290°: DJCAD Degree Show 2013
18 May 2013 - 26 May 2013
This year’s Illustration Degree Show encompasses a vast array of different styles and solutions to various design problems; varying from picture books, to comics, to animation, all rendered to a professional standard. Consequently, it was not an easy task to single out individual pieces that really made an impact on me. Nonetheless, I found certain pieces of work caught my eye more than others.
The first set of illustrations that drew my attention were created by Stephanie Scott; a dichromatic series of animals which each correspond to a letter of the alphabet. These have been formatted in an activity book for young children- a copy of which can be found on sale in the shop in the room next to the exhibition. In addition to this, she has also presented an image from her comic ‘Nest’.
Claire Paul’s work is also noteworthy. Her work, like Scott’s, is aimed at children, focusing primarily on the picture book format; an appropriately themed ‘summer holiday’ work book, featuring activities to pass the time that might be spent on a long car journey to the other side of the country, or an hour long flight to France, was the first book that I saw. Its minimalistic style and bright warm and cool colours juxtaposed together really capture the essence and feeling of the season. Based in a similar style, with very earthy, Mexican colours, the second book that she displayed was a quirky picture book entitled ‘My Dad is Better Than Your Dad’. It features four little cactuses each convinced that their own father’s job is the best, and set on quarrelling amongst themselves about it until their fathers step in. Paul’s illustrations also have a kind of cute flair to them that definitely stands out.
Edyta Zagórska produced some beautifully crafted, and very slightly macabre, framed images of pale children in animal skins for the exhibition. The attention to detail she has incorporated into her paintings is truly inspiring; the texture of the fur looked so realistic, it could have been a photograph. They reminded me slightly of dark Victorian portraits with their posture and composition; their pale skin contrasted against the black background cause them to look even more ghost-like in comparison.
Nicola Prosser’s images sparked my interest for their dark and eerie content, which was appropriately enhanced by the 2D holographic medium that they were created in. A changing perspective reveals various ominous looking characters lurking in the woods, behind the trees; eyes glow out from within the darkness.
Although all of the artwork is particularly well presented, I believe that more descriptive labelling would have helped (aside from just the names of the artists). I would have been curious for example to discover some of the tools and mediums used to create the work being exhibited, as with some of them, the tools were so well employed it was often hard to guess. All in all, the entirety of the Degree Show came across as very well thought out and put together, I couldn’t find one piece of work that was lacking in quality and creative innovation; it goes without saying that I was impressed.