There is much to see at the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design (the CASS) Summer Show. Located at Central House, a dominating building on the eastern edge of the Commercial Road opposite the Whitechapel Gallery in east London, the exhibition showcases work from across the university’s various courses.

The range of subjects represented here – spread across four of the building’s five floors – includes Fine Art, Photography, Animation, Film and Broadcast Production, Music Technology and Musical Instrument Making. As you would expect, it’s jam packed.

In the Fine Art section, work ranges from wood sculptures of desks and performance, to exquisite installations featuring wall painting and collage. Highlights include Bradley Paul Andrews’ performance drawings, made directly on the walls of the space while the artist was filmed, with the the videos then projected alongside the finished work.

Elsewhere, Beata Burdelak’s fragile sculptures of empty bags, titled licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, resonate well, adding a sense of restraint and calm that is often missing in shows like this. The same can be said of Georgina George’s work, The Function of Home. A recreated domestic setting painted in bright yellow, it turns a public space into something far more intimate.

Intense experience

Part of what makes these works a success is the overall curation of the show. Daria Smiechowska, who is presenting her ceramic clay installation, Entwined Languages, explains: “We tried to curate collaboratively and I think it shows in the final result. It has been a period of intense work but everything has paid off. I feel pretty tired but am pleased with the exhibition.”

Fellow artist Elina Bitere echoes these statements. “It has been has been a fantastic experience putting on the show and I have loved working with the other artists and curators,” she says. “I am very happy with how my artwork, Timecycle, was presented. Everything was perfect.”

Explaining their plans for once the show has finished, both say they’ll be staying in London. “I need to recharge my batteries and will be heading to Oxford over the summer,” says Smiechowska.

“However, I plan to be back. I’m unsure about whether I will get a studio just yet, partly due to the cost. As such, I’m looking at residencies and want to develop new networks. Part of the joy of this exhibition has been working with other artists. Making art can be quite solitary and it’s been fun to work with others.”

Bitere’s plans are to continue studying in the capital. “I’m planning to go on to study an MA. I want to explore art at a deeper level and be involved in future exhibitions. I’m currently showing in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition and will also be in Art Expo Milano, opening next month. However, I will be staying in London for now – it is such a wonderful place for art.”

The CASS Summer Show 1 continues until 20 June 2015.

For more on degree shows across the UK, read the a-n Degree Shows Guide 2015. Featuring interviews, previews and listings, you can view it as an ebook or download the pdf

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