The just-published a-n Degree Shows Guide 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of a-n’s degree shows coverage. It includes the biggest-ever ‘Class of 2023’, celebrating the work of this year’s graduating artists, and exploring the ideas, processes and ambitions of students from across the UK.
Featuring interviews and comment from 31 students graduating from 28 universities across the UK , the guide aims to capture the creative buzz and excitement of this year’s exhibitions.
This year’s featured students were again selected via an open call, resulting in a fascinating series of Q&As, features and profiles that capture the breadth of ideas and approaches on display.
Most – but, it should be noted, by no means all – of the students wouldn’t have been born when a-n first published a degree shows supplement in what was then a monthly print magazine.
As a-n CEO Julie Lomax writes in the guide’s introduction, a lot has changed in the intervening years. But while higher education in the UK has been transformed, “the degree show remains integral to the final-year experience. It is a vital, energising, unmissable and deeply visceral moment of new and inspiring creativity”.
The featured students offer a snapshot across a wide range of media, from painting to video, photography to print, ceramics to needle felting. Their art tells stories of migration and resistance, of personal struggles and community action, of consumer culture and alternative ways of living. “It is,” says Lomax, “thrillingly of this moment – just like it was 25 years ago.”