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DJCAD Degree Show 2013 - Highlights # 2!

For part 2 of my DJCAD Degree Show 2013 Highlights I've decided to look at some work from the Fine Art show. By far the largest portion of works sat in Fine Art and it was a real stretch so see as much as I did in the short time I had, about 3 hours but in that time I saw such an amazing array of styles, subject matter and mediums. 

Would you call squeezing lemons and making sugary lemonade art? Well after meeting Mariella Verkerk I would say YES! Mariella asked if we would like to squeeze some lemons so we did, and the lemonade we drank from her cool little ceramic bowls (see below) was rather refreshing! Her clay wall plaques were bright and colourful while her lemonade cups were refined and perfect in their imperfections. I think we might have used up the last of her sugar water though, emergency supplies were being called in as we left!

The Brownlee Brothers work instantly blew me away. From the letters on the old style pin board outside their room to the deep fried weaponry, each piece just looked amazing. The black dildo nun chuck did make me laugh but it also gave me a fright, what kind of minds would make such a weapon? The wax pig's head on a spike looked like something you'd find in the middle ages, a theme which flowed through a lot of their work and I loved it. Well thought out, well executed and well creepy!

Being a fan of Natural History I was instantly in love with Bryndis Blackadder's giant animal cut outs. Their size alone was quire impressive but each line, each bone was hand carved, revealing each animals skeletal structure. Each piece is well executed and finished to a high standard with animals of all shapes and sizes on display! I was stopped in my tracks when I tried to leave by the giant lion / tiger skull above the door! Check out his tumblr for more info!

Yasmin Davidson's work also flirted with the creepy and the macabre but managed to stay light hearted enough not to scare children! Her combination of prints, paintings and sculptures made for an interesting mix of mediums but all with her distinctive touch, I especially liked the figure staring into a mirror abyss and the tooth chalice stand (below). As with a lot of the work from DJCAD her work embodies a strong style which well developed and makes for very interesting viewing! Check out more work here!

When I walked into Jonny Lyons space it took me a minute to figure out what I was looking at. Each wall was adorned with large black and white images of different scenes (below), a beer bottle smashing over a mans head, a rocket exploding, a man sawing through a 2x4 and landing the drink? In the center of the room lay the answers! Jonny has created these kits of mass destruction from rocket launchers to spud guns and of course the handy saw he used for cutting that 2x4! Like all things of beauty they have a deadly side but the craftmanship of these objects was second to none. I highly recommend going through each of them on his website!

Ewan McClure's sculptures stood out due to their size and seemed to revolve around process from the natural world like bee keeping and their production of honeycombs to the sun's journey across the sky! Big ideas presented in really well executed works which didn't cross any of my pretentious boundaries. In fact I don't think any of the work left me with that feeling. Well worth checking out more work on Ewan's website

Daniel Bruton's charging trolley video had me captivated. Picture a man dressed in an armadillo style costume charging towards a wooden ramp in a shopping trolley covered in green cable ties, but just as he's about to hit the ramp and fly off to the heavens the video loops back to the start! Our brave hero is forever resigned to his groundhog day existence. I really wanted to see this baby fly, I must have stood for about 3 minutes but alas the loop never changed. I've been unable to find any links for Daniel but did borrow a photo (below) from The Art Room Plant blog.

Angel Zorn took creepy and made it creepier with her 'Twins'. A quick flick through her book revealed photographs of more creepy characters and stories like 'Call Me' which left me & Slav in a state of shock! I'd love to know how her work developed down the path it did but then maybe ill just leave it at pedicure!

From painting I liked Allan Davies work. Highly detailed portraits of both people and animals adorned the walls. The monkey with a toy monkey (below) really caught my attention!

Morag Cullen's portraits showcased her stunning ability as a painter. Pulling out just enough details to give a sense of her subjects but never stepping too far and revealing too much. The photo below doesn't really show the scale of these paintings but they were pretty big and the subtle toned backdrops made each face stand out really well. Photo borrowed from Scarlett Erskine's blog which is worth checking out as well!

Laura Docherty must have the patients of a saint! Her perfect repeat patters were created using pen and ink, repeatedly applied to each board until it was filled with her perfect circles. With each layer of circles a new shape began to take form, some going in all directions while others seemed to follow a preordained path. Each patter was drawn onto wooden boards, these were rather large too and really made my eyes buzz! In a good way of course.

Finally we got up close to Lucy Monaghan's strange knitted pods, some of which seemed to be buzzing! Her hive like installation was intriguing and unsettling, I can just imagine the kind of creepy crawlies that would hatch out of her foot long knitted sacks! The view at the back was almost more disturbing but the scratching sounds won that prize. Really interesting to see someone make something so aesthetically hive like, that almost transports you somewhere else but in the middle of a gallery space. Would love to see some more snaps of her work and process. 

Some other artists who's work stood out include Natasha Dijkhoff whose colour explosions stunned along with Vivienne Russel's works, Samantha Garry's molecular microscopic renderings looked cool, Fiona Skinner's photograph circles and Amanda Lamprecht's honey comb shaped prints both stood out. 

Lada Wilson's greenhouse installation was a relief to the senses and Natasha Todd's shapes were well formed, Mhairi Edwards hanging works looked pretty spectacular in the dim lit room, Cheryl Diane Thomas derelict space photos managed to avoid being cliche and Matthew Wilson's 'Blitz Moth Killer' prints featured some of my favourite insects, Moths!

So that's a run down of a few highlights from Fine Art, I'm pretty sure there's a whole room we missed and I've not even mentioned Textile Design or Digital Interaction Design but I think we did well for only having 3 hours. Some really top quality work from all areas but ill be sure to get a full day booked for exploring next years Degree Show!

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