Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Top 5: ECA Degree Show 2018

Illustration work by Felicity Hamilton at Edinburgh College of Art Degree ShowSilversmithing by Jan Warnock at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show
Performance costumes by Megan Gallacher at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show

DJCAD Degree Show - tick
GSA Degree Show - tick
ECA Degree Show - tick

Yes, as well as Dundee and Glasgow,  I also managed to make it along to Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) for their 2018 degree show. Just call me a degree show tourist - if I could just spend the summer travelling around all of the ones up and down the UK, that would be fab, but for now I'll stick to the above three (I did also make it to Gray's in Aberdeen but was too busy snapping pics on my phone and forgot to take proper photos with my actual camera). I visited ECA on a rather hot day but with a bottle of water to hand and some dried apricot to fuel me along I managed to make my way around almost everything. I was a little thrown due to the building work meaning some things weren't in their usual places but I powered through in order to pick out and share my top 5...

1.) Felicity Hamilton | IllustrationColourful characters by Felicity Hamilton at ECA degree show
Illustrated headscarf and homewear by Felicity Hamilton
Felicity's work is full of character, colour and pattern - of course, I fell in love! And then I realised I'd seen some of this before. Turns out that Kimberley actually gave me one of Felicity's cards for Galentine's day! It's great to see students producing and selling their work before they've even gradated and I think that experience really helped Felicity's degree show work to look polished and oh so professional. I basically wanted everything from her stand and am currently trying to decide what scarf to buy first from her online shop. It's also now my goal in life to be one of her fabulous ladies lounging by the pool.

2.) Jan Warnock | Jewellery and SilversmithingSculptures based on the female form by Jan Warwock at Edinburgh College of Art
Sculptural work by Jan Warnock at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2018
When it comes to the Jewellery & Silversmithing work I'm usually all about the wearable pieces but this collection of abstract sculptures really surprised and delighted me. The colours used are so delicate and fresh but the objects themselves carry a wonderful weight to them. Inspired by the female form and the folds and marks that we usually ignore or try to hide, Jan used her own body as her primary resource making it a very personal project. Mixing contemporary craft techniques with traditional silversmithing methods, these pieces feel modern, unusual and rather beautiful.

3.) Emily Dunlop | Fine Art
Interactive artwork by Emily Dunlop at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2018Plant artwork by Emily Dunlop
I'm not much of a plant person but Emily's work might have changed my mind. Her plants definitely had plenty of personality. Yes, the wires may look a little messy but they allowed the plants to communicate. Touching the leaves caused them to shout out, brining to mind questions about humans effects on nature. That interactive element, plus the sterile looking tables and plastic casings made me feel bad for the plants and want to set them free/ take them home with me (even though they'd be much worse off in my care).

4.) June Cholsiri | Contemporary Art PracticeColourful baloon sculpture by June Cholsiri at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2018
Sculpture work by June Cholsiri at ECA Degree Show 2018
June's work focuses on meditative practices, concentration and consciousness, taking inspiration from her own making process as a form of mindfulness. These precarious sculptures certainly forced me think about the here and now by making me constantly worried that they were going to fall or break. Using fragile materials and compositions, like stacked cards and balloons, creates a tension that's hard to get away from and a temptation to touch the work that was difficult to control.

5.) Megan Gallacher | Performance Costume
Performance Costume designs by Megan Gallacher at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2018Performance Costume designs by Megan Gallacher at ECA Degree Show 2018
A few weeks before I headed to the degree show, Kimberley and I ventured through to Edinburgh for the ECA Performance Costume Show. It was a great presentation filled with fantastic performances and excellent music choices I was very much looking forward to seeing the pieces again. Making my way round the display I was not disappointed. Megan's costumes were ones that really wowed at the performance, with the detailing and the incorporation of lights working so well on stage, but they also looked fanatic close up with the striking print (can I have it on a dress please?) and layers of fabric.

There you go - another strong top 5 graduates to keep an eye on. I'm not sure how I'm going to keep track of all this amazing talent but I'm gonna give it my best shot. That's one of the reasons I love putting these posts together - they give me something to refer back to! I'm feeling super inspired and impressed by all the work I've seen across these shows and wish all the graduating students the best in the big bad scary world that comes after uni!

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