Artist Larry Achiampong describes his time at art school as providing “the foundation for the way I practice now as an artist… The course allowed me to think about the fluidity of being an artist and creative person.”

London-based Achiampong, who studied for his BA at the University of Westminster followed by an MA at the Slade School of Fine Art, is interviewed for the a-n Degree Shows Guide 2019. He discusses the impact of art school on his current practice as well as the cultural and class-based issues he experienced in education.

With the guide and a dedicated degree shows website now published, this week sees degree shows beginning to open across the UK.

For the next two months we’ll be providing a weekly pick of new shows, selected from our online listings.

As Benedict Carpenter, principal lecturer on BA (Hons) Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, says in our What makes a great degree show feature, “each individual degree show represents several years of experimentation, risk, failure, success and growth. Every show is an independent triumph for the student concerned”.

We’re sure you’ll find experimentation, enthusiasm and many independent triumphs at this week’s degree shows, which are:

University Centre St Helens
Titled ‘Vortex Exhibition’, this show features the work of final-year fine art painting students alongside that produced by graphic design and photography courses. Gary Mitchell, who is graduating from BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, is featured in a-n’s Degree Shows Guide as part of our Class of 2019 feature. His oil paintings (pictured above) are based on family photographs and highlight themes relating to memory and time.
15 May–20 June, SmithKline Beecham Building, St Helens, WA10 1PP.

Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity St David
‘Platform’ is the culmination of BA Applied Drama and BA Contemporary Performance 2018-2019. Applied drama students will share participatory performance and personal projects while contemporary performance students will show ‘Project Exo:Dust’, an interdisciplinary response to the 1969 moon landings.
16-18 May 2019, Llys Glas, Alexandra Road, Swansea, SA1 5AJ.

University of Chichester
This show by graduating fine art students includes painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles, printmaking, installation, photography and video. Rebecca Harte, whose work is pictured above, makes performance that ‘explores bodily responses to everyday tasks and how these relate to her personal experiences as a woman from Northern Ireland’.
16-23 May 2019, artOne, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, Chichester, PO19 6PE.

University of Worcester
The Worcester Degree Shows are the culmination of work by over 100 graduating students across the University of Worcester’s arts courses, including Art & Design, Creative Digital Media, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Animation and Illustration.
PV 17 May, 18-24 May 2019, Charles Hastings Building, Infirmary Walk, Castle Street, Worcester, WR1 3AS.

Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity St David
Students from a wide range of courses showcase their work across four sites. From 18-31 May work by students of Automotive and Transport Design, Foundation Art and Design, Glass, Product Design and Surface Pattern Design is on show at the Alex Design Exchange, while the Dynevor Campus hosts students graduating from Advertising and Brand Design, Animation, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Games Design and Photography. Illustrators exhibit under the title ‘Nova’ at Swansea Grand Theatre (17-30 May) while the Masters and MArt Fine Art Summer Show runs from 18-25 May at 211 High Street.
All PVs 17 May 2019, Alex Design Exchange, House D Swansea Foyer, 34 Alexandra Road, Swansea, SA1 5DX; Swansea College of Art, Dynevor Place, Swansea, SA1 3EU; Swansea Grand Theatre, 29-38 Singleton Street, Swansea, SA1 3QJ; 211 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1PE.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee
For 10 days Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design’s Matthew and Crawford buildings are transformed into one of the Scotland’s biggest galleries, showcasing the culmination of several years of creative development from students working in Animation, Architecture, Art and Philosophy, Digital Interaction Design, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior and Environmental Design, Jewellery and Metal Design, Product Design, and Textile Design.
17-28 May 2019, 13 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4HT.

Edinburgh Napier University
Under the title ‘and the show goes on…’, Edinburgh Napier University showcases its creative talent from courses across the School of Arts & Creative Industries, including Design and Digital Arts, Exhibition Design, Film, Interior Architecture, Motion Graphics, Photography, Product Design and Publishing.
18-24 May 2019, 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5DT.

The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL
The annual Slade Degree Shows present artworks by graduating BA and BFA students from UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art.
18-23 May 2019, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT.

University of Kent
‘Sweet FA’ is the last ever fine art degree show at the University of Kent due to the closure of the School of Music and Fine Art in July. An exhibition by 20 artists, it offers insights into current contemporary practices and processes and includes autobiographical explorations of racial identity, a new company specialising in post-pandemic survival spaces, an interactive unspooling of VHS memories, a visualisation of the experience of Parkinson’s disease, a carpet as invasive species that suffocates creativity, and the wreckage of a rogue communications satellite.
PV 18 May, 19-24 May 2019, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, ME4 4TY.

Just published: a-n Degree Shows Guide 2019

a-n Degree Shows Guide 2019 is available on alongside more news, views and pictures from this year’s shows.

You can view on Issuu here or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #andegrees19.

1. Gary Mitchell, Phrenology Study 1, 19x19cm, oil on board. Photo: Wayne Robinson
2. Rebecca Harte, fine art final-year student 2019, University of Chichester.
3. A fine art student preparing for their summer degree show at Swansea College of Art UWTSD.
4. Florence Mytum, installation, Slade Degree Shows 2018.

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