Tuesday, 16 May 2017

'Grays C.A.P. Pre Degree Show' at Hatch!

Another blink and you'll miss it show from March this time the Grays School of Art C.A.P. Pre Degree Show which took place at the Hatch space. C.A.P. or Contemporary Art Practice is the amalgamation of the traditional art strands taught at Grays collected together under one banner. This year marks the first Degree Show where students have studied under C.A.P. since the start and as lecturer Michael Agnew said to me at the opening it feels like the change has been fully reflected in the work being produced and there's some great work indeed!

Brutalist high rises become the subject for screen prints, smatterings of painting with a neo twist hang next to work that is almost illustrative design but with a playfulness straight from the pages of Juxtapoz magazine. Photography and film both play a big part with the photo transfers on metal being some of my favourites from the show along with a plaster cast bath mat. Touch, a sense of materials and textures are all themes which flow through a lot of the work although I chuckled at the 'Do Not Touch' sign placed beside a box containing a strange squidgy substance, of course I touched it and took pleasure in the act!

Another piece invited the audience to push a syringe plunger, pushing air or ink into a cup which appeared to have already overflowed, a small spattering of black ink covering its base. There was something quite appealing about these strange assembled set ups, almost reminding me of the painting of Horfee. Another piece through the back consisted of a spot light shining on a hanging fluorescent light cover which slowly rotated, diffusing the light and created a strange roaming search light effect. Finally the digital prints on Perspex showed a modern aesthetic which I think has sometimes been missing from student shows but leads me to think the Degree Show proper is gonna be special!

I could go on and on but ill leave it there. Sadly the show was only up for a week or so but you can check out some photos below and with June fast approaching the students will be in full Degree Show mode as of now so only a few weeks til we get to see what the next step is as they show their cumulative efforts from the past few months. I cannot wait. For now, well done to everyone who worked so hard to put on such an excellent show, especially in such a large space. Great work all round!