Our latest a-n Instagram degree show takeover comes from the fine art department at Northumbria University, with a-n member Sheyda Porter not only sharing images of work by this year’s graduating artists but also presenting her own final year show.
One of Porter’s favourite works, Aroma, is a group of concrete ‘cairns’ created by Jordan Boyle (above). Porter explains that the concrete is infused with lavender oil so that “fragrance adds a whole new dimension to the way we perceive sculptures. The cold concrete suddenly comes to life and the viewing of these works becomes an intimately sensual experience”.
Under the guise of jawbone_jawbone, Nikki Lawson and Matthew Young’s installation features a sculptural wooden cloud that might also be read as a ‘thinks’ balloon’ (top). Describing the work as “incredibly imaginative and humorous”, Porter says: “In this piece the duo investigate the link between logical and illogical thought.”
Alan Barrett and David Graham also work collaboratively. Porter says they attempt to “reconnect with their heritage through the investigation of Gypsy culture and myths, and working class stereotypes”. Sharing picnic snacks with exhibition visitors also gives their work a performative edge.
Speaking about her own work, Idea Generating Machines – for which she was recently shortlisted for this year’s £40,000 Woon Prize – Porter says she looks to “reveal a subtle poetry in the everyday” by “exploring some of the fundamentals of sculpture through everyday objects”.
Also shortlisted for the Woon Prize, Hannah Barker’s nostalgic installation of repurposed living room furniture is “brought to life” through sound. The installation includes the recorded voices of an elderly couple discussing everyday things.
Pints and precarity
News editor Chris Sharratt has also been busy on the a-n Instagram with a visit to Glasgow School of Art’s BA fine art show at the Tontine building – home to the department since 2014’s Mackintosh building fire.
With the work of 107 students presented across two floors, Sharratt’s first stop was Ash Higginson’s So Neutral installation, where he was offered a glass of Tennent’s lager and a few tips on how to pull a pint – all part of Higginson’s piece exploring the “precarity of artist’s work and what she does next after graduation”.
An installation by painter Rebecca Lindsmyr, winner of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts Exhibition Award, is a particular favourite. “Loved this painting installation,” comments Sharratt. “Evokes medical institutions and explores gender identities within them. Power, health, abstraction, representation. Great work.”
The work of Nathan Wishart-Smith is also singled out. His sculptural exploration of museums and memory is, says Sharratt, “Thoughtful, cleverly realised, suitably museumy”.
This year’s Glasgow School of Art MFA show is taking place at the city’s Glue Factory art space. Attending the preview, a-n’s Richard Taylor discovered a number of works that make use of the venue’s distinctive features.
Moroccan-Brazilian artist Sofia Sefraoui works with materials that have ‘opposite characteristics’ to question ideas of cultural belonging and explore opposing forces such as harmony and confrontation.
Speaking about her work, featuring reclaimed Moroccan fabrics and corrugated metal collected from local scrap yards, Taylor points out that one of the building’s decommissioned “signature glue vats” is also a visible part of the installation.
Jen Yu created these Japanese paper rubbings in charcoal and graphite at a number of underpasses in the area surrounding the Glue Factory. Transposed from their original ‘undesirable’ locations to what the artist refers to as “undesirable parts of the building”, these fragile works explore ideas of temporality and degradation.
1. Jordan Boyle, Aroma, expanded polystyrene, cement, lavender oil, pigment. Photo: Sheyda Porter
2. jawbone_jawbone (Nikki Lawson and Matthew Young), jawbone_jawbone, sculpture and video installation. Photo: Sheyda Porter
3. Alan Barrett and David Graham, installation at Northumbria University degree show. Photo: Sheyda Porter
4. Sheyda Porter, Idea Generating Machines. acrylic gesso and chalky finish furniture paint on found objects. Photo: Sheyda Porter
5. Hannah Barker, sound installation at Northumbria University degree show. Photo: Sheyda Porter
6. Ash Higginson, Glasgow School of Art fine art degree show 2016. Photo: Chris Sharratt
7. Rebecca Lindsmyr, Glasgow School of Art fine art degree show 2016. Photo: Chris Sharratt
8. Nathan Wishart-Smith, Glasgow School of Art fine art degree show 2016. Photo: Chris Sharratt
9. Sofia Sefraoui, installation as part of Glasgow School of Art MFA show. Photo: Richard Taylor
10. Jen Yu, Glasgow School of Art MFA show. Photo: Richard Taylor
Follow a-n on Instagram to catch all the takeovers as they happen
Coming up: our final degree shows takeovers will come from City & Guilds of London Art School (23 June) and Royal College of Art (26 June) with Nadine Shaban posting images on a-n’s Instagram