24 May 2009

Dundee degree show

I found this year's degree show at Duncan of Jordanstone a little disappointing, although this was nothing to do with the quality of the work, but rather to do with the exhibition space. Rather than being held in the art college itself, it was held in a new but unoccupied modern office building. I didn't realise that it was not being held in the art college, and saw no signs there to direct me elsewhere, so I found myself wandering around an eerily deserted building and wondering whether I was there on the right day! I eventually asked someone and was directed to the Vision Building. I haven't yet found out why the degree show was being held there, or whether it will move back to the art college next year. There didn't seem to be anyone to ask for more information, other than the students themselves, and I could see no overall guestbook for the whole exhibition.

I can understand that the students themselves may have enjoyed having their work exhibited in this building, which is more like an art gallery. But to me it felt cold and impersonal. The degree show in Dundee is usually my favourite, as I enjoy exploring the labyrinthine corridors of the college and finding exhibits in all the nooks and crannies of the building. The fact that there was also an exhibition of work by the Society of Scottish Artists was also confusing to me as a visitor, as it wasn't immediately obvious that this work was not by students.

The students' work that stood out for me were:
Hannah Livingston's trinket boxes
Kate Tweddle's jewellery which reminded me of Japanese fabrics
The animations Taketori by Colin Gordon and The Earth's Core by Katerina Kulendikova
Ryan F Gordon's graphite portraits


Hannah Livingston said...

Thank you, im flattered to have been noted by you. I agree with you that the oldschool feel of the degree show was somewhat lost with the move to Vision, but for us (the exhibiting students) it was an awesome experience. The Jewellery and Metal Design show last year had an insulting amount of space per student, with visitors being confused as to where one student's work ended and anothers began. To have such a vast space to present our work was a dream come true. also for Textiles i know they were overjoyed to have all their work in the one room, rather than scattered about the college. it isnt clear whether the show will be held in Vision again next year or not. Increased funding and publicity this year based on outside influences is why we were able to obtain Vision for the show. I personally feel that although the 'artschool' feel may have been lost slightly, the show had a coherency and fluidity that presented the graduating designers and artists with an air of proffesionalism not as pronounced in years gone by. :)

Hannah Livingston said...

or even 'Professionalism' !! woops.

Emma said...

Thanks so much for your comment, Hannah - it's really interesting to hear the point of view of one of the students exhibiting.

I think if I'd realised that it was going to be at Vision before I arrived, I would have been in a better frame of mind to appreciate it - so really it's my own fault for not reading the website properly!

To tell the truth, as I went round the exhibition and began to get absorbed in the exhibits, it mattered less to me what the building was like. I certainly wouldn't be put off attending next year, no matter where it is held.

Kate said...

Dear Emma, thank you for your positive comment about my animation Earth's Core. It is the best thing ever to actually get a feedback because then you really think about what you have created.
Thank you very much, Kate

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