An exhibition of new work by Natasha Ferguson, Joe Harvey, Matt Bainbridge and Richard Krantz opens Friday 10 September 2014.

Look up the word Mouthfeel instead of guessing its meaning and you will realise it is a noun used to explain the tangible concept of taste, as it is experienced in the mouth. Used as a simile for the title of Embassy’s 2014 graduate exhibition, the word introduces experiential qualities of potential artworks by artists carefully chosen by the gallery. In turn these artworks are then carefully curated for the viewer’s equally careful chewing-up of what’s on display. The word is also a playful introduction to new and fresh work by artists who are yet to discover any definitive recipe for what they do (assuming they want to make this discovery in the first place).

After selecting from Scottish degree shows earlier this year Embassy have provided an artists’ fee and production budget to commission new work for the show by graduates from Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art. “We were interested in artists who we thought had the potential to come together to produce a well curated exhibition,” explains Embassy Committee member Kirsty Hendry, “As graduates we also wanted to provide them with an opportunity to engage professionally with an artist-led gallery, and get paid for the work they produce.”

Degree shows are fuelled by the time-heavy investment of producing work. Some students undergo a self-editing approach to what they choose to exhibit. Its this work that is often more rewarding for the viewer, where a student demonstrates well-executed production balanced with a rigorous evaluation of what is shown. As a graduate exhibition Mouthfeel extracts this and takes it a step further. The artists were notified two months after their degree show and were given a relatively quick deadline to make new work. It is a complete reset of their degree show experience with no accepted proposals to work with, just the means to create something under a new set of demands.

“It was tricky approaching the opportunity without a studio,” explains Glasgow School of Art graduate Matt Bainbridge who has created a new series of large paintings for the exhibition, “Even the lack of room to stretch canvases was challenging.”

Bainbridge, along with Richard Krantz, exhibited a showcase version of his degree show work in the McLellan Galleries in Glasgow after the event of the Mackintosh fire: “I have brought along elements of the original installation I planned to exhibit in the Mackintosh building,” he continues, “I’m not sure what I will do with it yet, but I feel this exhibition is a bit of second chance to realise the work properly.”

The show is also an opportunity for the artists to experience how an artist-led gallery ticks – arguably something that every art graduate should be accustomed to: “I feel it’s an honour to be selected for a show like this more than some other graduate opportunities,” explains Edinburgh College of Art graduate Joe Harvey, who has created a new digital animation for the show, “To work alongside the committee here at Embassy feels more relevant for where we are now as artists.”

Unfortunately Natasha Ferguson, another Edinburgh College of Art graduate who is to exhibit in Mouthfeel, was not present when we visited Embassy to interview the artists – so we couldn’t catch up with her directly. For more information on each artists’ practice, see links to their websites below:


Mouthfeel runs from 13-28 September 2014 and Embassy is open Thursday to Sunday 12-6pm. More information here – https://www.facebook.com/events/315989111906224


Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Degree Show 2014 – a showcase of all the intensive one year MA pathways at the school – opens this weekend and runs from 6-12 September. Now in its third year the Fine Art Practice (MLitt) pathway or ‘Masters of Letters’ hangs its own exhibition in the McLellan Galleries down the road from the Mackintosh building in Glasgow.

“We normally use the Mackintosh for the show,” explains John Calcutt, programme leader of MLitt, “For obvious reasons the fire has prevented us from using the space. It has been a bit last minute but we have secured the McLellan Galleries instead – its important for the students to have an environment to hang a show of their work properly.”

The McLellan Galleries were used to showcase the BA degree show at Glasgow School of Art earlier in 2014, and were also used to house a selection of GI 2014 exhibitions. With a huge amount of focus on the BA and MFA degree shows earlier in the summer, which some would argue is validated by audience figures attending the exhibitions, the Graduate Degree Show later in the year presents itself to a somewhat different audience.

“The Graduate Degree Show will have a lot of visitors comprising new students entering a number of different courses for the 2014/15 term. It’s a different type of audience than that of our degree shows earlier in the year.” continues Calcutt, “The Fine Art Practice (MLitt) course takes on students who are at a stage in their careers where they need a new direction. It is also an intensive period for practitioners to revivify their approach to making work.”

The MLitt course also throws attention to students’ ability to extend their practices beyond the course, as Calcutt explains, “Many students present exhibitions and events out with the course structure. This is something we expect and encourage as a means of developing an art practice.”

Many other MA courses bring together students who have experience in other careers prior to undertaking further study, the MLitt Fine Art Practice course is no exception. We contacted three Fine Art Practice students graduating this year – Jennifer Wicks, Dico Kruijsse and Liam Allan – see the images within this post for more information on their work.

You can find out more about this year’s graduates – including activities extending beyond the course – on their dedicated ‘Masters of Letters’ website – http://www.mastersofletters1314.com

For more information on the Graduate Degree Show, which includes work from architecture, design, fine art and digital disciplines, follow this link – http://www.gsa.ac.uk/life/gsa-events/events/g/graduate-degree-show-2014


The City & Guilds MA degree show takes place from 10-14 September 2014. We catch up with two part-time students on the course, for a unique perspective on post-graduate study grounded by other career paths, attitudes and experience.

Lorraine Fossi notified us via Twitter about the City & Guilds show. She trained as an architect at Beaux Arts in Paris in the 80s before moving to London with her family. She is about to begin her second year of part-time study on the City & Guilds course and will continue to strengthen a painting practice, which focuses on landscape and environment on a project to project basis.

“When I left the Beaux Arts I was working with small groups of architects, responding to competitions with sharp deadlines. It was about drawing and sketch models, sharing big ideas with little money. I arrived in London with my family in 2000 and computers had already invaded architectural practice. My English was poor and I somehow knew I would not get the same freedom and reward I had enjoyed with architecture back in France. Architecture never really left me and never will. This permanence of my grounding training as an architect is a matter I wish to research during my second year.”

Already exhibiting her paintings in London upon entering the MA programme at City & Guilds, Fossi approached the course with the fear of her art practice becoming unrewarding: “I entered the MA at City & Guilds because I knew I could make better work as a painter. I was confident as a trained architect but as an untrained artist I was defensive and afraid. So far it has been an amazing experience… amazing but not easy!”.

Fossi kindly put us in touch with Luke M. Walker who has also studied the MA part-time, is set to graduate this year and is exhibiting in the MA show.

“I studied the MA part-time as I also work for myself as an Interior and Spatial designer, and teach at Chelsea College of Art.” explains Walker, “The work I have produced for the MA show is invested in the material exploration of paint on canvas. This exploration is informed by an archive of photographic material collected on a circular walk around an area of London, which I have repeated (almost) weekly since last autumn. During this time I have seen many things change in this particular environment. Demolished buildings replaced by new constructions for example, which relate to negative and positive space on canvas.”

Walker embarked upon the MA course to gain a new set of tools, technical and theoretical, to apply to his practice: “It started off as a hobby, I then got a studio and started to show my work – but it got to the point where I could no longer articulate what I wanted to.”

Walker will exhibit his body of work alongside seventeen other graduates in the MA show. For more information see the City & Guilds website –  http://www.mashow2014.com

For more information on Lorraine Fossi’s work see – www.lorrainefossi.netFor more information on Luke M Walker’s work see – http://lukescape.com


The Friends of University Arts & Music (FUAM) Graduate Art Prize Exhibition 2014, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds.

From 22 August to 25 October Selected graduates for the FUAM prize Ben Eggleton (Design), Chloe Burdett (Design), Julia Moscardo i Chafer (Fine Art), Lily Ackroyd-Willoughby (Fine Art) will have their work on display at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds.

On 22 September judges, including Francis Guy, Curator and Head of Collections at The Hepworth Wakefield and Aesthetica Magazine Editor Cherie Federico, will announce the winner of the prize: £250 and a year’s subscription to Aesthetica Magazine.

In conjunction with the FUAM Exhibition, in the weeks following the prize giving, the gallery will be running a series of professional practice seminars and workshops organised by BA Fine Art students – aimed at students and other early-career artists to explore areas such as how to apply for funding or residencies or how best to work with Galleries.

Look out for further information coming soon, for more details on the prize and exhibition visit this link – http://www.fine-art.leeds.ac.uk/events/the-fuam-graduate-art-prize-exhibition-2014/


PV 22 August, runs 23 August – 6 September

An interim exhibition for 1st year students on the 2 year MFA programme and the final culminating show for 2nd year graduating students, held at Newcastle University School of Arts and Cultures Fine Art Studios and Hatton Gallery. For more information see their website – http://www.newcastlemfa.com/exhibition-2014

Thanks to Scott Aaron Tait for sharing the poster for this exhibition on his a-n blog! Scott will be presenting his work in the MFA show, read more about his work here – https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/didnt-want-to-leave-it-behind-scott-tait