Over the coming month, a team of a-n members are taking over a-n’s Instagram to post images and commentary from degree shows around the country.
Bob Gelsthorpe kicked things off with a visit to the Fine Art and Photography show at Swansea College of Art (continues until 2 June), where his first post featured Myles Mansfield’s paintings that evidence those that built, as well as used, the buildings portrayed.
Presented on a raw, plywood wall and using reclaimed wooden substrates, Gelsthorpe explains that the works explore “local architecture, but through keen historical references also suggest fictitious built landscapes from art history.”
Leah Meredith’s installation of paintings on watercolour paper focus on the Syrian conflict.
“We see chairs, children playing and elderly men resting,” says Gelsthorpe. The works “don’t simply just portray the profound sadness of the war, but pinpoint the actual people within by abstracting them from their surroundings. Brilliant to see an artist engaged in global issues.”
The Swansea show also features the work of a-n Degree Shows Guide 2017 cover artist Sheree Naqvi. Her videos, photographs and sculptural works take female hair as a starting point to explore concepts of loss and courage.
For her first takeover, Jacki Cairns visited the Fine Art show at University of Lincoln (until 9 June), where an embroidered work by Amber Jeffery was the first piece to make an impression.
“Jeffery is concerned with concepts of memory and object whilst questioning her own autobiographical journey,” says Cairns.
Speaking about Kerrie Corfield’s multi-coloured light structure Prism, Cairns explains that the work seeks to “address the subconscious relationship between light, space and the creation of an atmosphere”.
Alice Gilhooly’s work was highlighted by Cairns during her next takeover at University of Hertfordshire (until 2 June).
Part of the Photography exhibition, the deconstructed and reworked images feature “old buildings in St Albans, the photographs folded into exquisite shapes”.
In the Fine Art show, Myra Banga’s work uses printmaking, photography, painting and drawing to explore light, shadow, trace, residue, touch and nature. Admiring the use of “minimalist qualities and emphasis on placement and subtlety”, Cairns described the works as “Sublime!”
At Cardiff School of Art & Design (until 2 June), a group of students gave Gelsthorpe a tour of the show.
“It was great speaking to them about their work, their support structures for the future, and importantly Venice as a number of the students featured are taking part in the Wales in Venice Invgilator Plus programme.”
Fine Art graduate Ella Jones uses textures, material and colour to explore ideas of touch through sculptures that entice playfulness and interaction.
Describing her work Thanatopsis as “found objects, casts and organic process-driven forms all laid in a saccharine open floor vitrine”, Gelsthorpe added, “I can’t wait to see more of these playful and theatrical explorations of touch”.
Speaking about Luke Stone’s installation Ruination (top image), Gelsthorpe commented that a use of geometric forms and building materials “enable a rapid construction and deconstruction so that the work is ongoing and never ending.
“The act of destruction as a creative act is rich here. Beautifully presented and looking forward to future rumination of this piece!”
Next up: Bob Gelsthorpe at UWE Bristol Fine Art and Art+Visual Culture shows; Fiona Grady at Slade School of Fine Art MA show; Helen McGhie at University of Salford Photography and Visual Arts shows and Manchester Metropolitan University Photography, Fine Art and Film shows; and Katie Chappell at Edinburgh College of Art Illustration and Fine Art shows.
1. Luke Stone, Ruination, Fine Art and Illustration show at Cardiff School of Art & Design.
2. Myles Mansfield, Fine Art and Photography show at Swansea College of Art.
3. Leah Meredith, Fine Art and Photography show at Swansea College of Art.
4. Sheree Naqvi, Fine Art and Photography show at Swansea College of Art.
5. Amber Jeffery, Fine Art show at University of Lincoln.
6. Kerrie Corfield, Prism, Fine Art show at University of Lincoln.
7. Alice Gilhooly, Photography show at University of Hertfordshire.
8. Myra Banga, Fine Art show at University of Hertfordshire.
9. Ella Jones, Thanatopsis, Fine Art and Illustration show at Cardiff School of Art & Design.