Floor 5 – Crawford Building
21 – 29 May 2022
Between the 21st and the 29th of May 2022, we once again come together to celebrate the work of the graduating art students of DJCAD. Each student has created works that inspire and challenge our response to the world around us.
When entering the exhibition space on floor 5 of the Crawford building you turn a corner to be tempted into a dark, narrow walkway to view the work of Fine Art student Kiara Farrer. At the end of the pathway is a red lit-up image of a forest. The image is brought to life by layering multiple sheets of Perspex that align perfectly as you walk closer and deeper into the work. The use of the walkway into the work allows you to become absorbed in, and completely surrounded by this murky environment, enticing you to get lost in the forest.
The brittle, dead trees along with the sharp red that lights up the scene creates an alarming but also sombre feeling of being lost and alone in the world.
Upon departing you leave behind an all-consuming melancholy to be confronted with the work of Art & Philosophy student Frances Smith (Vyvyan Stanley). Presenting four paintings on three white walls this work on the surface seems typical of what you would see hanging in a gallery. But upon closer inspection the work delves into the interesting concept of what the artist calls the ‘Mundane Ugly’.
Each painting depicts the artist in unflattering angles, crouching in only underwear or a strange view of the side of their head. These studies don’t seem to aim to cause a reaction, but instead allow you to question yourself and the ugly/beauty stereotypes we have built into society. The artist states that this work is “not a celebration of the grotesque nor a repacking of appearances antithetical to current beauty standards as somehow aesthetically pleasing.” This allows for us to view the work and perceive our bodies as more than what they look like and to question and challenge our expectations of portraiture.
As you turn around, on the other side of the room is the work of Fine Art student Calum Rennie. In this space there is a shelf set up to hold small zines and a sticker printer. Along the walls are paper print outs of written work along with hanging prints of fish all connected with ripped pieces of parcel tape. All of the work is made of paper or wood and has an unfinished quality to it. As you step and start to read the work you find yourself in an imaginative world of fictional but realistic and messy everyday people.
The work “CLOSED-CIRCUIT” took me on a journey onto a bus. Each stranger seen on this bus is brought to life and given characteristics, these descriptions make it easy to visualise these people and relate them to people I often see on my own commute.
Another way you can interact with this work is the printer, which continuously prints sticker additions of the work throughout the degree show. You are encouraged to rip off these stickers and take them with you. On these stickers are imaginative scenarios or places, which encourage you to stick the sticker to a place that relates. As I was making my way through the degree show, I saw a couple of these stickers dotted around. One made its way onto a Fire safety notice, which the sticker communicates in a whimsical way.
These three art students though being educated in the same place, have created strikingly different works. Having these three students exhibit together allows us to see the stark difference in their ambitions.
Each step around the DJCAD buildings is full of creativity and inventiveness. The range of interests and imagination is extremely apparent. You can’t help but walk away feeling inspired.