The range of sculptural work on display at this year’s degree show is really exciting. Duncan of Jordanstone has, for the past few years, been a place where material tactility and critical thinking have blended to create some truly inspiring works, a place that challenges disciplinary conventions. At the beginning of your tenure in fine arts, you are not asked to specialise. This is one of the main attractions of the fine art course at DJCAD, and the benefits of it are evident in the quality of work at the degree show.
The boundary between sculptural forms and surface-based work is never more intermeshed than with Bobby Sinclair’s large sculptural prints. These aluminium forms, crushed and contorted, bring a new dimension to printmaking by removing the pieces from the planar confines of the wall, and situating them in relation to the gallery space. Another artist who toys with the idea of surface is Ksenia Seiz, whose large fabricated wall houses, on one side, two screens playing a video piece, and on the other a dizzying arrangement of train tickets. Seiz’s piece questions the function of the sculptural object; her sculpture is in itself an object, but it also acts as the framework for two other pieces. She also toys with 3D practice in her prints, which consist of stacks of the tickets before they were pinned to the wall. The interlocking geometric patterns on display are truly beautiful.
Corey MacDonald’s elegantly crafted desk is another example of form and function coming together to create something special. His minimal printworks are alluring, but the desk is truly the star of his show. The sheer craftsmanship of it is a wonder to behold, and its functionality as a store for prints only adds to its charm. Tanith Marron takes functionality to the extreme with her green corrugated plastic boat, which she used to cross Loch Rannoch.
Guy Titterington takes a completely opposing approach with his slick minimal works. His plywood palettes have the appearance of a functional object, but they are meticulously polished, and far from ergonomic in nature. Rather, his work draws inspiration from the functional, without actually fulfilling that role.
Moving away from the seriousness of the form and function interplay, Ben Rogers’ humorous pun-filled “Cryptids” series brings a lighter, pop-coloured edge to the degree show. His bright sculptures certainly draw the eye, and his puns and witticisms are certain to raise a smile amongst some of the other, rather more austere degree show displays. Continuing this tongue-in-cheek theme is Jack Bishop’s cross section of contemporary masculinity, which comes in the form of “Billy Big Baws”: a gargantuan set of testicles suspended by leather trouser belts from a geodesic dome. These head-turning organs are covered in animal fat and displayed alongside a cattle bolt gun, encased in what appears to be a golden church tabernacle. Bishop’s juxtapositions bring to light the absurdities of masculine archetypes and the meat industry. Finally, Lotte Fisher takes a rather more whimsical approach with her fantastical world of Tenzing, which is inhabited and explored by her alter ego Freeman MacInesker. A diverse populace of miniature porcelain figures are dotted around her space, some easier to spot than others.
The potentials of 3D work are thoroughly explored by this year’s students. This carefully curated exhibition of varying forms is proof that sculpture remains an established practice at the Duncan of Jordanstone.