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DJCAD Degree Show 2013 - Highlights # 1!

Last week saw the closing of the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design 2013 Degree Show. Its the first time I've travelled to another city to see their Art School's Degree Show and it was well worth the 2 hours and 40 minutes sitting on a stinky bus!

Firstly I paid a visit to Grouchos, a real independent record shop that sells vinyl. I could have spent a full day racking through the racks and racks of records, such a novelty since One Up shut down (I must remember to pop into The Cavern though, keep forgetting about them) and just up round the corner I spied some small cafe's which lined the streets coming down from the University campus. And they were all full of people enjoying a nice Sunday out in Dundee. Its funny how you can have an idea of somewhere and the reality is so far off it makes you think about looking at property prices!

After a quick jaunt round I came to the entrance of DJCAD and started my journey through the many corridors and rooms, each filled with students work and all colour coded for each department. First up was a wander through Time Based Art & Digital Film. The image below shows the work of J. C Douglas I think who created this ghost like image by projecting onto air being pumped out of loads of straws. I was listening to the Moon Killer mixtape at the time and the resemblance to the album cover was striking! I cant find any more information about the artist but it certainly impressed me. 

Next up were the visuals of Callum Crotch. Callum appears to be the Dundee equivalent to me as he produces visuals for club nights but takes things a little further by installing his giant geometric screen which he maps visuals onto. OK so he goes a lot further than I do and its mighty impressive. A short film clip played on repeat of the Genomic Visual globe in action at various Dundee club nights and it just looks so cool! The globe was set up above the stairs, glowing and changing colour every few seconds. The stairs led to another room which was filled with even more Genomic wonders and a rather comfy looking padded tent which I think had visuals playing inside it. Unfortunately I wasn't brave enough to take my shoes off and join the two girls enjoying what ever delights awaited those who lay down but I'm sure it was cool! You can find out more about the Genomic Visuals here. Hopefully we can collaborate at some point in the future!

The next floor brought on a flood of innovative products and designs from Architecture, Jewellery Design & Environmental Design. Ali Taylor's jewellery show really stood out with his gallery set up, dark walls with spotlights illuminating each piece and the gentle tones of Sigur Ros helped create an environment above and beyond the usual jewellery displays. Check out the pics below!

Rachel Deas work also stood out with her rather interesting metal sculptures, created from old machines from a bygone age with cogs and wheels. The sculptures take old casings and re purposes them as practical objects, like lights! I could just imagine one of these sitting in my flat, illuminating a new book while I read in the evenings. Rachel's work combined retro without being twee, instead appealing to lovers of old design and aesthetics! Check out more work on her website here!

I really skimmed over a lot of the architecture work but some of the models were really cool, I always love the models. In the next room I found myself staring in wonder at a giant plant watering system. This wonderful piece of design came from Rusty Robbin, I think. Apologies if it didn't but what a machine! First of all the scale of this thing is massive, this is a full on prototype which really stood out amongst the Environmental Design work. The mechanism allows you to gently rotate the plants round into the light and also releases just enough water via the hose pipe, which also stops it from spinning too fast, I think!

Andrew Leitch's 'Power the Future' designs really stood out in Graphic Design but to be fair, a lot of the Graphics work looked great, really high standards all round but Andrew's medical style supplies and clean design got my vote. Elliot McIntosh also caught my eye with his ancestral Driver story and witty "There is an underside" poster, simple and yet it amazed me to see it. I don't know much about Graphic Design but I appreciate good design and there was a lot on display.

I didn't get a great deal of time to check out the Animation & Illustration sections but Carlo Kasongo's animation character sketches really stood out for their quality and beauty, his portrait of an African woman is just, well beautiful. Check out his Samurai sketch (above), just amazing! Also Claire Roe's highly stylised comic book work struck a chord with this old Marvel geek, she has some pretty tight drawing skills and has managed to produce some real nice work which should get her some work in the comics inudstry if the animation world doesn't snap her up! Check out her work further down!

Finally from Illustration I was drawn towards Kit Russel's 'Flat Land' project (above), geometric shapes and magic eye style brain ticklers are good enough for me! Danielle Smith's prints and clay pot heads reminded me of a little of Katie's work from Grays last year but in a good way! Ok maybe its just the fag connection but I seem to get the same kind of pleasure looking at Danielle's heads as I did looking at Katies warped prints, maybe they should collaborate in the future?

So that's part 1 which covers as much as I could in the time I had, part 2 looks solely at the Fine Art work from the Degree Show, ill have another 2 Degree Shows to write about by the time I get this done! All in all a hell of a good effort from the Duncan of Jordanstone students and I'm a bit sad its the first time I've made the effort to check it out! There's some cracking work in the Fine Art section so keep an eye out for that post coming soon!

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