sculpture and useable ware. She has spent hours and hours to make hundred of test tiles developing her glazes.
Katie has a real knack of presenting her beautiful work, whether in this show, in her accompanying book, her Instagram pages or her website. There is a strong theme and a quiet integrity which links all her pieces to her her love of the outdoors, bird watching and bits and pieces of nature found on her long walks such as feathers, grasses, pebbles or birds' eggs. Each piece seems very simple but a lot of research, thought and experimenting has gone into it.
Initially I didn't get what Pam was doing when I saw her work a year ago but now I really, really appreciate it. Pam' s interest in archaeology and old pottery fragments have lead her to create large scale versions of these ceramic shards. Not only does this involve a lot of research into historical pottery and they way they were originally created but also how these can be scaled up in proportion. In addition to recreating large scale ceramics she has also developed a way to imitate their faults and aged look. These large pieces have a real sculptural quality now.
Rebecca's work - again the photo doesn't do the intricate detailing that go into her ceramics any justice - is intellectually complex. The craftsmanship that has gone into each hand carved piece is amazing. But to fully appreciate the density of symbolism and the context of the imagery one really has to understand her intellectual approach. Wow.
Such a selection of different work is really inspiring to see. Again, a great show and... the pressure is on for us for our show next year.
Wishing good luck to all of these graduates on whatever they decide to do post MA and thanks for all the knowledge, encouragement and laughs you have shared with us during the year we worked along each other in the studio.